“Nevertheless, I tell you the truth, it is to your advantage that I go away,
for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you. But if I go, I will send him to you…
When the Spirit of Truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth…
He will glorify me, for he will take what is mine and declare it to you.”
John 16:7, 13-14
This morning, as I sat down to pray and read Scripture, to hear what my God has for me, I asked that I might simply sit at His feet and listen to what He has to say. As Mary did in Luke 10:39, when Jesus visited her house and she sat at His feet to hear His teaching. I tried to picture myself there, feeling a sudden longing to see my Savior’s face. To look into His eyes and audibly hear His words, to speak with Him face-to-face and have the connection of a physical presence.
In the midst of that prayer, these words in John 16 filtered through my thoughts. My heart was opened to see the true beauty and value of the Spirit of God who has come to us, the Spirit who lives within and fills each person who has chosen to trust in Christ.
The Holy Spirit connects us with Almighty God in a very personal way. If we only knew God through an outside, physical person, there would be a disconnect in moments when we were not in their presence. There would be times when we would be alone. Or times when we would feel overlooked. Lost in the crowd. Just one of many who sought to hear their Lord’s voice.
But that is not how our God loves us. And that is not how He wants us to perceive His love. He wants us to know that He sees us exactly where we are. That He is with us always, even when everyone else leaves and we are left in darkness and silence. Our God is here, and even the darkness is as light to Him. The Spirit of God within us guides each of us into all truth, in just the way we need to learn it. Because our God knows us intimately. Every thought and question and hindrance. He lovingly speaks truth into it all. He gives grace and strength and assurances as we need them, for He knows what we need before we ask – before we are even aware.
One of Jesus’ quotes which has become so dear to me is found in John 16:26-27, “On that day you will ask in my name, and I do not say to you that I will ask the Father on your behalf; for the Father himself loves you, because you have loved me and have believed that I came from God.” It clarifies our direct relationship to the Father. When we are in Christ, ransomed by the blood shed on His cross, we have no reason to fear God the Father or to wonder if He will hear our prayers. For the Father Himself loves you. He loves you enough that He has drawn you to Himself, and He will continue to do so. Very personally.
In Ephesians 3:14-21, Paul wrote a prayer for those who would read his letter. It is focused on the Spirit of God, that He would give these believers strength to comprehend the greatness and vastness of the love of Christ – love so great that it surpasses knowledge – that they may be filled with all the fullness of God. This is what His Spirit does for us. He opens our eyes to the truth of God’s Word and the depth and height and breadth of His love. He roots this truth in our heart. He works within us to make us perfect and complete, lacking in nothing, that we may be presented before our God’s glorious throne in flawless righteousness, cleansed from every impurity and clothed in the righteousness of Christ.
I still long to see my Savior. The radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of His nature. The One who endured such agony on my behalf, whose hands and feet were pierced with nails which hung Him on a rugged tree. Yes, how I long to see Him. But let us rejoice in the gift of the Holy Spirit and the wonder of how He works in our lives. Revealing to us the glory and power and majesty and love of our God. Let us be unspeakably thankful for the gift of His constant presence and intimate, personal work in our lives. We are not merely one among many. We are a particularly loved and personally known child of God. Intricately woven together by His own hands, and called by name as He draws us individually to Himself.