No. 23: The Best Counsellor
“But the Comforter (counsellor, helper, intercessor, advocate, strengthener, standby), the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My Name (in My place, to represent Me and act on My behalf), He will teach you all things. And He will cause you to recall (will remind you of, bring to your remembrance) everything I have told you.” John 14:26 Amp.
Jesus really wanted to prepare His disciples for the future so, having told them that He was leaving and going back where He came from (John 14:2), He now encourages them to look to the future. He wants to gives them His Word about what is going to happen, even though they can’t understand it. He promises them that the Father will send Another, (just the same as Him) and He will:
- be their Counsellor;
- come in Jesus’ Name;
- teach them all things;
- remind them of what Jesus had done and said;
- bring peace;
- give victory over fear.
He really wants His disciples to see that the Holy Spirit’s presence is going to enable them to do amazing things and have a hope and a future. Jesus left the earth so that the Father could send the Holy Spirit. (See John 14:26.) In fact, it was better for them that Jesus went away (John 16:7). Likewise, it is better for us to have the Holy Spirit than Jesus Himself! Think about that!
When we are born again, the Spirit of God comes to live in us, like a well of water. We have Him as a wonderful gift, always ready for us and never sleeping! We can have His power to enable us to walk the Christian life and to give us supernatural ability to do greater works than Jesus did. (See John 14:12.) We then can allow rivers of living water to flow out and bring life to others. How amazing that seems… yet true! Being immersed in The Holy Spirit gives us the ability to release the power we received when we were born again. That is the “baptism” in the Holy Spirit.
We have emotions like God because we are made in His image, but He is not ruled by His feelings! He operates by doing what is right to do, regardless of how He feels. He can be grieved by our attitude, but He never changes in the way that He loves us and treats us. He has no self-pity, no anger on His own behalf and does not retaliate.
If we walk by the power that the Holy Spirit gives us, as He lives in us, then there will be good results in our lives.
- We will be controlled and guided by the Holy Spirit.
- The words of Jesus will come to our minds – Romans 8:5-6.
- The love of Jesus will be in our hearts.
- The power of Jesus will be evident in our behaviour.
- The power of the life-giving Spirit has freed us from the vicious circle of sin and death – Romans 8:2.
Those who let themselves be controlled by their lower natures live only to please themselves, but those who follow the Holy Spirit find themselves doing those things that please God. Following the Holy Spirit leads to life and peace, but following after the old nature leads to death, because the old sinful nature within us is against God. (Read Galatians 5:16-26.)
But you are not like that. You are controlled by your new nature if you have the Spirit of God living in you. (Remember that those who do not have the Spirit of Christ living in them are not Christians at all. Read Romans 8:9.)
“Even though Christ lives within you, your body will die, but your spirit will live, for Christ has pardoned it. And if the Spirit of God, who raised up Jesus from the dead, lives in you, He will make your dying bodies live again after you die, by means of this same Holy Spirit living within you.” Romans 8:5-11.
Spend more time pursuing the things of the Holy Spirit than you spend pursuing the things of the flesh. If we spend enough time with Him, He is going to rub off on us! ( Compare Galatians 5:17-23.) His ways will become our ways, as we make ourselves available to Him by praying in the Spirit, worshipping and loving His word, and being with people who love His word and live it. Then we will notice that we are changing and are becoming more like Jesus. Make sure that you distinguish between the prompting of the Holy Spirit and your own feelings. (Read Galatians 5:25.)
Listen to the Holy Spirit
God always has plenty to say. In fact, He’s quite the chatter-box! He has a “still, small voice” that we hear through our inner-self – not our ears on the outside. This deep, inner being, is called an “inner witness” and is our spirit. Most of the time, His voice comes to us as a thought or idea, but it will always be in line with His word. God will give us confirmation that we are in fact hearing Him. For example, some thought we have had previously will come to our remembrance and we will realise that, in fact, it has been proven right. So we learn, over time, what God’s voice sounds like and, as we act on it, we seem to hear it more and more clearly. It must line up with the His written word though. “The sheep hear His voice and come to Him and He calls His own sheep by name and leads them out. He walks ahead of them; and they follow Him for they recognise His voice. They won’t follow a stranger.” John 10:3-5.
Try it today
- Don’t be afraid of making a mistake. Where the Spirit of the Lord is there is liberty – a freedom to mess-up too! 2 Corinthians 3:17. The Holy Spirit will show you how to listen.
- Your new-born spirit is always in line with the word of God, (not your head or emotions).
- The Holy Spirit always lifts Jesus.
- Listen for His voice in your reading of His word, in preaching, teaching, prophecy and the interpretation of tongues, but always check it out yourself in His word, ensuring that it is taken in context. (Read 2 Timothy 2:15.)
The most exciting part of the Christian life is listening to our Father. It is getting up close beside Him and hearing His “heartbeat”, talking to Him about not only what is on our heart, but also what is on His Heart. If we have been faithful in the little things, He will share more with us as He knows He can trust us.
- Some of what He says will be for action straight away. Romans 8:14. Deuteronomy 5:1.
- Some will be to enlarge our hearts, making them more like the heart of the Father. Mark 4:11-12.
- Some will be to share with others to encourage them.
- Some will be to warn others, but this will only be if God can trust us to have a right attitude, not a superior one. 2 Samuel 12:1.
- Some will be to store in our hearts for a future time. Luke 2:19.
“Blessed is the one who listens to me, watching daily at my doors, waiting at my doorway.” Proverbs 8:34.
Blessed is someone who goes to the house of God to listen to the voice of God and not to talk too much. (See Matthew 7:24.)
See also Ecclesiastes 5:1-3 and James 1:19-20.
Home challenges for Power Up! – No. 23: The Best Counsellor
1. Read the notes: “The Best Counsellor”. What reason for the Holy Spirit coming do you find most encouraging?
2. a) Do you find hearing the Holy Spirit easier than when you first became a Christian?
b) Do you give Him the priority He deserves as the third person of the Godhead?
3. Do you have a recent testimony of the leading of the Holy Spirit that encouraged you to listen and obey Him more often? Please share.
Read John 15:1-11
4. Who is:
a) the Gardener?
b) the Vine?
c) the Branches?
5. Instead of commanding us to bear fruit, Jesus’ command is to “live in Him“. Why do you think He says this?
6. What does it mean to you to: “live, abide and remain” in Jesus?
7. What are some good results of “remaining” in the vine?
8. How do we remain in Jesus? (John 15:10)
9. What do you think John 15:2 means?
10. Do you have any examples of pruning in your own life? Think about John 15:3 before you answer this question.
11. There are three types of branch in this passage. Which branch are you and why?
12. If you are not bearing much fruit, what is the advice from Jesus in this passage to help you?
13. “If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.” John 15:5. Memorise this verse and review previous verses which you have memorised throughout each study.
14. Try and sum up what you have learnt in one short sentence.