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Our Constant Companion: Walking with the Spirit

“[The Father] will give you another Advocate, that He may be with you forever; the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it does not see Him or know Him. You know Him because He abides with you and will be in you.” 

- John 14:16-17 -

 

False religions and the one true faith prove mankind longs to commune with a higher entity. We all seek a power higher than ourselves in times of need. For some of us it’s alcohol, for others it’s an idol carved from a tree. For many, it’s an east-facing prayer rug to kneel on five times a day. But none of these can satisfy our wants and needs. Spiritual blindness keeps many looking in all the wrong places. What hurting people need isn’t false religion, but a living relationship with the one true God. And Christianity has what no other faith has: the presence of the Holy Spirit. In fact, there is no Christianity without the Holy Spirit. Without Him, the church decays into dry, mundane religion; a social club where God is forced into the background.


 

The most important Being on earth today is the Holy Spirit. He is the one sent by Christ to finish the work begun two millennia ago. At the last supper, Jesus tells His disciples: “Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in me” (John 14:1). With His crucifixion just hours away, Christ graciously offers hope to guard His own, saying: “I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever, even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you” (14:16-17). We learn right away that the Holy Spirit is an ever-present help in time of need.

 

The church is birthed in the Book of Acts. As we read its pages, we see that the Spirit is a vital part of its life and ours. They depend on and interact with the Spirit. He is preeminent in all the church does, being partnered with them all. Sad to say, what is common to them is uncommon in today’s church. The Holy Spirit is the most active member of the Godhead, yet He is the most ignored and misunderstood. So it’s crucial for us to know and comprehend Him without making the mistake of only focusing on His power. We must not see Him as a Holy Ghost vapor floating in the cosmos with unlimited influence and spiritual energy. No, He is the Spirit of the Living God, the third person of the Godhead, and, vitally, without Him we wouldn’t know who Jesus is.


It is the Holy Spirit who convicts the world of sin (John 16:8) and draws us into union with Christ (1 Cor. 12:3). Truth is, He’s the most ignored Person in the church, yet He still loves and yearns for us. The Holy Spirit is wonderful, kind, and sensitive. He wants us to have daily experiences with Him as we cannot live the Christian life well without Him. He is God and an equal part of the Trinity with the Father and the Son. Yet misconceptions over who the Spirit is and what He does causes many to shy away from intimacy with Him. This is truly the devil’s work, as Satan well-knows that only the Holy Spirit can reveal who people are in Christ.



We can see parallels to the Trinity in house building. The Father is the architect who designs, Jesus is the foreman who oversees construction, and the Holy Spirit is the worker who builds. He is the one manifesting what the Father wants done. Hear Jesus: “If I cast out demons by the Spirit of God, surely the kingdom of God has come upon you” (Matt. 12:28). Luke sheds even more light by recording Jesus saying: “If I cast out demons with the finger of God, surely the kingdom of God has come upon you” (11:20). The Holy Spirit is the finger of God, doing what the Father wants done. Jeremiah prays: “You have brought Your people Israel out of the land of Egypt with signs and wonders, with a strong hand and an outstretched arm” (32:21). And David says: ‘When I consider Your heavens, the work of Your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have ordained’ (Ps. 8:3). So, in the beginning, the Father and the Son used the Spirit to bring the universe into existence.

 

Jesus is the Word of God. He declared “Let there be light” in the beginning, as this is what the Father wanted done. The Son spoke the command but the Holy Spirit brought it into reality. He was ‘hovering over the face of the waters’ (Gen. 1:2) waiting for Jesus to tell Him what the Father wanted done. The Holy Spirit, the finger of God, is powerful. So powerful that Isaiah ponders: ‘Who else has held the oceans in His hand? Who has measured off the heavens with His fingers? Who else knows the weight of the earth or has weighed the mountains and hills on a scale? Who is able to advise the Spirit of the Lord? Who knows enough to give Him advice or touch Him?’ (40:12-13).



Knowing all this, we must then ask what the Holy Spirit like? Creation helps us again. ‘So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them’ (Gen. 1:27). Men and women are created in God’s image. Each is different, yet each has character traits of a loving God. Jesus came to show the world what the Father is like, and men were created to show what Jesus is like. Paul writes: ‘Husbands, love your wives just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for it' (Eph. 5:25).


But what about women? Could it just be that God created women show the world what the Spirit is like? A child scrapes his knee and seeks mom for comfort, and the Spirit is our great Comforter! A woman helps her husband in a myriad of ways, and Christ says the Spirit is the Helper of the church! Women are beautifully emotional beings just like the Spirit, who loves (Rom. 15:30) and can even be grieved (Eph. 4:30). So from this day on, husbands ought to view their wives in a different, more holy light.


The Holy Spirit is a real Person with a real personality. He is no white dove. He is God, the third Person of the Trinity. He lives in us and strives for us to think how God thinks, desire what God desires, and feel what God feels. He has a mind (Rom. 8:27) and a will (1 Cor. 2:11). He speaks (Rev. 2:7), teaches (John 14:26), leads (Rom. 8:14), comforts (Acts 9:31), appoints (Acts 20:28), and empowers (Acts 1:8). As God, the Spirit possesses all knowledge. He can never think something He’s never thought before. If He could, He might learn something new, but that’s impossible as He already knows all there is to know. So amazing news! We have Someone living in us who knows everything about everything and He is sworn to be our guide and teacher.



