“I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth, for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are to come. He will glorify me, for he will take what is mine and declare it to you. All that the Father has is mine; therefore I said that he will take what is mine and declare it to you.” John 16:12-15
Jesus believed in the ability of the Holy Spirit to guide and teach His disciples enough to entrust Him with everything else that needed to be said. That strikes me as remarkably challenging to the frequent wish that God would just audibly tell us what we are to do. So often it seems like we want a clearer sign or voice telling us the best choice. There’s a danger that we could begin to think that God left us here with insufficient guidance.
If Jesus meant it when He said, “I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide” (John 15:16), then we need to know where we’re supposed to go and what this fruit is that we are to bear—what the purposes of God are in our lives, how He is to be glorified and made much of in us. Do we think God didn’t plan enough for us? That He will fail to speak clearly to our hearts?
God knows us. He formed us in the womb. He designed our personalities, our quirks, our way of learning and listening and understanding. As Creator, it was all His choice to begin with. He knows what gets and holds our attention, how we will process information, and the way we make decisions. This is all incorporated into His perfect plan. His Spirit is able to guide us perfectly. In flawless timing and in the best way to strengthen our faith, make us more like Christ, and bring us to a place of beautiful dependence on the God who holds all things together.
“When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth.” This statement is encouraging to my heart. A heart that so often fails. A heart that wonders at times what truth even is. A heart that questions the right thing to do or the best choice to make. A heart that longs to follow Christ and glorify God in each moment, but a lot of the time just can’t seem to get it right. The Spirit of truth is guiding me. Each step. And He is able to open my eyes to truth and teach me how to live a life that honors the God of my salvation.
I’m reminded of 2 Peter 1:3: “His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence.” In the divine power of God, we have been given everything we need to live a life of honor, praise, and glory to Him. It is through the knowledge of Christ that we receive this, through the knowledge of Him that we receive the Helper, “the Spirit of truth, who proceeds from the Father” (John 15:26), who empowers us to follow Him.
What this all comes down to is pretty simple, really. Jesus trusted the guidance of the Spirit of truth. He trusted Him to speak and to do so in a way that we get what He’s saying. God didn’t leave us with an insufficient Helper, Convicter, and Guide. The Holy Spirit is enough. Enough to lead us on the path of righteousness. Enough to guide us into all truth. Enough to unfold the Word of God in our hearts. Enough to assure us of His purposes in our lives. The Spirit of God dwells within us. The God whose way is perfect. The God who satisfies. The God in whose presence is fullness of joy. Let us trust that He knows what He’s doing.