“And when the Comforter has come, whom I send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth who proceeds from the Father, He shall testify of Me. And you also shall bear witness, because you have been with me from the beginning.” John 15:26,27
“When the Comforter has come,” everything changes. It makes the whole difference between me just dreaming about walking with You, Jesus, and me actually doing it. When I was a little girl, five years old, I used to dream about walking with You. I had two choices I thought. I could go back in time and walk with You or You could be born to my Mom and I could walk with You in the present time. But both of those were just imaginings and desires only. Yet, what I truly desired as a child, You have brought to be the truth in my life. When the Comforter came to dwell in me, to live in me, I now walk with You every moment of every day! I can’t tell You how grateful I am that You opened my eyes to show me how I could walk with You now and You made it possible.
Now, if I want to understand the Comforter, the Holy Spirit better, John is a good place to spend time learning. Of Your New Testament books, Luke, John, Paul, and Peter are the main authors who spend much time on the truth of the Holy Spirit. And of those, John and Paul spend the greatest amount of time. But today, I’m just going to spend my time with John. There’s just something about him and how he seemed so close to You. He was the one “lying on” Your breast at the last supper. He’s the “disciple whom Jesus loved.” Not that You didn’t love the others, but I think You and John had a special closeness. And maybe it was because of how much John trusted You; how much he adored You.
I want to trust You and adore You with all of my being. I want to be as close to You as I can get. I want to spend as much time with You as I can. And the way that I can do that for real, is through the Comforter, the Holy Spirit. I need Him as much as I need You and the Father.
Now, the Holy Spirit isn’t my only Comforter. You were first. In John 14:16 You said, “I will pray the Father, and He shall give you another Comforter, so that He may be with you forever…” You sent us the Holy Spirit, our Comforter to fulfill Your job, to remain with Your children forever, so we would never be separated, never be left orphans without a father. But it goes on “the Spirit of Truth, whom the world cannot receive because it does not see Him nor know Him. But you know Him, for He dwells with you and shall be in you.” We have the Spirit of Truth. What is Truth? Jesus, You told us in Your own words as You prayed for Your own. “Sanctify them through Thy truth: Thy word is truth.” So, as a believer, Your Holy Spirit, my Comforter, my Spirit of Truth, is always present with me, always revealing the Truth of Your Word to me as I receive it in You. And Scripture tells me that You are the Word. So the Holy Spirit is continually making You known to me. I can’t tell You how much this means to me!
You are making me more and more like You, more and more holy, more and more pure, more and more kind, more and more patient, more and more loving, more and more righteous as I spend time in Your Word and allow Your Spirit to comfort me in Your Word. Your Holy Spirit is my Comforter. The word “parakletos” in Greek, means that You are “the One who has been called to our side.” And isn’t that what You did, Jesus. You prayed Him for us. You knew I would need Him, that I couldn’t walk alone. You called the Comforter to my side because You knew I couldn’t live without You. And I can’t.
Why do I need Him by my side? What don’t I need Him for? (That’s rhetorical.) I need Him for everything! “But the Comforter, the Holy Spirit whom the Father will send in My name, He shall teach you all things and bring all things to your remembrance, whatever I have said to you.” I need Him for understanding. I need Him to get it. I need Him to remember what I’ve read and meditated on in Your word. I need Him to put it all together for me in a way I can understand and obey. I need to be continually taught by the right Authority, the One who really knows and understands. I need Him to know You more and to be conformed into Your image because it takes a work of God to do that. I need to be a moment by moment work of God because the moment You stop working in me, would be the moment I couldn’t do it any more.
In biblical times, the Greek word “parakletos” would represent one who would be called to help someone else in court. It would represent a legal advocate. It’s someone who is there on someone else’s behalf like a mediator, an intercessor, a helper, a defender, or an advocate. But the whole point is, I don’t just need a little help, and I can’t help myself. I need You, Jesus, by the presence and power of Your Holy Spirit in me, to enable me. I can’t defend myself on my own in the court of God nor can I in the court of man. I am lost and guilty without You standing in continually for my defense.
And it’s not just that You talk out my defense. But You do everything that needs to be done on my behalf. You enable me to stand. William Barklay defines “paraklete” this way, “It really means someone who is called in; but it is the reason why the person is called in which gives the word its distinctive associations. The Greeks used the word in a wide variety of ways. A parakletos might be a person called in to give witness in a law court in someone’s favor, or an advocate called in to plead the cause of someone under a charge which would issue in a serious penalty; an expert called in to give advice in some difficult situation, or a person called in when, for example, a company of soldiers were depressed and dispirited to put new courage into their minds and hearts. Always a parakletos is someone called in to help in time of trouble or need.” When John Wycliff introduced the word as Comforter, at that time it meant “someone who enabled some dispirited creature to be brave. ” Precept Austin puts it this way, “‘I am setting you a hard task, and I am sending you out on a very difficult engagement. But I am going to send you someone, the Parakletos, Who will guide you as to what to do and enable you to do it.”
