Life in the Spirit
John 16:7 [Amplified Bible] – 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].
My wife and I have focused our attention this summer on the Holy Spirit. Unless we’re reminded, we Christians tend to forget about this wonderful Helper Who has come to reside in us. Jesus said that the Holy Spirit would be in us like a bubbling artisan spring, and coming out of us like rivers of living water!
The Amplified Bible uses seven different titles to identify the Holy Spirit: Comforter, Counselor, Helper, Advocate, Intercessor, Strengthener, and Standby. Let’s take a quick look at each of these so we’ll not miss any of the benefits of Jesus’ gift to us.
Comforter. This is one who gives comfort. (Duh!) According to the dictionary, “comfort” means to give strength and hope to; to ease the grief or trouble of. There’s no reason to be weak or hopeless when the Holy Spirit lives in us. With His help we can do what Jesus told us [John 14:27] by taking the peace He gives and refusing to let our hearts be troubled or afraid.
Counselor. This is defined as a person whose job it is to give advice. There are a couple of things to consider here. First of all, even the best advisor does us no good unless we listen! Reading the Bible and praying in the Spirit are ways of listening. Then also there’s the principle of application. The best, most precise and wisest counsel in the world does no good unless it’s applied to one’s life.
Helper. The dictionary goes deep on this one. “Helper” is defined as “one who helps.” Okay. I think the key here is that the Holy Spirit is always there for to help, but not to do it for us. The Apostle Paul tells us the Spirit helps us in our weaknesses. [Romans 8:26] The concordance says that these weaknesses can be “inability to produce results.” The Holy Spirit doesn’t do this FOR US, but helps us, assists us, in the process as we apply His advice in our lives.
Advocate. What is great about “advocate” is that we have two! Jesus is our Advocate in heaven. [I John 2:1] And the Holy Spirit represents us here. The dictionary gives these definitions: one who pleads the cause of another, specifically before a tribunal or judicial court; one who defends, maintains, supports or promotes. We might use the word “lawyer.” We are represented by the Father, Son and Holy Spirit partners. [Talk about heavy hitters!] And the great part is they represent us NON GRATIS! No charge. Jesus has already paid the fee! Unlike some worldly advocates, this team can be reached any time – day or night – 24/7 – toll free! Amen!
Intercessor. This again is a team effort. We’re told that Jesus ever lives to intercede for us. [Hebrews 7:25] This is an interesting word in the original Greek. According to Strong’s it means: to go to or meet a person, especially for the purpose of conversation, consultation, or supplication. One thought that jumps out at me here is that this means I always have Someone to talk to – Someone whose infinitely wise, and who cares about me deeply! Wow, talk about good news!
Strengthener. This is quite self-explanatory, isn’t it? He gives us strength! We can do as the Bible instructs and say we’re strong, even when feeling weak, because the Strengthener resides in us.
Standby. The dictionary cites this as “one to be relied on especially in emergencies.” The Holy Spirit – in any emergency – is more reliable than any first aid kit. After all He is God! That makes Him omnipotent (all powerful), omniscient (all knowing), and omnipresent (always there)!
So, my advice is, get to know your Helper! Cultivate your relationship with Him. Learn to recognize His leading. Apply His advice in your life. Pray in the Spirit regularly. This is not a duty – it’s a privilege!
Romans 8:11 –But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you.