The “life that is truly life” Jesus promises us is linked directly to the Holy Spirit he promises us. Don’t miss that. The Holy Spirit is the link – but for most of us He is the missing link.
Jesus promises a life of clarity, and energy and creativity through the Holy Spirit. Jesus promises this Holy Spirit will guide us into all truth. He will counsel us; he will direct us. John 16:13
I want this, don’t you? I need this guidance; please do not tell me you don’t.
Acts is replete with example upon example of this Holy Spirit doing precisely what Jesus said He would do. He guides the apostles with green lights: “While they were worshiping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, ‘Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.’” Acts 13:2
The Holy Spirit encourages Peter with a green light: “Yes, definitely go see Cornelius, the outsider Gentile. It’s okay, it’s part of my plan.” Acts 10:19 paraphrased
And the Holy Spirit convicts and protects the Apostles with red lights: “Paul, do not go to Asia. I have other plans for you.” Acts 16:6-10 paraphrased
Paul hears the Holy Spirit’s green and “yellow” light: “And now, compelled by the Spirit, I am going to Jerusalem, not knowing what will happen to me there. 23 I only know that in every city the Holy Spirit warns me that prison and hardships are facing me.” Acts 20:22-23
Did you know you, too, can live your life knowing God’s will for you day to day? Are you aware God promises this clarity and insight, day by day, step by step: walking through life sensing God’s movement and will as you encounter conversations, conflicts, challenges, and decisions?
We call them green lights and red lights – and even yellow caution lights.
With the Holy Spirit guiding you into all truth, this gift, this power is already within you.
Please notice Jesus promised the Holy Spirit would guide you. The Way of Jesus through this powerful Holy Spirit is to guide you, not frog-march you into a set of dogmatic doctrines and rules. This is the gentle rhythm of the Holy Spirit: guiding, not forcing.
Jesus did not bring with him a new set of top 10 commandments. He brought with him a new Way. Actually it was the old way of God, but the people had missed this rhythmic way of guiding green lights and red lights. And so have we.
The last night Jesus is with his boys he tells them: “You’ve been with me three years. You have followed me; now just keep following my Way.” To which Thomas said, “We don’t know the way. (We know the rules, but we don’t know the way!)” John 14:5-7 paraphrased
Jesus then makes his heart-piercing declaration: “I am the Way – and I am the Truth and I am the Light.” John 14:6
Wouldn’t you rather follow Jesus, than to try to follow rules? Wouldn’t you rather be guided and directed by Jesus’ Holy Spirit, than try real, real hard to follow a list of directions?
Yes, there are “rules,” and there are commandments. But they are given to protect us, not prohibit us. Jesus said, “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them … to fill them out … to show you in 3-D how to live them!” Matthew 5:17 paraphrased and italics mine
I was in Paris once and was completely turned around. I had walked off into a side neighborhood and could not find my way out to any recognizable landmarks. I approached a young man to ask for directions. As he started to tell me, in broken English, to “go this way, then turn right and go that way, then turn left and follow …” – he stopped because he could see the growing worry on my face.
I couldn’t possibly follow all those directions. And my frustration and my exasperation were taking over. He could see this, so he stopped, and smiled and said, “Ca va, just follow me. I will show you the way.”
Jesus can see your frustration and exasperation, too, and he is saying to you, today, “Just follow me. I’ll show you the Way. And I will give you the Power within to guide you.”
None of this herky-jerky life; no more always wondering, “What to do next? What is God’s will for me in this?”
The promise is a seamless, walking in rhythm with your Lord.
It’s available. It’s attainable. You can have it! And it is simply fabulous.
But you must surrender insisting on your way. You must surrender your way to the Way of Jesus.
Jesus is motioning to you right now, saying, “Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.” Matthew 11:28-30 The Message (Bold added)