Posts Tagged John 16: 13

Whom Shall I Serve?

Habakkuk 1: 11

But they will be held guilty, they whose strength is their God.

The prophet Habakkuk wrote this sometime around 607 B.C. That means this passage is over 2600 years old. It might have been written yesterday for how appropriate it is to our everyday existence.

I have been writing over the last couple of years about partnership with God. This is the singular message of our time. God sent Jesus to save us from destruction. Having accomplished his task, Jesus sent the Holy Spirit to be our constant companion and helper. We are supposed to learn to work with Him the way the Father did when He created the earth, and indeed, the whole universe. We are called to walk with him the way Jesus did when he worked miracles in the earth. These two persons of the Trinity that we know well, did everything through and by the Holy Spirit. This was God’s plan for us, that the third person of the Trinity would come live with us, actually be in us and that we would rely on His strength rather than our own.

How many of us have learned this way of living though? Don’t most of us look to our “God given” abilities rather than to the Holy Spirit? Don’t we strive and labor? You would be shocked to learn how much of the Bible speaks specifically against our strength, our labor and striving to succeed. Here is just one little taste, straight from the lips of Father God on knowing Him, “Cease striving and know that I am God,” (Psalm 46: 10). Maybe you will like this one, “It is the Lord’s blessing that makes a person rich, and hard work adds nothing to it,” (Proverb 10: 22 GW). Hey, that’s Bible guys and I don’t mean the Bible according to Ivey. That’s the gospel. And don’t look at me like I am any better at this than anyone else but at least I know where the bull’s eye is painted these days. The target is: complete, 100% cooperation with the Holy Spirit. In fact, Jesus said the Spirit is to be the leader (John 16: 13), so not only are we to partner with the Spirit, but we are to listen to him and get our directions, our plans from him.

I think of it this way, imagine every morning that you have a partner meeting (and in truth I advise you to actually do this). In that meeting you lay out what you perceive as the day’s priorities and tasks. You and the Spirit can look at the schedule for the day, the appointments, etc. but then comes the critical piece. Let him show you which are the really important items. He may add some tasks that he identifies as more important than those on your list. He does that with me. Sometimes what he thinks is most important is for me to read or to journal. Sometimes he will move one project in front of another. That’s good. That is what you want him to do because he knows the future and which actions get us to our goals. Talk through everything for that day but, and here is a key, when you leave the conference room table or the kitchen table, don’t forget to keep him right beside you. Listen to him all day.

Another key part of this is that it is his strength, his power that works for us. Look to him. Tell him he has mail. Let him be the miracle worker. You will be surprised what he can accomplish while you are having your lunch, that is, if you will give him the reins.

Look, this takes practice, I grant you. It also takes intentionality. In other words, you have to intend to live and work this way. You must purpose in your heart and in your mind to pay attention to the voice of the Spirit which is speaking within you. You will need to prioritize spending quiet, contemplative time with him. I know you don’t want to. You think you are too busy to sit and meditate but as I pointed out, this is God speaking. This is what the Bible tells us to do.

Sooner or later we have to decide if we are truly disciples of Christ. If so, then it is about doing what he says and following in his footsteps. Sooner or later, you have to decide if you are foremost a Christian or a lawyer, a Christian or a school teacher, a Christian or a banker. I kept making the wrong choice. I was a lawyer first and a Christian second. Don’t be like I was. Learn and practice making God supreme. Don’t let your strength, intelligence, or hard work be your God. Don’t serve your calendar but serve God and humble yourself before Him and His wisdom. Be a great success in Christ, your Lord.

Relieved

Psalm 81: 6 & 10

I relieved his shoulder of the burden, his hands were freed from the basket. I, the Lord, am your God, who brought you up from the land of Egypt; open your mouth wide and I will fill it.

I am always amused by people who say that the Old Testament does not speak to us today. Today’s verse is modern day theology. It is Jesus’ message about the Holy Spirit. This is the place, spiritually speaking, where we are all supposed to live.

