January 6, 2022
Catch up on what I am doing HERE
BASIC OBSERVATIONS FROM JOHN 16-21
Who is Jesus? He comes from the Father, He haas to leave the world, He is not alone, He has oneness with the Father, He overcomes the world, He prays, He glorifies the Father, He longs to do the Father’s will, longs for the oneness of those who believe, love is in Him (17:26), He knows all that will happen to Him and submits to the will of the Father, He was arrested, He was bound, He was struck, He was flogged, He was betrayed, He was denied, He was mocked, His kingdom is not of this world, He bears witness about the truth, He was crucified, He died, He was stabbed with a spear in His side, He finished the work He came to accomplish, He rose from the dead, He visits the disciples, and teaches the disciples
What was His ministry on earth about? He taught to keep us from falling away, he has to go away so The Helper (The Holy Spirit) can come, He wants His followers to be sanctified in Word and Truth, He has oneness with the Father, He is obedient to death on the cross, His life was a ransom for many, He sends the disciples out so others will believe (Discipleship), He provides fish where the disciples were fishing, He reveals His resurrected body to the disciples three times, He commands Simon Peter to feed His lambs, tend to His sheep, and feed His sheep, He commands the disciples to follow.
WHAT DOES THIS MEAN TO ME IN THE PRESENT DAY?
Plenty of deeply meaningful truth in John 16-21. So much that it has taken me the entire day to process through it. For now I have decided to finish all of the gospels before moving onto the major prophets.
Coming off of a difficult season, probably the most difficult eighteen months of life as a Christ-follower, it has been refreshing to come back to the basic truths of who Christ is and His ministry. This book of John, the same book of the Bible I read as a new believer, has once again reminded me of the basic truth of who Christ is and what He came to do. When I didn’t know Him nor was looking for Him and stuck in my sin in 2004, He radically changed my heart—not because of my works—but simply because He chose me before the foundation of the world. Eighteen years later, coming off the hardest season of my Christian life, and very vulnerable to the lies of the deceiver, this truth is still the same.
Today, what really struck me was The Helper. The Helper, the promised Holy Spirit comes to guide, convict, speak (and the Holy Spirit speaks the language of scripture), to reflect Christ’s glory to us, and to declare the truth. Back in 2004 when I first believed I was going through a difficult time. There were spiritual truths I needed to hear, but God was slow and gracious to allow the Spirit to slowly convict me of the things I needed to let go. At this time in my life, God used His people, but it was His Word that ended up truly probing my heart.
I remember coming to a certain verse, the certain discipline I needed, and The Spirit gave me eyes to see and ears to hear exactly what I needed to see and hear to let a certain something go. And I remember coming to my mentors about my newly discovered conviction and them saying, “Well, we have been telling you to do that for about six months now, Rachel.” It always amazes me to come back to that story. Our mentors usually know what we need and can give us advice. But it is the promised Helper, the Holy Spirit, that can only bring about a true spiritual heart change.
Here I am eighteen years later, still learning the same lesson. I have been sharing and asking mentors what I should do and how I should handle my situation. I deeply desired an instant-pot remedy for a slow-cooker problem. I wanted to outrun the Holy Spirit in my healing process. But I simply needed to sit in the darkness and wait on The Helper to teach me and probe my heart. I had to stop fixing and trying to make my situation better (or figure it out) and just wait on The Holy Spirit to show me what I needed to let go and guide me through the the words of Scripture. I needed a heart change that could only come from The Spirit who has made a permanent dwelling in my heart.
Both of these situations, eighteen years apart, have brought me to places where I needed to make a big change, let go, and trust God in the new chapter He is writing. Letting go is always painful and scary, but the One Who holds me is a glorious Savior. He has overcome the world. Why do I still fear?
PRAYER (ACTS Model: Adoration, Confession, Thanksgiving, Supplication)
Lord, You are a glorious Savior, I confess that I do not always fully trust and I am not comfortable when I feel out of control. Thank you for sending the Promised Helper, The Holy Spirit to guide, convict, and sanctify me in the truth. Give me the grace to trust you in the next chapter you are writing for our family. In Your Name, Amen.