If someone asked you if you would want to spend today with Jesus walking right by your side, physically present with you, able to be seen, heard and touched, you would likely not hesitate to affirm that you would love this opportunity. I believe that most of us would trade anything for this possibility. Can you imagine what it would be like to behold His face, to hear His actual voice? The very thought of seeing Him with your own eyes as He performs the miraculous is overwhelming. I can think of nothing more appealing than the idea of sitting at the actual feet of the Son of God to hear Him impart Kingdom truth. Could you imagine Him embracing you, and holding you in His omnipotent arms? Most of us who treasure our bibles understand that Jesus did these very things when He walked upon this planet nearly 2,000 years ago. We also believe the prophecies (and look forward to their fulfillment) which point to Jesus coming again to earth to establish a visible, literal Kingdom. I think we would all be thrilled at the dream of spending a day this week at the side of King Jesus. In fact, could there legitimately be any better scenario for us?
Jesus says, “Yes. There is something better for you than Me being by your side. It is actually what all of the children of the Father presently possess.”
“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.” -John 16:7
Right before Jesus left the earth to ascend to His throne in Heaven, He began to intentionally teach His closest followers about Holy Spirit. Chapters 14-16 of the Gospel of John contain many of these teachings. Jesus actually told the disciples that He had not said much about Holy Spirit up to that point, because they had always had Jesus by their sides. He then added that, since the time of His departure had arrived, the disciples needed to understand more about the person and purpose of Holy Spirit. Notice what He told them in the verse above: it was more advantageous for His followers to experience His physical absence so that they could experience the presence of Holy Spirit. Jesus had been with them; Holy Spirit would be in them. For this reason alone, Jesus could tell them that it was to their advantage for Him to leave. When He left, the Father sent the Holy Spirit in Jesus’ name (John 14:26). Hear this well: Jesus teaches that we who live in this day, indwelt by Holy Spirit, have greater advantage than those in Jesus’ day who merely had Jesus by their side. We do not need to fantasize about walking physically with the Son of God (although that would be beautiful!). According to Jesus, we have something which is currently better, namely, being the temple of God in whom God the Spirit lives.
Do you believe this?
Holy Spirit lives in you if you are a disciple of Jesus. He is alive in You. He is God in you. He offers you wisdom, gifting, power, love, joy, peace, kindness, faithfulness and much more. He will activate in you any and all revelation, so that you may better know and experience God (Ephesians 1:17). Holy Spirit will empower you to worship in the valley when there is no music to serve as a soundtrack to your life. He will teach you about sin, righteousness and judgment (John 16:8). He will fill you and thrill you, and then He will spill you as He animates all of that good theology in you, and turns it outward in manifest power (1 Corinthians 4:20). He will impart Kingdom truth and knowledge to you, and then He will bring it back to your mind as often as you need Him to do so (John 14:26). Holy Spirit will fill you so mightily that it will turn you inside out, and the result will be that you change from an inwardly focused believer to an outwardly flowing, anointed servant of Christ (John 7:38). It is incredible to ponder just how much our bibles say about life in the Spirit, praying in the Spirit, being filled with the Spirit, being gifted by the Spirit, ministering in the Spirit, hearing the Spirit and becoming fruitful in the Spirit.
Yet many Christians are spending their years simply longing for Jesus to return, waiting somewhat in neutral while Holy Spirit is left…unlonged for by those whom He indwells. We are missing what we have because we have not properly believed Jesus’ teaching that we are better advantaged by the indwelling presence of God the Spirit than we would be by the physical presence of God the Son.
That sound you are hearing is the theology of many being powerfully stretched.
These are my thoughts today. May this same Holy Spirit stir your own hearts and minds as He sees fit. I simply wrote this to allow for the possibility of it increasing your thirst for all that God has for you. No matter who you are, no matter where you are along the spectrum of spiritual maturity, THERE IS MORE. At the very least, my hope is that we will all grow in our awareness that we do simply have God with us or for us today. Friends, we have God in us.
And Jesus taught that this was better than His disciples having Him with them 2,000 years ago.