Are you overwhelmed? Do you feel like life has handed you more than you can handle or that you’ve been called to accomplish more than you are able to?
A few days before Jesus was crucified, he had a long conversation with his disciples detailed in John 14-16. He encouraged them with the news that although he was about to physically leave them, he was not going to leave them all alone. Instead, he promised to send the Holy Spirit to be with them permanently as their helper.
The post below was written by my dear friend and fellow worker in Christ who consistently serves as my accountability partner and content editor. She is a strong and mature woman with a insatiable desire for the things of God. My prayer is that as you read through the lines, the Holy Spirit will personally reveal Himself to you as your Helper, Comforter, Counselor, Advocate, Intercessor, Strengthener and Standby.
The Holy Spirit: Our Helper
In John 15:26 and John 16:7 Jesus promised to send the Holy Spirit to his disciples. In these verses, the Holy Spirit is referred to as the Comforter, Advocate, Helper or Counselor depending on the Bible translation you are reading.
“When the Advocate comes, whom I will send to you from the Father—the Spirit of truth who goes out from the Father—he will testify about me.” John 15:26 NIV
“But when the Helper comes, whom I shall send to you from the Father,..” John 15:26 NKJV
Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you. John 16:7 KJV
However, I am telling you nothing but the truth when I say it is profitable (good, expedient, advantageous) for you that I go away. Because if I do not go away, the Comforter (Counselor, Helper, Advocate, Intercessor, Strengthener, Standby) will not come to you [into close fellowship with you]; but if I go away, I will send Him to you [to be in close fellowship with you]. John 16:7 AMPC
The Greek word used here in reference to the Holy Spirit is Parakletos, which means one who is called to one’s side especially to help. It also means an intercessor, an assistant or one who pleads the cause of another before a judge.
Therefore, the role of the Holy Spirit is all encompassing. He is our Comforter, Counselor, Helper, Advocate, Intercessor, Strengthener and Standby.
What a joy and relief to know that we do not have to labor through life because God is always with us and our victory is secure in Him!
Partnering with the Holy Spirit
Jesus told his disciples in John 16:7 that He will send the Holy Spirit to them, which implies that the Holy Spirit will be in close fellowship with them (see the AMPC version above). As believers, we are to partner with the Holy Spirit in our everyday lives (2 Corinthians 13:14). It is in the context of this fellowship/partnership with us that the Holy Spirit fulfills His role as our Counselor, Helper, Advocate, Intercessor, Strengthener and Standby.
How the Holy Spirit Helps Us
The Holy Spirit convinces us of sin and helps us mature spiritually:
Jesus explained the role of the Holy Spirit to his disciples in John16:8. He works in the world to convince and convict unbelievers of sin, drawing them to Christ and helping them realize how desperately they need a Savior. His work continues after salvation as He constantly works in the lives of believers to help us grow up and mature spiritually (Galatians 5:22-23).
The Holy Spirit helps us by testifying about Jesus:
He will always point us to Jesus. By His work in us, we are convinced that Jesus is who he says he is (John 15:26). This assurance by the Holy Spirit gives us the boldness to testify about Jesus. The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of truth. Therefore, His revelation from the Father to us will always be rooted and grounded in the Word and bring HONOR and GLORY to Jesus in our lives (John 16:13-15).
The Holy Spirit is our teacher:
He will help us tremendously as our teacher if we allow Him to fulfill this role in our lives. In John 14:26, speaking to his disciples Jesus said that the Holy Spirit will teach them all things and will bring to their remembrance all that he had spoken to them. In Luke 12:11-12, Jesus told his disciples not to be anxious over what to say whenever they had to speak in defense of the gospel because the Holy Spirit will teach them what to say. On the same note, Paul made it clear in 1 Corinthians 2:13 that God’s Word cannot be taught by human wisdom, instead the Holy Spirit interprets spiritual truths to those who are spiritual (believers).
Having this understanding in mind, whenever we are about to study God’s Word, we should make it a habit to ask the Holy Spirit to teach us and fill us with spiritual wisdom and understanding of the Word. In addition, let us remember to ask Him to bring these spiritual truths to our remembrance in situations where we need to apply them.
The Holy Spirit can help by giving us specific instructions:
He can also reveal future events to us that will serve God’s Kingdom agenda in our lives. It is imperative that we cultivate the habit of paying attention to Him all the time. Always inquiring what He will have us do in all situations.
There are many Scriptural accounts of Jesus’ followers yielding to the direction of the Holy Spirit. In Acts 13:2, while they were worshipping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit asked for Barnabas and Saul to be set aside for the work to which He had called them. In Acts 16:6-8, while Paul and Silas were traveling through the region of Phrygia and Galatia, they were forbidden by the Holy Spirit to proclaim the Word in the province of Asia. They were also forbidden to go into the Province of Bithynia (now in modern day Turkey). In Acts 20:22-23, Paul was determined to go back to Jerusalem to do the work that Jesus had assigned to him. In order to prepare him for what he was going to suffer, the Holy Spirit revealed to him the hardships that lay ahead.
The Holy Spirit is our Intercessor:
He helps us in prayer. In Romans 8:26-27, we understand that when we do not know what prayer to pray and how we ought to pray, He comes to our aid by interceding before God on our behalf according to God’s will for our lives.
I remember 13 years ago while we were in our home country, my husband woke up in the early hours of the morning with a burden to pray. He didn’t know what to pray for so he prayed in the Spirit until the burden lifted. Around 7am that day, we ran into armed robbers on our way to work. They were on a robbing and killing spree and had killed so many people that morning. They stopped us right in the middle of the road and stole from us but they did not harm us. Instead, they let us drive away. God miraculously saved our lives. After the incident, my husband fully understood why he woke up with a burden to pray.
The Holy Spirit is our Strengthener:
He helps us by providing us with spiritual strength on a daily basis, if we would just ask Him. In Ephesians 3:16, Paul prayed for believers in the Church to be strengthened with might (power) by the Holy Spirit in their inner man. The power to grow up in Christ, live for him daily and to do the work assigned to us by him cannot come from any other source. It must come from God through His Holy Spirit. (Meditate on Philippians 2:13, John 14:16 and Acts 1:8.)
Jesus told his disciples; “It is to your ADVANTAGE that I go away, for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you.” (John 16:7).
The disciples had the daunting task of walking in the footsteps of Jesus and continuing his ministry here on earth. Yet, Jesus assured them that the Holy Spirit was ENOUGH for them and instructed them to wait in Jerusalem till His power fell on them in the upper room.
The initial work of the Holy Spirit is to lead us into repentance resulting in a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. Once saved, He dwells permanently in us enabling us to experience fellowship (joint partnership) with Him as we place our trust in Jesus as our Lord. By the power of the Holy Spirit at work in us, we begin to grow spiritually, increasingly bearing fruits of righteousness (Galatians 5:22-23) and doing the work of God’s Kingdom.
Just like Jesus’ disciples could not do without the help of the Holy Spirit, we will not succeed in pleasing God unless we allow Him to help us on a daily basis; engaging Him as our Counselor, Advocate, Intercessor, Strengthener, and Standby.
Except where indicated, Scriptures are taken from the NIV.
Other posts on The Holy Spirit:
- The Holy Spirit: Who is He?
- The Holy Spirit: What is His Role in Salvation?
- Sealed with The Holy Spirit
- The Holy Spirit: Freedom through The Spirit of God
- Learning to Keep in Step with the Holy Spirit: Part 1
- Learning to Keep in Step with the Holy Spirit: Part 2
- Learning to Keep in Step with the Holy Spirit: Part 3