When the Lord told His disciples he was going away, Peter didn’t take it well—he rebuked Jesus! (See Matt. 16:21-23.) The impulsive disciple had a tough enough time following when the Lord was standing ten feet away; how much more difficult would obedience and loyalty be if Christ wasn’t physically present? We can certainly understand the disciples’ fear and frustration. But Jesus promises to leave them—and us—with a Helper.
For many years I had the idea that though my salvation was by faith, God’s approval had to be earned. So I did my best but never felt it was good enough. I struggled, failed, tried again, and failed some more. I am grateful the Lord directed me to His better way.
Because God wants His children to experience victory, He equips us with the Holy Spirit. When we yield to Him, He empowers us, guides us, and expresses the ways of Jesus Christ through our character, conversation, and conduct. On paper, this looks like a passive sort of existence, but in fact, we are constantly confronted with the responsibility to make a choice: We can either follow the Spirit’s promptings or act in our own strength. The latter frequently ends in despair, disaster, or both.
Think about those days when you are “too busy to pray”—or the times you think, Why bother God when there isn’t much going on? The truth is, you’re then relying on yourself. But even when life is routine and boring, the Father wants us depending upon His Spirit to guide us on paths of righteousness.
Bible in One Year: Romans 4-6