Living with Jesus at the center is not easy. In fact, it’s a battle. Your old wayward, sinful self will fight every step along the way, but Jesus made a provision for you to enable you to yield to Him and follow Him completely. On the night before His death, Jesus spoke to His disciples. “If you love me, you will keep my commandments. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, to be with you forever, even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, for he dwells with you and will be in you,” (John 14.15-17 ESV).
Jesus promised that He would send you a Helper, the Holy Spirit. Who is the Holy Spirit? For starters, the Holy Spirit is a person. He is not a force or power. He is the third person of the Trinity. God exists in three persons: the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. Here Jesus refers to the Holy Spirit as your “Helper.” The word literally means advocate, encourager or one who comes alongside to help you. The Holy Spirit is the one Jesus sent to come alongside you to help you.
You may ask, “How does the Holy Spirit help me?” Jesus gives us several ways in this passage: 1) He comforts you. The word “helper” can also be translated “comforter.” When you are discouraged, the Spirit comforts your heart. 2) He stays with you. Jesus said He is with you forever. He will never leave or abandon you. 3) He teaches you truth, showing you right from wrong and how to please God. 4) He empowers you to live boldly for Jesus. (Acts 1.8 NIV) says, “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses.” 5) He changes you from the inside out, “filling you with love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control,” (Galatians 5.22-23 ESV).
Relying solely on your own strength, you cannot live the Christian life, but when you are filled with and controlled by the Spirit, you can! The Apostle Paul gave this command: “be filled with the Holy Spirit,” (Ephesians 5.18 NLT). How can you be filled with the Spirit? You can begin by believing in Jesus. The Spirit comes into your life at the moment of your salvation. (Ephesians 1.13-14 NLT) says, “And when you believed in Christ, he identified you as his own by giving you the Holy Spirit, whom he promised long ago. If you are a Christ follower, then you have the Holy Spirit.”
Now you have to walk with Him, following His promptings and heeding His warnings. When you do something the Spirit is warning you not to do, you grieve the Spirit, (1 Thessalonians 5.19 ESV). When you don’t do something the Spirit is prompting you to do, you quench the Spirit, (Ephesians 4.30 ESV). But when you do what the Spirit is leading you to do, you are walking in the Spirit, (Galatians 5.25 ESV). Then you are “filled with the Holy Spirit,” (Ephesians 5.18 ESV), and the power of the Spirit is released in your life!
Photo Credit: Henry Hustava