Doing anything on our own belies the purpose of the cross, which was to join us to Christ in friendship and partnership.
Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? 1 Corinthians 6:19
We have been looking at how the Lord instructs us through the Bible on how to treat each other (and more specifically applying these instructions during a church building project). But, there is a component that often goes missing: We were never meant to do it alone. Jesus came to be with us; He left so that He could send the Comforter (Himself), the Holy Spirit (the Spirit of Christ), to be with us. We forget that God the Father sent God the Son to make a way for God the Spirit to live in us. Here is one of my favorite passages:
25 “Though I have been speaking figuratively, a time is coming when I will no longer use this kind of language but will tell you plainly about my Father. 26 In that day you will ask in my name. I am not saying that I will ask the Father on your behalf. 27 No, the Father himself loves you because you have loved me and have believed that I came from God. 28 I came from the Father and entered the world; now I am leaving the world and going back to the Father.” John 16:25-28
The Father Himself wants a relationship with us?! He eliminated everything that keeps us from Him through Christ. Let’s look at four things to learn from this passage:
- Up until that point in the upper room, Jesus had spoken to his disciples figuratively. Why? I can think of two possible reasons. The first is because it wasn’t time to reveal the real reason for His coming, which was to take away our fear of death (Hebrews 2:14-15 and 1 Corinthians 2:8). The second reason is that once the Spirit took up residence in them, He would give them perspective so that all that Christ taught them would come into focus.
- Jesus was establishing their relationship with the heavenly Father. To ask in Jesus’ name is to ask according to all that Jesus taught them.
- The Father loves them–and us. Why? Because we believe that Jesus came from God, “This is my Son, whom I love; with Him I am well pleased. Listen to Him!” (Matthew 17:5). To believe Jesus is to believe God.
- Jesus reiterated that He came from the Father to the world and was about to go back to the Father. “That power is the same as the mighty strength He [God] exerted when He raised Christ from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly realms…” (Ephesians 1:20).
The next time we think about asking God for something or about something, we need to DO IT! To not do it means that we either don’t believe that He cares enough to listen (unbelief), or that we can do it ourselves and don’t need His advice or help (pride). The fact that we thought about it is evidence of the Holy Spirit in our lives.
If we can come together in Jesus’ name, asking God for wisdom, discernment and understanding, I know that the Spirit will give us unity. He has promised us, “I in them and You in Me–so that they may be brought to complete unity” John 17:23).
Abba, You tell us that we are part of one Body, Yours. We all bring something unique to the table, but we are still all part of You. Help us to focus on Your plan for the furtherance of the Gospel. Your ways are higher than our ways and Your thoughts are WAY higher than ours. We trust You. Help us to see clearly as we discuss and plan. Amen.