God has relieved us from the labor of work. Am I saying that we no longer set our hands to the plow? No. What God is revealing is that He is the labor behind the work. He supplies the wisdom and the power. We are to abide in Him and rest in Him while He provides for us. Hebrews 4: 11 says, “Therefore let us be diligent to enter that rest, so that no one will fall, through following the same example of disobedience.” The King James version says that our labor is in entering into this rest. In other words, our job is to enter into the rest of God. We are to be diligent in our pursuit of a Sabbath relationship with the Father and Sabbath, by the way, is every day. Our labor, our task is to abide in Jesus every moment of every day. That is sometimes a challenge and that is why it requires diligence. It is quite easy for us to become stimulated by some “emergency” or even some “to do” and begin to operate in our own strength and wisdom. The calling upon our lives is to learn to let go of our ways and our strength and embrace Jesus’ ways and the strength of God. Our challenge is to live in His abiding grace where He does all the heavy lifting. This is the challenge of the New Covenant. Endeavor, labor even, to live in Jesus’ peace while the Holy Spirit provides the power.

Jesus said, “The Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things” (John 14: 26). He also promised us that the Holy Spirit will guide us in all truth (John 16: 13). So, the strength, power and wisdom are in the Divine Trinity. God has taken the kneading bowl from our hands and put it into the hands of the Holy Spirit. Our part is to abide in Him and allow Him to abide in us. We take the time to quiet ourselves down and listen to the voice of the Holy Spirit and follow him. It is harder than it sounds because we learned to do everything in our power: by our education, personality, charm, hard-work and all of the other worldly methods. God is trying to redeem us from all of that though. Just like a relief pitcher in the 9th inning, God has sent the Holy Spirit to win all of your games for you. Let’s be diligent to enter God’s rest and the peace Jesus left for us while the Holy Spirit does his job.

Revealer

1 Corinthians 2: 12

Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might know the things freely given to us by God.

One of the things I have done in my Bible is to underline in blue every place that teaches about the Holy Spirit. Why? Because I want to know and understand this third person of the trinity.

John 16: 13 teaches us that the Holy Spirit will lead us in all truth. He will reveal to us the things of God. Whatever he hears God speak, he will reveal to us. He is a revealer. His role is, in part, to show us all that God has already prepared for us. God, our Father, does not wish that we would be ignorant of all the good things He has already made available to us. God has freely given us good things to enjoy. The Holy Spirit shows us this abundant provision. He is tasked with leading us to all things which God had created just for us. Now, don’t you want to know, personally, the guy whose job is to point you towards provision?

We should be clear, however. This is not the spirit of the world. The Holy Spirit is, himself, a gift of God. He was promised to the children of God and poured out at the Pentecost. This pouring out was foretold and we are the blessed generation. Paul indicates in today’s verse that this Spirit from God is a gift we receive. Why is that important? The reason we need to recognize the word “receive” is that one can just as easily refuse a gift.

God has freely given us many things. We can easily be unaware of these gifts and never receive all that God has already done for us. This is not the will of God. Therefore, He has given us the gift of the Holy Spirit so that we will always have a guide and teacher. You can talk to the Holy Spirit just as you would Jesus or the Father. Get to know him. Allow him to lead you in truth and revelation. Expect him to show you the Father. There is a universe of truth he longs to share with you. You are going to enjoy the show.

The Spirit

1 Corinthians 2: 10

For to us God revealed them through the Spirit; for the Spirit searches all things, even the depths of God.

We are only beginning to understand the role of the Holy Spirit in our lives. This powerful scripture shows us part of the function of the Holy Spirit. He reveals knowledge, wisdom and insight to us from God the Father. There is nothing hidden from the Holy Spirit. Since God knows all things, the Holy Spirit knows all things. He searches the deepest parts of God’s being so nothing is barred from Him. Then He discloses to us these deep things.

John 16: 13 tells us that the Spirit will disclose to us those things which He hears from the Father. The Spirit was sent here to guide us into all truth. He is the Spirit of Truth. So you have a very present helper who can bring you help from the very heart of God.

You can talk with the Holy Spirit just as you talk with the Father or the Son. Invite Him to be in your life. Ask Him to lead you and teach you. He will be a mentor and a friend to you.

Parked Car

John 16: 13

But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all the truth.

