“I did not say these things to you from the beginning, because I was with you. But now I am going to him who sent me, and none of you asks me, ’Where are you going?’ But because I have said these things to you, sorrow has filled your heart.Nevertheless, 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. And when he comes, he will convict the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment: concerning sin, because they do not believe in me; concerning righteousness, because I go to the Father, and you will see me no longer; concerning judgment, because the ruler of this world is judged.”
“I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth, for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are to come. He will glorify me, for he will take what is mine and declare it to you. All that the Father has is mine; therefore I said that he will take what is mine and declare it to you.”
— John 16:5–15
I think there is something in most of us that wants to do everything on our own. We don’t like to ask for directions, we don’t like to read instructions, and often times, we hold the idea of being self-made as a superior virtue. While I am all for our desire for independence in a lot of ways, the reality is we were created with a need for dependence.
Just hours before Jesus went to the cross, he sat down for a last meal with his crew. I would imagine it had to have been an emotional conversation. As Jesus unpacked what he had been hinting at for some time, it became clear that he was going to be departing. These young men who had surrendered their lives to follow him had to have been distraught and felt helpless. He was the one they could always count on. He had this unreal connection with the heavenly Father. He had a sense of confidence and calm, even in the midst of turmoil. And, if worse came to worst, he could always turn water into wine.
Jesus, sensing their angst, tells them there is nothing to fear. In fact, he tells them that it’s actually good news, because as he exits stage left, another will be entering stage right who would be their helper. His role, in fact, would be to impact their lives in a way that would make them extraordinary.
The great news for us is that the promise wasn’t just for those in that room. The promise was for all who would trust Christ as their savior. All who would believe in him would receive this gift of a helper, the Holy Spirit. This Holy Spirit would dwell in every believer — leading them, guiding them, teaching them, showing them right from wrong, comforting them, empowering them, helping them!
The reality is that you were never intended to be self sufficient. You are in need of a helper. The great news is that if you will open your life fully to Jesus, this helper — the Holy Spirit — will dwell in you and empower your life every step of the way.
Let’s not turn our backs today on the help that God has made available. Let’s instead turn our backs on the desire to be self sufficient, embracing his power for our lives.