By Collin Ross
My two-year-old son has a favorite phrase. Throughout the day, in any number of situations, he looks to my wife or me and says, “Help me!” Even at such a young age, my son recognizes that to flourish in life, he will need outside help. But isn’t that one of the first things we jettison from our psyche as we grow up? Doesn’t the world teach us that needing help is a sign of weakness or laziness?
Oh, how detrimental to our spiritual lives is this aversion to outside help. Think about it. Who among us can honestly affirm that we love the Lord with all our heart, soul, and strength as Scripture commands (Deuteronomy 6:5)? None of us! And yet, so often we live as if we can. But this pretense does great harm to our relationship with the Lord and others. It drives us into shame when we inevitably succumb to temptations, dilutes the power of God’s grace, and erects a wall of pride between our heavenly Father and us.
I am convinced there is a better way to live, and it has everything to do with the Holy Spirit. Before Jesus ascended to the right hand of the Father, He promised to send the Holy Spirit to guide us “into all truth” (John 16:13). His disciples would have immediately picked up on Christ’s allusion to the Old Testament promise detailing how God would one day put his Spirit within His people to cause them to follow His ways faithfully (Ezekiel 36:27). This was one of the last promises that Jesus made before His ascension, which should demonstrate for us that our Savior knows that we need divine help as we work out how to follow Him in our daily lives. Well, Christ guarantees that help.
He is the One who removes our “heart of stone” and gives us a heart that is alive to the will of God (v.26). He is the One who writes the gospel message upon our hearts so that our lives are grounded and directed by His redeeming purposes (2Corinthians 3:3). The Spirit’s presence in the life of a believer is essential, and by God’s grace in Jesus, it is also guaranteed. As Paul writes, “In him you also were sealed with the Holy Spirit” (Ephesians 1:13).
If you are in Christ, then His Spirit rules in your heart. The question is, Are you listening to His voice? More and more, I understand why Jesus made a child the image of the faithful disciple. My son spends his days asking for help because he knows he needs it and trusts that it is available. Isn’t it the same for us? We all need help following Jesus, and through the indwelling of the Spirit, that help is guaranteed.