Updated: Jun 8, 2019
"But because I have said these things to you, sorrow has filled your heart. Nevertheless, I tell you the truth: it is to your advantage that I go away, for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you. But if I go, I will send him to you."
John 16: 6-7
The Holy Spirit lives in me! This reality hits me in a new way lately, after seeing this passage in a new light. I imagine myself as one of the disciples the day Jesus was sharing what is recorded in John 16. I know I'd be thinking, "What? To our advantage? You mean better? It'll be better for us if you die and leave us on our own . . . better?" I'm sure the disciples had no idea what Jesus meant. What could be better than hanging out with the Messiah himself, drinking directly from the well-spring of living water?
I get their incredulity, and empathize with them. In fact, sometimes I model that same incredulity in my life. How? When I am tempted to despair because times are hard. When I act like I face trials on my own. When I see myself as a victim, and let struggles and sorrows define me. When I think I have to conjure up the strength and willpower I need to change through my own steam. That's when I feel like those disciples must have felt the day Jesus vision-cast for them--sick to my stomach and too freaked out to listen.
What Jesus was telling would prove integral to their lives and witness. When He ascended to heaven, He sent the Holy Spirit to fuel their faith. Through the power of the Holy Spirit they did things they could never imagine--built the Church, healed the sick, broke the hardhearted. They didn't get Jesus in the beginning. In fact, most of them ran and hid in fear during the crucifixion. They don't seem to be banking on their future power in Christ then. Yet when I read Acts, the story is very different. They do what they thought they could never do, through the power of the Holy Spirit in them. If you look at the growth of Christianity during this period, there's no way to deny Jesus' words. The power of their witness, fueled by the blood of Jesus Christ and His miraculous resurrection, was better.
The disciples went from God walking beside them to God operating through them. Life through the power of the Holy Spirit is wildly better---He comforts, strengthens, enables, inspires, calls, equips, informs, redeems, and renews. He is Christ in us, the very hope of glory.
How do you operate through the power of the Holy Spirit on a daily basis?
Of the many ways the Holy Spirit works, which is most meaningful to you today?
What specifically do you need to surrender to the work of the Holy Spirit right now?