The apostle Paul writes the Corinthians two letters about how to live effective Christian lives. His final words to them are: ‘The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you all. Amen’ (2 Cor. 13:14). The Greek word for communion is 'koinonia.' It means fellowship, partnership, and close association. Paul’s point is that the Spirit seeks to be our constant companion. We must pray and talk to Him the same way we pray and talk to Jesus Christ and the Father, sharing and entering into fellowship with the blessed Holy Spirit.

 

In some churches, the Spirit is unknown, unwanted, and people get offended when He is mentioned. Some live their whole Christian life without giving the Spirit any serious thought, yet Scripture talks about Him from cover to cover. It’s easy to be drawn to supernaturalism and the miraculous, but Zechariah has God saying: “Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit” (4:6). Those who wish to know the Spirit need to realize that they already know Him, they just don’t recognize Him. At the last supper, Jesus promises the disciples that the Father “shall give you another Comforter, that He may abide with you forever” (John 14:16). The Greek means ‘one just like Me,’ which makes this Comforter the very Spirit of Christ. When Jesus walked the earth, He was tied to His physical body, so thank God the Spirit is everywhere at once. While Christ is now in heaven at the right hand of the Father (Mark 16:19), the Spirit is on the earth today as our constant companion.


The Holy Spirit wants an intimate relationship with us, so talk to Him like you would a best friend. You’ll be amazed how He responds. He’ll give you eyes to see, ears to hear, and receptive heart. He'll answer questions, tackle problems, and shine light where there was once only darkness. He’ll give you peace where there was once unrest and show you how to respond to the truths of Scripture. But remember, only intimacy leads to deep friendship. How we interact with people determines how close we can become. Some couples are married for thirty years but act like strangers as they rarely interact intimately. Likewise, some Christians are saved for years but don’t know Jesus well as it’s the Spirit who unveils Him. Paul didn’t physically walk with Jesus but he came to know Him intimately through fellowship with the Spirit. Peter even testifies that Paul knew Jesus so well that some of his letters were hard to understand (2 Peter 3:16).



Our bodies are temples of the Spirit (1 Cor. 6:19), and Jesus calls Him “the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you” (John 14:17). The question must be asked: now that the Spirit is in us, how well do we know Him? We know the Spirit by what He does in our lives. We know He’s at work, as it’s the Spirit who fuels our thirst to know Jesus more and more intimately. His ministry is one of comfort. He comforts us by showing us who we are in Christ. Paul says: ‘You have not received a spirit that makes you fearful slaves. Instead, you received God’s Spirit when He adopted you as His own children. Now we call Him, “Abba, Father.” For His Spirit joins with our spirit to affirm that we are God’s children’ (Rom. 8:15-16). If that doesn't give us comfort, then nothing will.

 

Every word of Scripture that brings peace to our souls is Spirit-inspired. Jesus says the very words He speaks “are spirit and are life” (John 6:63). So when we read God’s Word, it is the Spirit comforting us. When we go to church and hear expositions of inspired Scripture, our lives are changed for the better. It is the Spirit helping us soar higher and press on in our Christian walk. As we meditate on the Spirit’s words, we learn to love His voice and discover the will of God. We only act without misgivings thanks to what the Spirit says, which brings us comfort and peace. He alone can turn the dark of night into the brilliance of dawn, shining the light of truth that is God’s Word.



The Greek for ‘Comforter’ is ‘parakletos.’ It means ‘one called to the side of another.’ In His earthly ministry, Jesus was daily with His disciples. As He prepares to leave them, He says another Comforter will not only come to them, but dwell in them. In the Old Testament, the Spirit rushes upon people but often leaves after. The Spirit departs from King Saul (1 Sam. 16:14), and when David confesses his sin, he begs that the Spirit not be taken from him (Ps. 51:11). But when the Spirit is given at Pentecost, He comes to dwell with God’s people forever. We can grieve the Spirit, but He’ll never leave. To have Him as our Comforter is to have God Himself indwelling our mortal body. He’ll teach us the Word and guide us into all truth. He’ll remind us of what Jesus taught so we can lean on His Word in trying times. He’ll give us peace (John 14:27), love (John 15:9,10), and joy (John 15:11), comforting our hearts and minds in this troubled world (2 Cor. 1:4).


The Holy Spirit enables us to be fulfilled in our inner man. Life is to be celebrated, not tolerated. It is therefore the will of God that the Spirit’s character be evident in our life. Paul says ‘the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law’ (Gal. 5:22-23). We can’t produce these things on our own, but since the Spirit is our constant companion, we trust that the fruit He produces will be evident in our lives. Christians everywhere seek to know God’s will for their lives, not realizing that the One who lives in them knows the will of God. So, if we spend time with the Spirit, fostering a close association with Him, we will see in Scripture what God’s specific will is for our life.

 

Before Jesus ascends into heaven, He tells His disciples what they must do for the rest of their lives: “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature” (Mark 16:15). The Roman world was wicked and brutal. Jesus knew they couldn’t fulfill their destiny by their own ability or might, so He says “not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the Promise of the Father…For John truly baptized with water, but you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now” (Acts 1:4-5). We are never alone in life as the love and power of the Spirit is in, with, and upon us. He goes wherever we tread. He is our constant companion and will enable us to do the things God would have us do. May we know Him more fully and give constant thanks that He is with us.


 

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I love this so much! Thank you for posting!

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