John 14:15-31

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 Amplified version)

Jesus really wanted to prepare His disciples for the future so, having told them that He would be leaving and going back where He came from, He now encourages them to look to the future. (John 14:2) He wants to teach them about what is going to happen, even though they cannot understand it at the moment. He promises them that the Father will send another ("comforter") - one who, like Jesus, is one with God Himself - 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.

A fountain of life

He wants His disciples to see that the Holy Spirit’s presence is going to enable them to do amazing things; they will have both 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 to have 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 have His power to enable us to walk the Christian life and to give us supernatural ability to do greater works than Jesus did. (John 14:12) Rivers of living water will flow from us 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 that 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 does what is right, regardless of how He feels. He may be grieved by our attitude, but He does not allow that to change His love for us or the way in which He treats us. He has no self-pity, no anger on His own behalf and does not retaliate.

The power of God's presence

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 will free 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. (Galatians 5:16-26)

"But you are not like that. You no longer obey your weak, human thoughts. Instead, you obey God's Spirit as your guide. That is true if God's Spirit is really living in you. But, if anyone does not have Christ's Spirit in them, that person does not belong to Christ." (Romans 8:9 EasyEnglish Bible) Note that those who do not have the Spirit of Christ living in them are not Christians at all.

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)

We need to spend more time pursuing the desires of the Holy Spirit than we spend pursuing the desires of our old nature. 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, worshipping and loving His word; by being with people who love His word and live it out in their lives. Then we will notice that we are changing and are becoming more like Jesus. We also need to learn to distinguish between the prompting of the Holy Spirit and our 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 selves - through our minds and not our external ears. This "inner witness" speaks directly to our spirit. Most of the time, His voice may come to us as a thought or idea, even a vision or dream, but what He says will always be in line with God's word. God will always give us confirmation in some way that we are genuinely hearing His voice. For example, some thought we have had previously may come to our remembrance and we will realise that, in fact, it has been proven right. Over time, we will learn what God’s voice sounds like and, as we act on it, we will hear it more and more clearly. It must always line up, though, with His written word. “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 us how to listen. Our new-born spirit is always in line with the word of God and we have to learn to ignore the pressure of what others may think or our own emotions. The Holy Spirit always lifts Jesus. We can learn to listen for His voice in our reading of God's word, in preaching, teaching, prophecy and the interpretation of tongues. This means getting familiar with His word, checking out what it actually says and ensuring that it is taken in context. (2 Timothy 2:15)

The most exciting part of the Christian life is listening to our Father. We can get close up beside Him and listen to His "heartbeat". We can talk to Him about, not only what is on our heart, but also what is on His heart. If we have been faithful in little things, He will share more with us, because He knows that He can trust us.

  • Some of what He says will call for immediate action. (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 so as to encourage them.
  • Some will be to warn others - but this will only happen 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.

(Read Matthew 7:24; Ecclesiastes 5:1-3; James 1:19-20.)

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