Peace if possible. Truth at all costs. ~ Martin Luther

"It Will Be Better For You if I Go"

Can you imagine the disciples faces when they heard those words?
John 16:7. Jesus said, “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 depart, I will send Him to you.”
This verse has been opening up to me more and more. There are so many ways in which we can realize the truth of what Jesus said. Jesus was actually eager to depart so that the disciples would receive the Holy Spirit.

Jesus had been WITH the disciples during His earthly ministry, but by the Spirit He would come to be IN them. On earth He had only been able to be in one place at one time, but, by the Spirit’s indwelling, the Church would take the presence of the Lord simultaneously to the uttermost parts of the earth.

The more you study this verse and compare it with the experience of the early church, the more applications you find of its truth. More is done in the believers life by the indwelling power of God than through any work Jesus could effect by an external influence. Samuel Chadwick wrote, “Inwardness is the distinctive feature of the Spirit. The Son of God reveals and works from without, but the Spirit of God dwells and works from within.”
Here’s another example that I’ve just been musing on. In Luke 11:1-4 we’re told that, at the disciples request, Jesus TAUGHT them to pray. He gave them that wonderful model that we have come to call “The Lord’s Prayer” (it’s really the disciples prayer … the Lord’s prayer is better used to describe John 17). Jesus, the Master of prayer, TAUGHT them to pray.
But notice the very different language when we come to Romans 8:26. The indwelling Holy Spirit does not only teach us to pray (He certainly is our teacher), but it says that he HELPS us to pray. Again the external influence has moved inward for something far more glorious.
I’ve been reading William Gurnall’s outstanding work “The Christian in Complete Armour”, and I was greatly blessed to read this passage that is a powerful commentary on Romans 8:26

“Even in acts of worship our strength is in the Lord. Consider prayer. Would we pray? Where will we find topics for our prayers? Alas, ‘We know not what we should pray for as we ought’ (Rom 8:26). Let us alone, and we will soon pray ourselves into some temptation or other, and beg for the very thing God knows we should not have. To protect us, then, God puts words in our mouths (Hos 14:2). But without some heart-heating affections to thaw the tap, the words will freeze on our lips. We may search in vain the corridors of our own hearts and the drafty corners of our souls. We will not find a spark upon our own hearth, unless it is some strange fire of our own desires, which will not do. No, the fire that thaws the iciness of the heart must come from heaven – a gift from God, who is ‘a consuming fire’ (Heb 12:29).
 
“First the Spirit stretches Himself upon the soul, as the prophet on the child; then the soul will begin to kindle and put forth some heavenly heat in its affections. At last the Spirit melts the heart, and prayer flows from the lips of the believer as naturally as tears from the eyes. And though the saint is the speaker, the author of the prayer is God. So we see that both the strength to pray and the prayer itself are from God.”

I believe in the Holy Ghost!
Pastor Phil