In order to fulfill His life’s purpose and ministry, Jesus depended mightily on the Holy Spirit and His guidance. If Jesus needed the Holy Spirit to fulfill the call on His life, how much more do you and I need Him if we want to do the same?
But before you can rely on the Holy Spirit, it is important for you to know about His ministry. Let’s begin by looking at what happened when Jesus’ early ministry began in Matthew 3:16, which reads:
And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightaway out of the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him.
In this verse, we read that when Jesus went to the Jordan River to be baptized, the Holy Spirit came upon Him like a dove, and Jesus was empowered by the Holy Spirit. From this moment forward, everything changed. After receiving the baptism in the Holy Spirit, Jesus’ ministry began. This was a moment of utmost significance.
In the book of Luke, the Bible tells us the first thing Jesus did when He began His ministry went into the synagogue, pick up the book of Isaiah, and read from chapter 61. The very first words of Jesus’ ministry were, “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me.” He went on to say:
The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised.
— Luke 4:18
Before going any further, we need to establish two truths. The first is this: the Holy Spirit is the third person of the Godhead. Just as we have the Father and the Son, we also have the Holy Spirit. So in order to have an effective ministry and walk on the path of righteousness, we need to know what the Bible says about the Holy Spirit. We must have a relationship with Him in the same way Jesus had a relationship with His Father.
The second truth is that we are living in the Church Age, which is the age of the dispensation of the Holy Spirit. In other words, Jesus is not on the earth today; He is seated at the right hand of the Father where He serves as our Great High Priest, but fortunately, when Jesus made His ascent into Heaven, we weren’t left on our own. Jesus sent the Holy Spirit into the world to take His place — He dispensed the Holy Spirit into the world to act in His stead! So if you don’t know the Holy Spirit and how to partner with Him, this is a deficit, and you are at a great disadvantage.
In John 13-16, the Bible tells us how Jesus stressed the importance of the Holy Spirit to His disciples during the last hours of His life on earth. In those final moments, Jesus could have spoken to them about any subject, but He chose to tell them about the Holy Spirit. Jesus saved the most important truths for last.
During Jesus’ conversation with the disciples, He referred to the Holy Spirit as a Person — not an anointing, a power, or a feeling. When you understand the Holy Spirit is a Person, you can relate to Him as someone with whom you can have a partnership and relationship. But just like it takes time to develop a meaningful relationship, it also takes time to develop a relationship with the Holy Spirit, The time you invest in your relationship with the Holy Spirit and in learning about His ministry is invaluable!
Let’s take a moment to look at the chapters in John in which Jesus speaks to the disciples about the importance of the Holy Spirit. John 14:16 states:
And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever.
Notice where Jesus says, “…another Comforter….” The word “another” is significant here. In Greek, “another” is the word allos, which literally means one of the very same kind or identical. In other words, you could read this verse as Jesus saying, “The Holy Spirit and I are identical in the ways we think and act. What makes Me happy makes the Holy Spirit happy, and what gives Me joy gives Him joy. How I respond to a situation is exactly how the Holy Spirit will respond. We are allos, or we are identical in every way. When the Holy Spirit comes, He will be just like Me. You don’t have to figure Him out because He and I are identical. If you know Me, you will know the Holy Spirit.”
Jesus takes it a step further by saying, “When the Holy Spirit comes, He will be another Comforter — or an identical Comforter — just like Me.” Jesus had been a comforter to the disciples, and He promised that the Holy Spirit would be a comforter in the same way. Everything Jesus did while on Earth is everything the Holy Spirit will do for you now!
So if you have the Holy Spirit, it’s just like having Jesus because they are identical in every way. Jesus made this point so clear and straightforward that it’s impossible to mistake what He meant in John 14:16. To look at Jesus and know Him is to know the Holy Spirit. Jesus wanted to ensure His disciples knew exactly who would come and indwell every believer upon Jesus’ ascent into Heaven.
Jesus refers to the Holy Spirit as the “Spirit of Truth” three times in John 14-16. Why do you think Jesus said this three times? He said it because He knew working with the Holy Spirit would be very different for the disciples. They had always worked with Jesus — they could touch Jesus, listen to His voice, and look into His eyes. But now Jesus was leaving, and they had to step into Jesus’ position and learn to operate with the Holy Spirit, just as Jesus had done throughout His ministry on earth. They could no longer touch Jesus or look into His eyes. They had to operate with the Holy Spirit, whom they couldn’t touch or see. For them, this was stepping across a line into a whole new realm they had never experienced first-hand.
So in John 14-16, Jesus said the Holy Spirit was the Spirit of Truth three times. This was the equivalent of Jesus saying, “Don’t be afraid. You can trust Him. If you can trust Me, you can trust Him.” And in the same three chapters, Jesus also said the Holy Spirit is a “Comforter” four times, emphasizing that the Holy Spirit would be their new Teacher. Jesus was ascending into Heaven to be seated at the right hand of the Father, so the disciples had a change in their relationship with God. They had to receive the Holy Spirit as their Teacher and Guide.
Jesus reassured the disciples of this in John 16:13, which says:
Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come.
The Holy Spirit is here now to guide you just as a mother would guide her child, or just as Jesus would guide His disciples when He walked alongside them on Earth. This means you don’t have to take a shot in the dark and hope you’re headed in the right direction because the Holy Spirit was sent to Earth as the third person of the Trinity — so He could take you by the hand and lead you in the way you’re supposed to go. This is part of the Holy Spirit’s ministry to you. His guidance helps you avoid mistakes and the traps of the enemy.
We have countless choices to make in life — what jobs we should take, where we should live, what church we should go to, where we should invest our money, where our children should go to school, etc. All of these are serious decisions that shouldn’t be taken lightly. Our choices shape our lives and ultimately decide whether or not we fulfill our God-given destiny. But while we can only see what is immediately in front of us, the Holy Spirit sees far ahead into the path that lies before us.
Jesus assured us that the Holy Spirit would show us things to come — things we can’t see in the natural world without a revelation from the Father’s heart imparted to us by His Spirit. The Holy Spirit knows what we need to do in order to stay within God’s will, and He is just like Jesus, so we can rely on the Holy Spirit to be our Teacher and Guide.
Remember as you continue your pursuit of God and the calling He had placed on your life, you are not alone! You never have to make decisions by yourself. And if you train yourself to hear the Holy Spirit’s voice through spending time in fellowship with Him, He will be everything Jesus promised He would be: your Helper, Teacher, Comforter, and Guide. You were not made to live life by your own strength or to rely on your own abilities and know-how. The Spirit of Truth was supernaturally given to you to guide you on your life’s journey. So lean into Him; He is ready and willing to help you in every possible way to ensure you walk down the path God has ordained for you according to Ephesians 2.
For we are God’s [own] handiwork (His workmanship), recreated in Christ Jesus, [born anew] that we may do those good works which God predestined (planned beforehand) for us [taking paths which He prepared ahead of time], that we should walk in them [living the good life which He prearranged and made ready for us to live].
— Ephesians 2:10 (AMPC)