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Why You Can’t Stay Faithful on Your Own

When Jesus leaves his disciples after the resurrection, he has to talk them out of being worried. I don’t blame them.

I can imagine how they must have felt. They’ve been back and forth between the best and worst of emotions, first losing the man who was supposed to be the fulfillment of their greatest hope, then, without much warning, getting him back.

I’m imagining they were thinking, “OK Jesus. Now what?” To which he replies, I’m leaving. “You can’t follow me now, but you can follow me later.” (John 13:36)

Can you imagine? Talk about confusion and fear.

Sometimes I think we feel like this, as Christians.

We meet Jesus and have a powerful, life-changing encounter with Him. Then, since we can’t go to Heaven yet, we figure we should just hold on and do our best to be faithful to the things Jesus has asked us to do (even if we aren’t totally sure what that is).

It can feel scary, tiring and confusing.

But what if we’re missing the best part of the Gospel?

Listen to what Jesus tells his disciples when he leaves them behind to prepare their eternal home. He says, I am going to send you a friend, a helper, an advocate, a counselor—one who will help you stay faithful to me.

He never expected the disciples to have the power to stay faithful on their own.

He never expects them to be holding on, waiting for their chance to go to Heaven. He doesn’t expect that from us either. He is calling us and inviting us and asking us to receive the Holy Spirit and begin ushering in the Kingdom of Heaven, right now. “On earth as it is in Heaven” is literally the Lord’s prayer.

We can’t do any of this without the spirit of God in our lives.

The Spirit will reveal the depths of Jesus’ love for you.

When you receive the power of the spirit of God in your life, you suddenly experience the breadth and depth of his love for you. There is no greater feeling of peace, contentment or joy. All the lies you’ve believed about yourself fade away. The truth is ushered in.

Suddenly, you’re capable of things you never realized you were capable of and you can minister in ways you were never able to minister in before because no hurt, fear or insecurity is holding you back. You’re resting in the safety of his love for you.

The Spirit does this. When you know God, you have access to this, all day, every day.