Over three years of close fellowship with Jesus, the disciples must have been used to hearing tough, confusing teachings. Jesus constantly said things that challenged their thinking and stretched their understanding, so hearing Jesus drop a bombshell was nothing new. But I can’t think of many things more confusing then this: “I know you’re sad because I am going away, but it’s really to your advantage, because when I go, the Holy Spirit will come, and that is going to be great for you!”
It’s hard to blame the Disciples for struggling with this one. After all, 2,000 years after Jesus spoke these words, His Church continues to struggle with exactly how the Holy Spirit works in a Believer’s life. Entire congregations have split (many times) over this very issue. Yet Jesus said it was to our advantage that He come to us. Why? Because the Holy Spirit represents a powerful new relationship between God and His people. Jesus was, “God with us.” The Holy Spirit is, “God IN us.”
Because of what Jesus did at the cross, we are now able to receive the very Spirit of God inside of us. That means that as we walk through life each day, God is at work inside of us to guide us, convict us, teach us, and turn our eyes to Him. The same God who came down to earth now takes permanent residence in us. We are part of His Kingdom; the first wave of His reconciliation of all things.
Today, I do not need to pray to receive the Holy Spirit. That happened when I became a Christian – it is God’s seal that I am saved. But I do pray that God will give me courage and boldness to proclaim His name in a dark world. I am already equipped with everything I need. God has given me Himself. Now I pray that God will fill me with courage and boldness to let go and let Him work in me.