Have you ever seen those old cartoons where there’s a person trying to live life like “yeah, this is how it goes” and out of nowhere “POP!” A little guy appears on each shoulder trying to sway the thoughts and behaviors of the main character.
It’s funny to think about, but this image is all too real for many of us. Even after we accept Jesus Christ and live in the Holy Spirit, we still find ourselves in this dilemma: which voice is God’s?
In John 16 we get a good look at how to tell which voice is God’s.
Jesus is on a mountaintop getting ready to leave earth. His disciples are upset. He was not just their Savior, but also their mentor, teacher, and friend. They loved Him in a way we will not understand until we stand before Him.
But before He leaves them He says something beautiful. He says:
“I did not say these things to you from the beginning, because I was with you.But now I am going to him who sent me, and none of you asks me, ‘Where are you going?’ But because I have said these things to you, sorrow has filled your heart. Nevertheless, I tell you the truth: it is to your advantage that I go away, for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you. But if I go, I will send him to you.”
— John 16:4-7, ESV
So, from the beginning of His relationship and ministry with His disciples, He was with them. Yet, as He ascended to heaven, Jesus did not leave His disciples alone.
So as Jesus looked on His disciples, the 11 He’d chosen, and probably others who chose Him–it was with love, but I don’t think it was with sadness at all. God had a plan. Jesus was a part of the plan, and He knew what was to come. A Helper.
“I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth, for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are to come. He will glorify me, for he will take what is mine and declare it to you. All that the Father has is mine; therefore I said that he will take what is mine and declare it to you.
— John 16:12-15, ESV
So, Who did Jesus leave behind for His people? A friend.
He did not leave behind a judge. He did not leave an accuser.
He left behind a friend–one Who speaks with divine authority, Who will warn and guide you about things to come, Who will glorify Jesus Christ, and Who will declare the things that belong to Jesus Christ to you. Your inheritance.
When Jesus left earth and ascended to heavenly places, He left behind the Holy Spirit to be all these things to us.
Can you imagine having a friend who points you to Jesus? Speaks on behalf of Jesus? Glorifies Jesus in all things? Speaks truth over your identity in Christ? and will never leave you?
His voice is the one that affirms who you are in Christ. His voice affirms Christ as Lord. His voice speaks Life and Truth. This is the voice to listen for and to listen to.
Talk about a friendtervention!