Saturday, December 4, 2010

Many Things

"I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now," Jesus told His friends on the eve of His crucifixion. "However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come." (John 16:12,13)

It is remarkable to me that Jesus restrained Himself from telling them what He knew they needed to know, but could not yet understand. He considered them in the state that they were in, and held back. But even more amazing to me is His trust in the Holy Spirit's work. He trusted that in leaving them without telling them these things, and sending the Holy Spirit to them, they would have the teaching they needed. If God With Us can trust the Holy Spirit to speak to His own, I think we would do well to also trust Him. He trusted the Holy Spirit to fulfill His mission.

Many years ago, a friend of mine who had been straying from the Lord returned to Him with some baggage. Our relationship in the past had been one of me telling my friend what was right, and my friend, being a genial person, would do it. My friend called me one night for advice about the baggage. I, being a person of many opinions, knew exactly how my friend should handle the issue. But I plainly felt the Holy Spirit telling me to be quiet, and not offer an answer. I suggested my friend pray and ask the Lord for wisdom, which He promises to give us when we ask. I had the great joy of seeing my friend learn to walk. We prayed with one another, and I trusted the Holy Spirit to teach my friend. And He did.

Too often we try to take over His job, and we get in the way of others learning to hear from Him for themselves, and learning to walk on their own feet. But people who walk on their own feet, although they may stumble and trip, have stronger legs than those who are carried everywhere. And the Holy Spirit is a better teacher than I am.

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