We all love a promise…and we hate it, too, right? When someone promises us something, it creates a longing, a hopeful expectation for the fulfillment of something special. Promises give us something to look forward to –– and something to wait for. What’s beautiful is, while we often break our promises to each other, God promises us better things than we could ever imagine, and he never breaks his promises.
1. The Spirit is our Helper.
- The key to discipleship in Jesus Christ is obedience. However, nowhere in fallen humanity does obedience come naturally. All of us inherit a self-centered spirit that says, in any situation, “I want my way the way I want it.”
- We demonstrate our love for God by keeping his commandments. The good news is, God doesn’t expect perfection from us –– he wants us to trust in his Son.
God gives us his Spirit when we put our faith and trust in Jesus, and the Spirit helps us obey and love God in the way he calls us to.
- Jesus calls the Spirit our helper, or “parakletos” in the Greek, which covers a wide array of forms of help –– legal advocacy, comforting, counseling. In Jesus, we already have all the help we need; we need to choose to rely on the Spirit when it becomes too hard for us to obey God on our own. Maturity in Christ is simply when you stop living by your own resources.
Describe a situation where obedience to God (or to other authorities in your life) was too difficult for you to do on your own. How did the Holy Spirit help you obey God? Or, if you chose to disobey God, what would it look like to rely on the Spirit and handle that same situation differently next time?
2. The Spirit of truth dwells in you.
- All sin is rooted in unbelief in some aspect of who God is. We steal because we don’t believe God will provide for us. We don’t believe God is sufficient to comfort us, so we seek comfort in substances or food or other people first.
- When we lean into the voice of the Holy Spirit in our lives, he reveals Jesus to us in truth, revealing to us ways we misunderstand God’s character. As we learn more about who Jesus is, we learn more about who we are as well.
What is the Spirit showing you right now about who Jesus is? How are you growing in your knowledge of God’s character and your own as well?
3. The Spirit convicts.
- The Spirit convicts us of God’s ways, God’s heart, God’s kingdom and God’s word. It’s a good sign when we experience conviction because the Spirit only convicts those who have put their faith and trust in Jesus, and the Father chastens those whom he loves.
- There are three ways we commonly respond to God’s conviction: we let Satan take that conviction and influence us to condemn ourselves and live in shame; we harden our hearts and ignore God’s conviction; or we allow conviction to lead us to repentance and drive us into the arms of Jesus, which is the intent of the Spirit’s conviction.
Are there any ways you’ve neglected the Spirit’s promptings and conviction? Are you turning the Spirit’s conviction into self-condemnation, or are you allowing his conviction to drive you into the arms of Jesus? How do you need to respond to Jesus today?
4. The Spirit glorifies Jesus.
- We grow in the things of God when our desire is to glorify God above all else. One of the roles the Spirit plays is to bring glory to Jesus in all things.
- No matter what stage of life we’re in, God has a specific way for us to glorify Jesus.
- In any decision we’re faced with, the right choice is whatever brings most glory to God. If you’re choosing between two options and both give glory to Jesus, ask God which brings more glory to him and less to you.
Are there any ways you’re not glorifying Jesus in the way you’re living right now? In the choices and decisions you’re faced with, ask yourself, which decision brings most glory to Jesus?
Optional Follow-up Questions:
- What makes you say that?
- How do you feel about that?
- How would you explain your answer to a non-Christian friend or neighbor?
- Why did God design it to work that way? Why not just do (whatever else) instead?
- What would you say to someone who disagrees with that?
- Why do we really have to do it like that? Why can’t we just go (some other route) instead?