July 27, 2016
The Promised Holy Spirit
This article was originally featured as part of a series on Evangelism in Scripture for the BGCE Gospel Life blog.
“And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever — the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you.”- John 14:16-17
Have you ever found yourself in the checkout line at the grocery store, with a cart full of groceries, and realize you left your wallet at home? Or what about jumping in the car, late for work, only to remember your teenager was the last one to use the car and left the gas tank bone dry? Now you’re stuck in traffic, miles from the closest gas station, with the low fuel light starring you back in the face.
Whether it’s a mundane, daily task like getting gas or buying groceries, or something far more serious, there’s nothing more precarious or futile than being on a mission without the proper tools.
I’ve read stories of soldiers in the midst of battle who are out of ammunition and without shelter. They are completely outnumbered, under-resourced, and stuck in chaos. I think of the fear they must have felt: stuck in a life-threatening situation without the resources needed to accomplish the task.
In the best of scenarios, it’s mildly frustrating. In the worst of scenarios, it’s certain death.
You and I have been sent on a mission by God. He made that mission clear in Mark 16:15 when He told His disciples (and the rest of us who would follow in their footsteps) to “go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation.”
Our mission is to share the good news and evangelize the world. And that’s a big task. But the good news is that He hasn’t left us on our own to accomplish it. “For I am the Lord your God,” He says in Isaiah 41:13, “who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you.”
My heart breaks for those who are still far from God. I want nothing more than for them to experience the same peace and forgiveness I have experienced through Christ. Yet so often we are held back by our own assumed inability. We think we don’t have what it takes. We act as if we have left our wallet at home. Our gas tank is empty. Or the reinforcements are not on their way. We hunker down in fear, and ask the Lord to do the work instead of us.
“Not me, Lord,” we say. “I’m not prepared.”