Dear Friends of "Dial Daily Bread,"
When Jesus was about to leave His disciples alone in this unfriendly world, He encouraged them with a promise: He would send the Holy Spirit as His Stand-in, His Replacement, a "Comforter" (says the KJV), yes, His very Presence. In John 16:7-11 He describes how it's best "for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send Him unto you."
The Holy Spirit is Jesus Himself "abiding" with us, living with us as our Companion, unseen but no less real than when Jesus walked personally with the disciples by the Sea of Galilee. He walks with us "unseen" as verily as the resurrected Jesus walked with those two disciples Sunday evening on their way to Emmaus, when their eyes were "holden" and they did not see Him (Luke 24:13ff.). He talked with them along the way. So He does with us.
Jesus, through the Holy Spirit, is determined that we shall not "backslide"--ever! Jesus, as the Holy Spirit, takes the initiative day by day, prodding us, reminding us, yes, "convicting" us of sin (John 16:8, NKJV). More than that, He personally reminds us of "righteousness" which means He won't let us forget the way we should live; at every cross-road we come to He "convicts" us of the right way to go. He never abandons us to wander in a fog! And if we listen to that prodding, that reminding, that "conviction of sin and of righteousness," and we don't beat Him off and insult Him, then He graciously "convicts [us] of judgment," meaning, "the prince of this world" [Satan] is "judged" [cast out] of our lives (John 16:11). He "convicts" us of triumph over sin; we see His power in our lives.
In other words, in plain language, it's impossible for us to "backslide" unless we do what Stephen said the scribes and Pharisees did: "you always resist the Holy Spirit" (Acts 7:51). The Holy Spirit says He will take you by the hand as a father leads a little child, or maybe the Hebrew means, take you in His "arms," but He says we squirm away from Him (see Hosea 11:3, 4, Good News Bible). There's no need for backsliding--it's time to see it as sin!
--Robert J. Wieland
From the "Dial Daily Bread" Archive: November 15, 2004.
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