“Father, I entrust my spirit into your hands!” –Luke 23:46
“I am telling you these things now while I am still with you. But when the Father sends the Advocate as my representative—that is, the Holy Spirit—he will teach you everything and will remind you of everything I have told you.” (John 14:25–26 NLT)
If given the choice, the disciples would likely have chosen that Jesus remain with them rather than leave and send the Holy Spirit as His representative. After all, Jesus was their friend; they knew Him; they loved Him. The Holy Spirit was someone new to them. Yet it is the Holy Spirit who has served an important role within the church and within the formation of God’s people over the last 2,000 years, a role that Jesus could not serve. When the Holy Spirit arrived in tongues of fire during Pentecost, we were gifted with direct and immediate access to the Father, a Comforter, an Advocate, a Counselor.
Paul writes in Philippians 1:6 that he is “certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns.” There is a deep, abiding trust in this statement concerning God’s activity in our lives. He is working within us, even now, both as a community of people and as individuals. The work of spiritual formation—the molding of our lives into the image of Christ in our world—is still our responsibility, at least in part, but our work is done in conjunction with the Holy Spirit. Thus, the arrival of the Holy Spirit marked the beginning of God’s continual and active presence and formational work within the lives of all of His followers. How is the Holy Spirit working in you today, and what can you do to partner with Him in this good work?