I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.” John 16:33 ESV
*Note – I left the metronome going during the audio recording…sorry for the soft ticking in the background
I have a friend who is having surgery today. Pam and I had the privilege to pray for her on the way to the hospital. After the prayer, she shared with us (that’s testified for you church folk) about the abiding presence of peace that Jesus gives. Even through the unknown of surgery she said “My God has always been faithful in the past and He will be faithful now. He never leaves me nor forsakes me.”
As I thought about her confidence in sharing, I could not help but be thankful for the Holy Spirit. Jesus said that it was better for Him to go away – living again and returning to the Father. For when He goes, His presence will be multiplied through the Holy Spirit in the spiritual rebirth of all who believe and follow Jesus.
Since I am a preacher, I thought of 4 P’s to help unpack Jesus’ joy about the abiding Holy Spirit – The Comforter
- Abiding Presence – Jesus said we must be born of water and of the Spirit to become a follower of Him. The initial work of the Spirit is to convict of sin (missing the mark of His perfection) which we ALL have done. But in the new birth, our old life of was buried with Him, and we arise to walk in the newness of life with the abiding presence of the Spirit. The Spirit brings forth new life and remains with us always celebrating Jesus in us – John 15.
- Bold Power – Acts 1:8 states that we will receive power when the Spirit comes so that we may be witnesses of Him. Have you ever been jolted with electricity perhaps when you touched an electrical outlet? The power took over…still you…but the presence of electricity was evident. Telling others about the goodness of God in your life is easy when you follow the power and boldness which the Spirit brings to you.
- Heavenly Perspective – Paul said he regards no one any longer from a fleshly perspective, rather He looks at them from God’s point of view – a spiritual insight. When we look horizontally – fleshly – at all the trouble the world brings and which exists in others, we become stuck in the mud of our reasoning. We agree with Paul -There is none who does good, no not one. But when we look vertically down from the viewpoint of God and His heavenly kingdom, we are filled with love and a desire to give through serving. Jesus loved those who persecuted Him, spoke falsely about His intentions, spit on Him, ridiculed Him, physically beat Him, and betrayed Him. Through the Holy Spirit you can love others through the windows of Heaven and treat them with respect, forgive those who have hurt you, and share the good news of Jesus with your enemy,
- Not Perfection But Holiness. Those who walk according to the ways of the Spirit will not continue to carry out the desires of the flesh. God will sanctify you to become a pure and spotless bride. But His goal is dependent trust to follow His leading- not self sufficient perfection. Jesus said “follow Me”. He will lead to paths of righteousness. The smugness of being perfect is a mark of selfish pride like the Pharisees. Humility about our frailty to choose our own way is to work out our faith through fear and trembling. Obedience to follow the whispers of the Holy Spirit will lead to a purity of actions…always.
As I thought about this subject this morning, I kept thinking of the youtube audio of Reverend S M Lockridge….. “My King, I wonder if you know Him”. Here is the link if you have never heard him. The impression I had was Jesus saying, “The Holy Spirit, the comforter…Oh I wonder if you know Him”. Ask the Father to make the abiding presence of peace and joy of the Spirit an intimate personal journey in your life.
Blessings Love y’all