- We talked a little bit about why God allows things to happen. And we know that He wants to be in an intimate relationship with us. But at the end of the day, what's the lesson learned here?
- Why do we need the Holy Spirit if we have God the Father and God the Son?
Pastor Mike's Answers:
That's an excellent question. Let me do it this way
In the end, the lessons we learned from God, I think, change. I think it depends on what we're facing and it depends on the moment. I would love if if we went back to the other drawing about the Trinity. I would love to say that somehow God is simple and "God always this" or "God always that". But I don't think that's ever always true. God is always good and God is always right. But the way God works in our lives, I think, changes.
Your real question is "how does the role of God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit, really affect me?" Because in the end, that is the question. Our religion is not self centered or selfish, but we need to know how it intersects with us. How does God deal? What is God doing inside of me? And I'm honest with you. Two different people will ask this question differently. You would say, how is God building me? Because you have a trust for Him. I think some people would say, what is God doing to me? And so "why is God ignoring me?"
Even before you believe God is always there. Your believing or not believing in God does not negate or cause His existence. His existence is real. Now, the way we see that is: there's me. And the way we see that is: God the Father, right? Because He's the one that's in heaven. He's the creator. He's the judge. He's the God that everybody, when everybody thinks of God, that's who they're thinking of. Because God the Father is above me. He's always above me. He's always other. He's the Creator who made everything in the beginning. God made it all. God created, in the beginning, God. And everybody just seems to be good with that. Anybody that believes in God at all, understands that.
What makes Christianity different is we've got Jesus, who is God, but acts in a very different way than God does. Because while God the Father is above me, Jesus is beside me. There are very few religions where God actually journeys with us. So in moments that don't make any sense, in moments that I'm breaking down, in moments that I'm falling apart, in moments that I am struggling with "why did God allow this?", Jesus is walking beside me. He's walking with and I think that's the best way for us to see Jesus. God incarnate. God in the flesh. Because God came down as Jesus and literally walked beside the disciples.
I think spiritually He's still doing that. And I have to be honest, I think even literally, that Jesus and the Holy Spirit will send humans to walk beside us. And it feels like Jesus is walking beside me in the person of this human.
Now, what does the Holy Spirit do? The Bible says that when Jesus ascended back into heaven, He was seated at the right hand of God, making intercession for us. Therefore, if you physically think about it, God creates us in the Garden of Eden, and He takes walks in the cool of the day with Adam and Eve. So He's literally beside His creation. That's broken by sin. We're going to talk about that later. But that's broken by sin. And then God can't do that anymore. We can't get that close to God anymore.
God comes in the person of Jesus. He's now beside us again. He's walking beside us again. But then Jesus goes back to heaven, seated at the right hand of God the Father. We're alone again. That's where the Holy Spirit comes in, because the Father is above me, Jesus is beside me, but the Holy Spirit is within me. The Holy Spirit is inside me. Therefore, God, now, not only is He walking alongside us, He's within us, giving us thoughts, giving us ideas, giving us direction, giving us help, giving us encouragement. Therefore, we're no longer alone.
When it was just God the Father, we were alone. When Jesus was with us, we weren't. But then when Jesus went back to be with the Father, we're kind of alone again. But then in Acts chapter two, the Holy Spirit shows up. Now, what this means is that when I face things that don't make any sense, crushing blows that I can't figure out why God allowed them, more than my need to answer, why is God doing this? Why did God do this to me? What is God trying to build in me? The non-believer would say, Why is he doing this to me?
You would say, what is God trying to teach me inside of me? What is He trying to do with me? I actually think that there's a step prior to that, where, I'm going to say a phrase I hate. I hate this phrase. Where we, for a moment, reside in the sorrow, reside in the pain. Because I think before you can exit pain, you reside in it for a minute. You just reside in it for a moment. And when you're residing in it, that's the moment when the Holy Spirit is speaking to your heart. That's the moment that you start to realize Jesus is walking beside you.
And once you realize you're not alone in this, residing in this pain, then you start to be able to unpack, what is the meaning in this? What meaning can I find in this? And the Holy Spirit guides us in that. But it takes knowing three things in my mind. It takes knowing when I'm faced with the most crushing of things. It takes knowing that there is a God that's in charge of all things. That's comforting if I know He's good. It takes knowing that there's a Jesus that walks beside me. I'm not walking it alone.
And it takes knowing that I have the Holy Spirit to be my compass and my guide, my GPS, if you will, to tell me, go this direction. Now, if I know those three things are there, then all of a sudden, the most difficult things, whatever I'm supposed to learn from them, I'll learn. But in the moment, in that residing moment, I know I'm going to be okay. I think the work of the Holy Spirit for us is to be inside of us.
A lot of people would call the voice of the Holy Spirit a conscience, or they would want to undermine it, that thing inside you that told you what was right or wrong. And they don't necessarily want to call it the Holy Spirit, but the Holy Spirit does so much inside of us: warning signs, directions. Sometimes you got to thank God for unanswered prayers, because the Holy Spirit knows that's not what you needed right now. And sometimes we ought to spend a lot of time thanking God for the things that never happened, that we ever even knew were possible to happen.
That's what the Holy Spirit is doing in our lives. It's a guidance for us, if you will. I think that's where we get peace from. Just knowing God is always with us.
If you have real questions that deserve real answers, Napkin Theology is for you! Watch the whole series of concise theology for real people here.