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Pointers along the way #27

We need the Holy Spirit
- Jacob Ninan

The night before His last day as a Man on earth, Jesus requested His disciples to stay with Him in the Garden of Gethsemane and support Him with prayer (Mt.26:38). He prayed three times to the Father concerning the things He was going to go through, and at the end of each session He came to His disciples looking for fellowship. Each time He found that they had dozed off. He told them these famous words, "Keep watching and praying, that you may not enter into temptation; the spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak" (v.41 NASB). Yet some days later these same disciples were on fire for the Lord and unstoppable in their work for Him. What made the difference? The Holy Spirit.

If we are honest with ourselves we would also admit that our flesh is weak even though many times our spirit is willing. Sometimes we cannot even say that our spirit is willing. But if we are willing to be made willing, God will help us (Php.2:13).

What kind of help are we looking for? Someone to make our problems disappear with a word or a wave of His hands? That would be unrealistic because Jesus Himself said that in this world we would have trouble and problems (Jn.16:33). But what Jesus offers us is Someone who will be by our side in our troubles, and who will comfort, encourage, strengthen, lead, guide, warn, correct and rebuke us - the Holy Spirit!

Caught in controversies about the gifts of the Holy Spirit we tend to miss what the companionship of the Holy Spirit can mean for us.

The Holy Spirit is the One who can make our relationship with Jesus real (Jn.16:14,15). He speaks to us in our spirit, bringing to our thoughts what we need to hear at that time, whether it is a word of comfort, guidance or warning. It takes time to become able to recognise His voice, but when we do, that is the best help we can have.

Jesus said that the Father hardly needs any asking before He gives us the Holy Spirit (Lk.11:13). Let us seek for the Holy Spirit as a Person, and not for the thrill of His gifts. And let us treat Him with respect lest we grieve Him or quench Him.