In John 16:7 You tell Your apostles, “…I tell you the truth, it is expedient for you that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Comforter will not come to you. But if I depart, I will send Him to you.” Imagine it being good that Jesus physically leave. Because that’s what expedient (sumphero) means here. It meant that You were “[combining all things] in a way that brings a profit (gain), especially by a ‘concurrence of circumstances’ that results in benefit or advancement (M. Vincent). (HELPS Word Studies) To come alongside us in the greatest extent and for our greatest benefit, You had to leave, because Your physical nature couldn’t do that whole job. The physical part of You, Jesus, would always remain on the outside, but the Holy Spirit could take that “combining” to a whole new level. “It’s good for you if I go away because then I can insert the Comforter into You. ” “Send”, “pempo” can mean to insert into. And I can certainly see that it’s a lot better for me if my strength comes from within rather than just following someone who is strong.
Look at the difference it made in Your apostles. When You were on the outside, they all fell apart and ran away. You remained brave and strong to the end, but not them. But what an amazing change in these same men once the Comforter came to dwell inside. They became brave and strong to the end.
And just like You, the Comforter doesn’t just come for my benefit alone. He comes to benefit everyone in the world as He convicts the world “concerning sin, and concerning righteousness, and concerning judgment.” The Comforter has come. He has come for our benefit and enablement. I heard a speaker talk about it once as though the Holy Spirit is hovering overhead just waiting to swoop down and inhabit us. But some of us are content to just follow. But here You are telling us that being Yours means more than following. Being Yours means being one. Have I realized how weak and useless I am on my own, just following Your example and Your teachings? Have I realized how absolutely expedient it is to have You not only lead, but change, strengthen, encourage, and enable me from within?
See, the Comforter affirms what He has seen and experienced and heard from You and the Father. He experienced it first hand through being Your Divine Nature and direct knowledge. Then He allows me to receive the same. He, by dwelling in me, allows me to affirm what He shows me and what He allows me to experience in You by divine revelation and inspiration. He has direct knowledge that He shares with me so that I experience it also. Then, I can share it with others. I’m no longer just telling stories about Jesus or someone else, I’m telling these true stories about what You’ve done in my own life. And it’s so additionally awesome because it’s not just that we know of You from the moment of our salvation, but our knowledge can extend back to the beginning of time. I mean, You can reveal truth to us that has no limit in You because we are in You and You in us. You didn’t begin at my spiritual conception. So faith can take me to the “beginnings” of You.
Lord, I am absolutely desperate for You. I am totally dependent upon You, Holy Spirit. I need Your presence continually. You are as the air I breathe and there is no air without You. You are more than a helper. You are my Life. You are my Strength. You are my Enabler. You are my Love. You are my Advocate. You are my Companion. You are my Everything I ever needed, my Everything I need, and my Everything I will ever need. You are my God who dwells within me.
I am absolutely weak and helpless without You. Your love, Your power, and Your presence become so much sweeter and so much more precious to me every day, especially in the middle of all the hard stuff. I can’t imagine life without You. Give me everything I need to bear witness of You. Every day, teach me to fully rely on You.
I just want to boast about You. One of my favorite verses says, “I will bless the Lord at all times. His praise shall continually be on my mouth. When I boast it shall be about the Lord. The humble shall hear and be glad.” Make that true in my life because of what You are doing inside and out. And I love Isaiah 25. These are the select verses that stand out to me and strengthen me in You. “Adonai, You are my God, I exalt You. I praise Your name. For you have accomplished marvels, [fulfilled] ancient plans faithfully and truly…For you have been a refuge for the poor, a refuge for the needy in distress, shelter from the storm, shade from the heat…”See! This is our God! We waited for him to save us. This is ADONAI ; we put our hope in him. We are full of joy, so glad he saved us!”
You aren’t only going to do this for Israel, Lord, or for the nations at the end of days. You are doing this for me now and for anyone who will place their trust in You alone, surrender themselves fully to You, become desperate upon the Holy Spirit within their life. You are my God and it’s such a beautiful thing for me to be able to declare. It means everything. The more I know You, the more I realize this gift and Your sacrifice, the more I exalt You and praise You. I learn of all Your ancient plans You fulfill and I am one of them! You are my Refuge because I am poor, so poor. You are my Refuge because I am so needy and in distress all around. You are my Shelter because the storm is battering me and the heat drains me. But in the middle of it all, all this battering on the outside, You are within, You are fighting for me, You are my Strength and my Shield. You are my Sustenance. You are my Next Breath. And so I wait. Because I know and have experienced that You are my God. You are my Hope. I am so full of joy because You have saved me and moment by moment You continually save me! I am forever entwined with the Comforter.
(Can’t remember who posted the picture I used, but thanks so much. I love it!)