“ And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, to be with you forever”
In this scripture, Jesus introduces us to the Holy Spirit by the Greek name Paraclete who was to walk beside and dwell within those who follow Christ. This name is translated to mean helper, comforter, counsellor, advocate and partner. Jesus promised to ask the Father to give us another; one just like Jesus to be with us forever.
As comforter, the Spirit first comes into our lives to show us that we were created to be like God; we were chosen to “be holy and blameless before Him” (Ephesians 1:4). The Spirit helps us understand that our internal discontentment grows out of awareness that we fall short of the life that God intended for us and then, as comforter, the Spirit leads us to hope in Christ, the healer of our brokenness. As “the one beside us,” the Paraclete nurtures us while we discover our new identity in Christ. The counsellor guides and encourages us toward healthy attitudes and choices, the advocate intercedes and stands up for us. The helper pours into us strength to live true to the new creation that we have become and the partner shares in our struggles and our victories.
What an amazing multi-faceted promise from Jesus!
So how do we appropriate this promise?
1. Be Baptised by the Holy Spirit
The first experience of the Christian life, salvation, is the incoming of the Holy Spirit, through Jesus Christ, to give us new life, God’s life, eternal life. The second experience is the receiving, or making welcome of the Holy Spirit so that Jesus can cause Him to pour out this new life from our spirits, to baptise our souls and bodies and then our world around, with his refreshing and renewing power. (The Holy Spirit and You (Dennis Bennet)).
Have you been Baptised in the Holy Spirit?
2. Be Filled with the Holy Spirit
Being filled with the Holy Spirit, however, is not a once-and-for-all experience. There are many fillings, as is made clear in Ephesians 5:18. In the Greek language, in which this command was originally written, the meaning is clearer than that in most English translations. This command of God means to be constantly and continually filled, controlled and empowered with the Holy Spirit as a way of life. I cannot control myself and be controlled by the Holy Spirit at the same time. Christ cannot be in control if I am on the throne. So, I must abdicate.
Are you currently filled (controlled and empowered) with the Holy spirit?
I gave my life to the Lord in my bedroom by myself - just me and Jesus. Although I know that I had been born again and started a new life, I had difficulty verbalising that to people around me, even those I knew had been praying for me.
I joined a church and started reading my Bible. Very soon I read about the Holy Spirit and more and more I wanted the Holy Spirit powerfully in my life. I read a book by Andrew Murray on the baptism of the Holy Spirit and was just desperate to experience this for myself. After a church meeting some people prayed for this for me and within a few minutes I knew that God was touching me in a new way and I started speaking in tongues. The wonderful thing was that this wasn’t just a momentary touch - it was transformational! I had been a painfully shy, melancholic introvert. During the days after this experience, I had to quell the constant desire to sing out loud on the street, to laugh out loud while walking along, so great was the incredible joy that kept welling up inside me.
I suddenly longed to spend more time with believers and instead of staying home, I was at every meeting, visiting people in their homes - anything to be around God’s people, to pray together and share our God-experiences. And I had a boldness to speak out about what God had done. I started to feel God clearly leading me on a daily basis. I can only describe this as the difference between having the car switched on and someone putting their foot on the accelerator. I have never looked back!
What has God said to you through today’s promise?