There used to be an expression, “God can’t steer a parked car.” The point of it was that the Holy Spirit has been sent here to steer and direct you but you have to get the car off of the curb first. You must start the car and put it in gear and then the Holy Spirit can direct you. What does this mean in practical terms? It means that you cannot just sit around and wait for God to drop something in your lap and have great success. The reason is that He directs your steps not jump starts you. You’ve got to get involved in your own success. Talk to the Lord about the things you want. You can still tell Him that it is most important to you that you follow His directions. You’ve got to start heading somewhere, then He can tell you which turns to make and which paths to take. But don’t just sit in your car waiting for him to start the car and drive too. It is not going to happen. Start doing something. Head in some direction and He will let you know if a course correction is called for. But first, get out of park.

This Way ->

Isaiah 30: 21            Index Card 15

And your ears will hear a word behind you, “This is the way, walk in it.”

Well, today is the last index card but it really is a good one and certainly one which I have relied upon extensively. This is a promise from God and you can hold Him to it. First it means that we will hear God speak to us (See Word of the Day – Opened Ears, 3/24/16). That is a great promise all by itself but let’s not stop there. It also means that He will give me direction, He will guide me in the way I should go. God has opened our ears and is using the communication lines between us to show us the way (read all the puns into that you want). His voice guides us daily. If at any time we do not hear Him leading us then we have only to stop and recall this verse. Then we set our intention back to hearing His voice and there He is, still on the line talking.

Jesus promised us that the Holy Spirit would be our guide (John 16: 13). He also revealed that the Holy Spirit would take whatever He hears and disclose it to us and believe it, the Holy Spirit keeps pretty good company. So, we really have it made. God the Father has promised to speak a word in our ears and Jesus commissioned the Holy Spirit to speak to us and guide us. Now we know the way.

The Promise

Numbers 11: 16 – 17

The Lord therefore said to Moses, “Gather for Me seventy men from the elders of Israel, who you know to be the elders of the people and their officers and bring them to the tent of meeting, and let them take their stand there with you. Then I will come down and speak with you there, and I will take of the Spirit who is upon you , and will put Him upon them.

This “Spirit” spoken of is the Holy Spirit of God. God reveals to us in this passage that His spirit was “on” Moses. That is a powerful revelation for anyone who has ears to hear. 

Moses did gather the seventy elders and God did put His Holy Spirit on them too so that they could help shoulder the burden of caring for the Israelites. When God put His Spirit on them, the Bible tells us that they began to prophesy (v. 25). That is the power of the Holy Spirit.

This is the same spirit which was spoken of in Acts 2. God promised in Joel 2: 28 that He would pour out His Spirit on all mankind. This outpouring was a monumental occurrence, the fulfillment of a long awaited promise. In fact, if you study all the verses which speak about the Holy Spirit you will see numerous references to the promise of his coming. Then in Acts 2 we get to witness the outpouring of the Spirit. 

In the Old Testament the Holy Spirit came “upon” people as was the case with Moses and the seventy elders. This resting of the Holy Spirit upon people gave them tremendous ability and power. Jesus told the disciples that when he left he was going to send the Holy Spirit (John 16: 7). He also told them that the Holy Spirit was coming to live IN them (John 14: 17). 

This is a new dispensation, if you will. We are talking about the same Holy Spirit which brooded over the waters in Genesis 1: 2. However, a new thing was happening. Jesus was sending the Holy Spirit into the world to stay. Not only that, but importantly, the Holy Spirit was sent to us individually rather than collectively. That is an important distinction. The Holy Spirit was with the nation of Israel as they sojourned to Canaan but He did not live “in” them. Jesus has now sent the Holy Spirit to each of us, to live in us and to be our constant companion. He said the Holy Spirit would be to each of us a go along, a teacher, a guide and a helper (John 16: 7, 13, John 14: 26).

Certainly there is an aspect of our own responsibility. We must each receive the Holy Spirit personally. He is not going to set up house within you without your permission. However, when you invite Him in, the power, authority and ability that was with Moses comes and takes up abode IN you. You become the vessel, the carrier of the power of God. This power and authority does not just rest on you and then remove Himself, He is with you and in you all the time. That is a much better arrangement than the Old Testament saints had.

I invite you to meditate on today’s verse and ponder the role of the Holy Spirit in today’s world but most importantly, in your own life. I pray that the Spirit who was upon Moses will come rest in you and with you today.