Our Helper

     Have you ever had someone important to you, leave?  Your grown child says, “Mom, I am taking the job across the country,” or you are married to a soldier and he says, “I am sorry. I just got my orders and I will be overseas for a year.” How do you feel?  Painful right.  Peter, James, John and the other apostles had given up everything to follow Jesus.  They had seen incredible miracles and been challenged by heart-changing truth, but then Jesus tells them He will be leaving and He will give them another Helper, and that it is good that He is going away (John 14:16; 16:7).  NO WAY! But we know that Jesus always has our best interests at heart.  Therefore, we must ask, how does this Helper, the Holy Spirit, actually help the believer?
      First, the Holy Spirit gives us the truth.  He is called the Spirit of Truth.  We live in an age of spin and deception.  The Truth is precious.  One of the greatest gifs from the Holy Spirit is the Bible- -God’s necessary, eternal truth gathered into one collection.  Honestly, I find reading God’s truth is a relief.  Through the Bible, the Holy Spirit gives us the principles by which we can flourish and thrive.   
      Second, the Holy Spirit gives us the power to change, to become holy.  To see the difference the Holy Spirit can make look at the apostle Peter.  During the trial of Jesus, Peter is a coward.  He denies that he even knows Jesus, but once Peter receives the Holy Spirit he is a spiritual dynamo.  He speaks to a crowd of thousands, telling the Jewish nation that they murdered their long-awaited Messiah.  After receiving the Spirit, Peter is unstoppable.  It is not just courage that is available to us.  The Scripture tells us that a Spirit led life bears the fruit of the Spirit--which includes: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.  This transformation is rarely instant but incremental.  Slowly but surely the Christian, like a caterpillar, through the cocoon of circumstances, emerges as a beautiful butterfly with the holy kaleidoscope of a colorful, Christ-centered character.  Each year our character looks more like Jesus than the year before.
      Third, the Holy Spirit gives us the power to disciple the nations for Jesus (Matthew 28:19, 20).  He does this through giving us spiritual gifts. These gifts are spiritually enhanced talents that God uses in us to advance His kingdom.    A few would include serving, teaching, encouraging, giving, leading and showing mercy (Romans 12:7,8). Just as it takes different parts for a human body to run forward it takes the many gifts of different Christians to advance.  That the Holy Spirit was given during the Jewish Pentecost Holiday is no accident.  The holiday is a celebration of the agricultural harvest, and God wants a spiritual harvest from all peoples of the world.  Every people group will be represented in the glorious, joyful gathering described in the Bible’s pictures of the new heaven and the new earth. 
      The Holy Spirit gives us the truth, power to change and the desire and ability to share the gospel throughout the world.  It was great for the original apostles to have Jesus WITH them; but it truly is better for us to have the Holy Spirit dwelling WITHIN us, helping us.  The unexplainable life is lived through an intimate partnership with the Holy Spirit.          

Pastor Derek Dickinson
Journey Christian Church