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Leaving Space For A Greater Future

John 16:7
But I tell you the truth: It is for your good that I am going away. Unless I go away, the Counsellor will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you. (NIV)

Naturally we hate change – especially if it is forced on us. So we can understand that the disciples hated the idea of Jesus leaving them. Rightly, He had become the centre of their lives and they could not imagine life without Him. As He prepared them for this, He promised that the Holy Spirit would come: “And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counsellor to be with you for ever - the Spirit of truth … you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you. I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.” (John 14:16-18)

In today’s verse, Jesus said that the Spirit could only come to all believers if He went away: but that would be so much better! Looking back we can see why. Jesus could only be in one place at one time; but the Spirit is everywhere all the time. Jesus was with His disciples but the Spirit would be in them. Jesus authorised and empowered His disciples for although they could not understand it, God’s great purpose of bringing Christ to the world would only be fulfilled as the work of Jesus was multiplied. The disciples were filled with the Holy Spirit empowering them to do what Jesus would have done but in many more different places all at the same time and without Him being physically present.

The Holy Spirit is given to everybody who repents of their sin and believes in the Lord Jesus Christ to save them (Acts 2:38). Indeed Paul says in Romans 8:9: “… if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Christ.” It is essential that we recognise and welcome the Holy Spirit who has been given to us – so that we can have power to speak and act in Jesus’ Name (Acts 1:8). Without His work in us, we cannot evangelise effectively (1 Thessalonians 1:5); nor can we be confident before God and the world. Hope, joy, peace and faith – are all products of the Holy Spirit’s powerful work in our lives (Romans 15:13). If you love Jesus you should desire the Holy Spirit to work in your life, and through you to others. Do not grieve Him by selfish relationships, or put out His fire by thinking you can work or witness without Him (1 Thessalonians 5:19). As you desire to be filled with Him each day, you will see how He will use you to honour Jesus.

Life-giving God. Although it would have been amazing to have met Jesus physically, I am so glad that You have given me, and the billions of believers around the world, the personal privilege of knowing Him because the Holy Spirit lives in us. I am sorry when I have not valued the Holy Spirit’s presence nor relied on His power to enable me to serve You. Please help me to turn from those attitudes which grieve Him or quench His power in my life. Please help me to welcome His powerful presence every day, so that I may know and feel the presence of Jesus Christ with me and work effectively with Him. In His Name. Amen.
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© Dr Paul Adams