Do I have everything I need?
That’s a question I often ask myself, especially when preparing for an extensive backpacking or climbing endeavor. I spend weeks obsessing over lists, gear, maps, and the like, hoping that I am as prepared as possible to venture out into the wilderness or onto a great peak with success and ease. I want my treks to be as safe, fun, and easy as possible so that I’m not stuck in misery in the middle of nowhere without the essentials to stay alive.
The question is worth asking about our lives, especially our spiritual pursuits. Do we have everything we need to flourish and overcome in this world?
I suppose Jesus’s disciples may have asked this very question as Jesus has told them he was departing or “going away to him who sent me” (John 16:5). Jesus had recognized this reality and had sought to equip and prepare them before His death, resurrection, and ascension. He told them very specifically, “I have told you these things to keep you from stumbling” (v1).
But giving someone information is one thing; equipping them to succeed is quite another. Jesus never sets His people up for failure by commanding or directing them to do something without giving them the resources to carry that command out. He doesn’t leave us as orphans (John 14:18). No, Jesus’s words in John 16 remind us of the way He equips and supplies disciples with all we need to succeed and even flourish in this life. The Holy Spirit is our helper in following Jesus.
The work and ministry of the Holy Spirit in our lives is summed up clearly in John 15:26: “When the Counselor comes, the one I will send to you from the Father —the Spirit of truth who proceeds from the Father—he will testify about me.” The Spirit of God has been sent from the Father to testify about the Son. As Jesus says in John 16:14, “He will glorify me.”
As the Spirit of God guides believers into the truth (v.13) and exposes the world’s failure to believe the truth (John 16:8-11), He does so by putting the spotlight on Jesus, the King. His work is to point the believer to Jesus. He works to ensure our faith is anchored in Jesus and His promises, even in the rough waters of life in this world.
The good news is that Jesus has given us His Spirit so that we truly have all we need to follow Him.