It is amazing to think of the things that come to exist through Christ—a restored relationship with God, a new heart, a changed life, a renewed mind, the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, fruitful works, a love for people, and eternal life in the most ecstatic place…the habitat of God Almighty.
It is equally amazing the “old things” that pass away with Christ as well, things like hopelessness, despair, and slavery being but a tinge of this blessedly extensive list.
A member of the “older things” I wish to discuss is aloneness. God has promised that as His children, we are never truly alone; the number 1 is almost entirely removed from the life of a Christian. It is a simple premise based on the words of several Scriptural passages.
When the Helper comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, that is the Spirit of truth who proceeds from the Father, He will testify about Me… (John 15:26) But I tell you the truth, it is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if I go, I will send Him to you. (John 16:7)
It is clear God has promised us a Person to dwell with us (and in fact, in us) perpetually. Earlier in John, the writer clarifies the identity of the Helper:
I [Jesus] will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may be with you forever; that is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it does not see Him or know Him, but you know Him because He abides with you and will be in you…But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I said to you. (John 14:16–17, 26)
This Helper and Companion is in fact the Third Person of the Trinity, the Holy Spirit, who dwells both with us and within us. In Hebrews 13:5–6, it is also said that “I [God] will never desert, nor will I ever forsake you,” and then later, “The LORD is my helper, I will not be afraid.”
So as Christians, there is no such thing as:
- A hotel reservation for 1. The Psalmist David said, “Where can I go from Your Spirit? Or where can I flee from Your presence (Psalm 139:7)?” Notice even in the Old Testament the recognition of God’s companionship with man in the person of His Holy Spirit. As an aside, this is why the coming of Christ (the Son) to earth was so distinctive, for never before had God dwelt among men in the person of His Son.
- A solo recital. This stems from one of my recent blogs, “The Nature of Work.” If (1) God is interested in my work and (2) the Spirit actually lives in me as a Helper to bear fruit and work good for His pleasure, it follows that nothing I do has to be performed in my own strength. Paul discovered this assurance when he wrote, “I can do all things through Him who strengthens me (Philippians 4:13),” as did David:
For who is God, but the Lord? And who is a rock, except our God, the God who girds me with strength and makes my way blameless? He makes my feet like hinds’ feet, and sets me upon my high places. He trains my hands for battle, so that my arms can bend a bow of bronze. (Psalm 18:31–34)
Nehemiah also asked for God to “strengthen [his] hands” (Nehemiah 6:9) when the workers rebuilding the wall of Jerusalem were being discouraged in their work by neighboring tribes. As a Christian performer, I know that I play best when I allows God to play through me. Though I prepare, God is also within me to strengthen me in my performance. That counts as two distinct persons, though one is certainly greater than the other. I sometimes imagine it as a teacher holding my hand as I learn to write alphabet letters. Other examples of God’s strength working through man include 1 Chronicles 16:11, Psalm 28:7–8, Psalm 84:5, Habakkuk 3:19, and Ephesians 3:16–17.
Finally, there is no such thing as…
- A single man or woman. Single infers that a person is not in an intimate relationship with another being. On two accounts is the term falsified as Christians: first, we do have an intimate relationship with God (stronger then any relationship created on earth) through the reconciliation of Christ; second, as the “Bride of Christ,” we are betrothed to another Being and thus cannot be called single but more accurately “engaged.” Again, the number 1 disappears in the presence of Christ.
What things once existed in your life that disappeared when you entered into a relationship with Christ? Addiction? Worry? Fear? Leave your comment below.