There are certainly plenty of times in our lives that we struggle, and may even feel alone in our struggles. Today, I was taken for a third time in three days to a message about being under the influence of the Holy Spirit. I know the Lord was prompting me to hear it until I got it, so I am sharing it with you.
Just after Jesus told His disciples that He was leaving to go with the Father. They, understandably, felt they were facing a crisis. Yet He just finished telling them, “If you love Me, you will keep My commandments” (John 14:15). Keep in mind they had been with Him and many times He had to repeat His instructions to them. How were they to be empowered to keep His commandments when He was gone?
He told them that they wouldn’t be alone. “I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may be with you forever; that is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it does not see Him or know Him, but you know Him because He abides with you and will be in you. I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.” (John 14:16-18)
In his sermon entitled “The Holy Spirit: The Enablement of Spiritual Growth”, Tony Evans says: “God has given every believer the Holy Spirit, who is the indispensable power component for the proper working of the parts of [our] new nature” (Eph. 4:24). “It is the job of the Holy Spirit to make the new nature work.” He is the source that enables us to grow spiritually.
Let’s look again at the 16th verse: “I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may be with you forever”. In the Greek, the word for “another” is “allon”, which means “another of the same kind”, meaning the “Helper” has the same essence as Jesus. “Helper” is from the Greek word “paraklēton”, which means “one called along side to assist”.
Jesus then gives us the name and purpose of the Helper: “But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I said to you.” (John 14:26) It is the job of the person of the Holy Spirit living within us to manifest our new nature in our lives.
Just 7 chapters before, Jesus spoke of how the Holy Spirit would work within us: “Now on the last day, the great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, ‘If anyone is thirsty, let him come to Me and drink. He who believes in Me, as the Scripture said, ‘From his innermost being will flow rivers of living water.’’ But this He spoke of the Spirit, whom those who believed in Him were to receive; for the Spirit was not yet given, because Jesus was not yet glorified.” (John 7:37-39) Our new spiritual nature (sealed by the Holy Spirit) was deposited in our innermost being at salvation. At the heart of that new nature is the personhood of the Holy Spirit’s, whose job is to make the waters flow. What does that mean? It means that all of God’s supernatural resources planted deep within us (innermost being) at salvation are working through the power of the Holy Spirit.
This means that no works that we do will enable us to grow–that only comes from the Holy Spirit in our innermost being. How then are we to engage the Spirit? We must become full of the Spirit! “And do not get drunk with wine, for that is dissipation, but be filled with the Spirit, speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody with your heart to the Lord;” (Eph. 5:18-19). Instead of becoming intoxicated with the things of the earth, we are to become under the influence of the Holy Spirit – to drink to our heart’s content!
How are we to drink to our heart’s content? We are to remain and abide in the vine (Jesus). “I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing.” (John 15:5) He lives within us and is ready to give us all His power to live in our new nature. But apart from Him, we can’t do it. We must look only to Him for this power, and thank Him for His provision: “be filled with the Spirit, speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody with your heart to the Lord;” (Eph. 5:18-19)