John 14:16-18 And I will pray to the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever—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. I will not leave you orphans, I will come to you.
The Gospel of John speaks of the Holy Spirit more than any of the other three Gospels. John the Beloved understood something in the heart of Jesus that was related to the Holy Spirit and the things he heard from Jesus regarding this Person are glorious and have stunning implications for us today.
Jesus, speaking about His ministry of intercession and prayer, says that He would talk to the Father and upon His ascension to Heaven, He would give the Holy Spirit to those that loved Him. When Jesus was introducing the disciples and apostles to Holy Spirit, it was a brand new concept to them. You can imagine the challenge it must’ve been for Jesus to give them instruction about another One, Who was distinct from the both Him and the Father and how it would be better if Jesus left them. What Jesus was sharing with them was the fulfillment of many promises that God gave through the Prophets, specifically Jeremiah and Ezekiel. But reading prophetic words about the future and receiving them in the present is often complicated.
Jesus’ words about this coming Person are powerful words of comfort and strength in the absence of Jesus’ physical Person in their lives. Jesus says that when He gives them the Holy Spirit He will actually abide with them forever, unlike Jesus’ physical Person that was there for a short time and then taken back to Heaven. The Holy Spirit on the other hand would dwell with them forever, ever helping them and leading them.
I have occasionally heard Christians speak of the Holy Spirit in such a way that they are warning other believers not to get too ‘carried away’ with Him. When I began to build a relationship with Holy Spirit, these phrases started to chaff me. The idea that the Third Person of the Godhead would lead us astray, or into something unholy and weird is not only unthinkable but also heretical in light of the ample conversation about Holy Spirit in the Bible. Jesus called Him the Spirit of Truth, meaning whatever is holy, heavenly, honest and eternal is what He will bring you into. The Holy Spirit is trustworthy in the way that He leads us, because He is the Spirit of Truth. You can trust Him fully, completely and wholeheartedly and without reservation. He doesn’t need to be qualified prior to trusting Him, He’s the Spirit of Truth, He’s God.
But Jesus also said that He would not leave us as orphans, but that He would come to us. The deficit of an orphan is that they have nobody to protect him or her, to provide for them, or to instruct them. They are left to their own devices. One of the glories of the Holy Spirit is that He provides for us, protects us and instructs us. The Christian life should never be a life of loneliness but a life of peace, joy and hope, because we’re not orphans, but the beloved of God.
Holy Spirit I thank You that I’m not an orphan. Although I sometimes feel alone, would You remind me that You are always with me. I want to feel the nearness of Your presence even now as I am praying. Thank You for Your continued guidance and deep involvement in my life even when I don’t feel You. Would You, by Your great power, lead me into truth and greater encounter with Jesus!