“And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever…”
Here we have another lesson on the work of grace in life and in prayer. Jesus, who was doing the work during his ministry on earth, is preparing to return to the Father. He tells them plainly that he will ask the Father to send his followers another “advocate” who will take his place, he’s referring to the Holy Spirit. He tells them this three more times (John 14:26,15:26, 16:7). The word advocate is “Parakletos” which means helper. This underscores the necessity of grace to accomplish the work we’re commissioned to do.
The All Powerful Helper
The Holy Spirit will continue the teaching and the intimate fellowship Jesus had with his disciples. Jesus was the original “Parakletos,” which is why he said he would ask for another. Being limited by a physical body, Jesus could only be in one place at a time “with” his followers. The Holy Spirit will be with all believers all the time because He is living “in” them, thus the work of grace continues uninterrupted.
The main component to all effective living and praying is the presence of the Holy Spirit in the life of all Christ followers, and no one knew this better than Jesus. Paul encouraged the Ephesian Church to always “be filled with the Spirit” and “pray in the Spirit on all occasions;” which of course means to be guided, inspired and empowered by the Holy Spirit in prayer and in every day life. He encourages the same Church to pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers for all God’s people (Ephesians 6:18).
The Church saw fellowship with the Holy Spirit as the most valuable part of their life. They would not have had the power they did without His presence in and upon them. Paul instructed them to be filled with the Spirit and to be careful not to offend Him by anything they were thinking saying or doing. Jesus said that he could do nothing on his own while on the earth (John 5:19,30). The Holy Spirit doing the work in, for, and through God’s people was always the plan. Spirit empowered living is the norm for all God’s people!
In the Old Testament, while facing all kinds of opposition in rebuilding the temple, An Angel gives Zechariah a message for Zerubbabel who was doing the work. “This is the word of the Lord to Zerubbabel: ‘Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit,’ says the Lord Almighty” (Zechariah 4:6). It’s the Holy Spirit who does the work. We always see the Spirit doing the work on earth; from hovering over the waters at creation (Genesis 1:1-2), throughout the ministry of Jesus (Luke 4:18-19) and the disciples (Acts 1:8), to working alongside the Church extending the invitation of redemption (Revelation 22:17). We the Church are God’s supernaturally empowered Family of families!
The Holy Spirit is not only God, He is also our helper and our friend. He will speak to us as we begin to fellowship with Him. He will fill us with wisdom and understanding as He unfolds to us the character and purpose of Christ in our times together with Him.
By becoming familiar with the Holy Spirit and following His prompting and His counsel, we will experience the amazing benefits of His friendship. He will fill us with Joy as we spend time in His Presence. He will be working in our life transforming our character and renewing our thinking as we enjoy His friendship and cooperate with Him minute by minute of every day. He never leaves us or forsakes us, because we are His dwelling place, as Paul reminded the Church “Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God?..( 1 Corinthians 6:19).
The Spirit and The Church
We the Church are designed to experience The Spirit’s depth of insight when reading and meditating on the Scriptures. The Spirit will also prompt us when to speak to someone about the message of Christ. He will anoint us as we speak and His gifts will begin flowing through us when they are needed. He will teach us how to use the Word of God applying it correctly. All of this is by grace through faith as well.
These are just a few of the benefits of fellowship with the Holy Spirit. Please keep in mind that if we want His help in our daily life we will need to develop and intimate relationship with Him. To have this kind of friendship with the Holy Spirit we will need to pray intentionally and meet with Him regularly.
So begin developing this close relationship with the Holy Spirit you were born for. Let Him fill your life with the joy of the Lord, let His Presence rest upon you continually, Be strong in the grace of God, Be filled with the Spirit, Be God empowered, and Be Encouraged! – JSP