But in fact, it is best for you that I go away, because if I don’t, the Advocate won’t come. If I do go away, then I will send him to you.
Often times through our lives we think we know what is best for us. When we were kids, we thought it would be best to sit as close to the TV and to eat gummy bears and ice cream for dinner. When we were teenagers, we thought life would be better if we had fewer rules and less parent involvement. As young adults, we thought we were much smarter than our boss, believing we knew more than those leading the company. Even as we get older, we can get stuck in the thinking that we know exactly how God should work or intervene in situations.
When we get stuck in this type of thinking, God often flips the script. We see this quite often in the New Testament as Jesus turns things upside down with the disciples. Here in John's gospel, the disciples thought they knew what was best. They wanted Jesus to ride into Jerusalem to be established as the King. Instead, the night before Jesus died on the cross, He was preparing them for His departure. He says that it is best for Him to go away. When the disciples heard these words, I am sure their hearts sank. They were ready to help Jesus rule in the new kingdom they believed He was going to set up, but now He is leaving? They must have been confused. His reminder to them was that He had to go so that the Holy Spirit could be sent to all those who put their faith and trust in Him. He knew He had to pay the price for our sin and once we were forgiven, that we would be ready to be filled by the Holy Spirit.
Just as Jesus knew what was best for the disciples, He also knows what is best for you and me. He speaks through the Holy Spirit to nudge, convict, and put us on a path that honors Him. He breaks us from having to be in control at all times in exchange for a heart that is willing to obey. The Holy Spirit draws us into a deeper relationship with God. Every time you ignore it and push it away, your heart will grow hard. But if you believe that Jesus knows what is best, you will listen for the prompting of the Holy Spirit.
Moving Toward Action
When was a time in your life where you thought you knew what was best and God had a different idea or plan? How did it work out and how has your perspective changed? Take some time to process these questions and then pray that your heart would be open to the leading of the Holy Spirit.
Read John 16:7-15 (NLT)
But in fact, it is best for you that I go away, because if I don’t, the Advocate won’t come. If I do go away, then I will send him to you. And when he comes, he will convict the world of its sin, and of God’s righteousness, and of the coming judgment. The world’s sin is that it refuses to believe in me. Righteousness is available because I go to the Father, and you will see me no more. Judgment will come because the ruler of this world has already been judged.
“There is so much more I want to tell you, but you can’t bear it now. When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all truth. He will not speak on his own but will tell you what he has heard. He will tell you about the future. He will bring me glory by telling you whatever he receives from me. All that belongs to the Father is mine; this is why I said, ‘The Spirit will tell you whatever he receives from me.’
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