How to Find the Help You Need
Have you ever wished you could speak to Jesus face to face?
Wouldn’t it be amazing to just walk alongside with Him each day, share your deepest fears or just ask Him questions? Think about what that would be like to hear His thoughts, encouragement, or insights. After sharing our questions or thoughts with Jesus, I’m sure we would feel a greater sense of intimacy, we would be satisfied, and our following Him would be much better.
The disciples got to experience this firsthand — Jesus in the flesh. So, imagine their dismay when Jesus tells them He’ll leave them physically soon. What would they do without Him? And what would this mean? Well, Jesus didn’t leave these questions unanswered. On the final night before his crucifixion, Jesus gave extended time and teaching to His disciples on what it meant to know, follow, and be victorious through Him.
This teaching is known as Jesus’ Farewell Discourse in John 13–16. Within this text, we find Jesus answering the questions the disciples may have had about His departure, along with what this means for us as believers moving forward.
Enter in the Holy Spirit.
This leads me to the question, what active role does the Holy Spirit have in your everyday life as a believer? Francis Chan speaking of this in his book Forgotten God says
“Those of us who believe in Jesus would never deny the truth that we have the Spirit of the living God, the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead, living inside of us. I’m just not convinced we’ve internalized this truth and enjoyed His blessings as He intends. It seems like this is mostly head knowledge to us, and that we have not owned it. It has not really made much of a difference in our lives, to the degree that if we woke up tomorrow and discovered that it is not true the Holy Spirit lives inside of us, most likely our lives wouldn’t look much different.”
Unfortunately, I think this is the experience of many believers. The Holy Spirit is mystical and weird that many don’t engage with Him other than the knowledge that He exists — but God has so much more than that for us. Jesus’ intention in sending the Holy Spirit was so much better than just knowing He’s “around.”
“And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, to be with you forever, even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, for he dwells with you and will be in you.” — John 14:16–17
We see that Jesus tells the disciples they will receive another Helper to be with them forever because He’s leaving. And the reality of this text is that while Jesus is gone to be with his Father, and He’s sent the Holy Spirit, there’s no loss in the exchange. We have the indwelling Spirit of Christ within each one of us if we are a follower of Jesus, and this reality should change and shape our lives!
When a parent is helping to teach their child how to ride a bike, they are there helping balance them, give corrections and even pick them up when they fall. In the same way, we have the Spirit of truth helping us, correcting us, encouraging us, and even comforting us when we fall to get up and start again.
I will never forget teaching my youngest daughter to ride a bike. We were up north, and she wanted me to take her training wheels off, so of course, I said, “sure!” As she started for the first time, I remember she began to yell “I’m doing it! I’m doing it!” as she rode down the driveway for the first time. But what she didn’t realize was that I was behind her with my hand on the bike, making sure she stayed balanced and kept from falling. She was riding the bike, but my hand kept her upright even though she didn’t know it.
If we jump a verse ahead of those above from John 14 to verse 15, we see Jesus starting off His introduction of the Holy Spirit with these words, “if you love me, you will keep my commandments.”
What enables us to keep Jesus’ commandments and therefore love Him? Is it our self-effort, strength, or goodness? No! It’s the “Helper!” Not only is the Holy Spirit the Spirit of truth who dwells within us, but He’s the one who keeps us in the truth. Like my daughter riding her bike for the first time, we can often look at our life and think we are the ones doing all the work of keeping our balance in following Jesus, but the Helper (the Holy Spirit) is the one working in us both to will and to work for his good. The Holy Spirit empowers every effort we have to keep the commands of Jesus.
The question must be, then, are you living in such a way that you acknowledge and open yourself to the teaching ministry of the Holy Spirit in your life? You can attend church, be in a small group and read the word of God on your own without ever opening yourself up to the teaching ministry of the Holy Spirit. My recommendation would be that before you enter church, attend Life Group or open the word of God, you ask this simple question of the Holy Spirit — what is it you want me to hear, see or know today?
As followers of Jesus, we have the Spirit of Truth (the Holy Spirit) indwelling us, He’s keeping us in truth and He’s teaching us the truth, because Jesus sends us the Spirit to help us along the way.
So, I leave you with the question I asked earlier, what active role does the Holy Spirit have in your everyday life as a believer?