John 15: 26-16: 4a
“When the Advocate comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth who comes from the Father, he will testify on my behalf. You also are to testify because you have been with me from the beginning.
“I have said these things to you to keep you from stumbling. They will put you out of the synagogues. Indeed, an hour is coming when those who kill you will think that by doing so they are offering worship to God. And they will do this because they have not known the Father or me. But I have said these things to you so that when their hour comes you may remember that I told you about them.
This is the third promise of the Paraclete in John. Parakletos literally means “the One called alongside.” The Spirit is called forth after Jesus’ departure and ascension as an “advocate” to defend and comfort the disciples in his bodily absence. In this text, the Paraclete has an additional role of testifier. Jesus tells the disciples they will be the conduit through which the Spirit witnesses for Jesus when the world starts “hating” on them. And this Paraclete will be their wingman (I prefer wingwoman!) and walk alongside them offering protection.
The hard part is trusting that the Spirit will actually show up, right?
Here’s a question: When you pray, to whom are your prayers directed? Do you pray “Dear God” or “Dear Jesus” or “Dear Holy Spirit”? Is your God Trinitarian and when you pray to God are all three wrapped as one? Personally, I am an “Oh God!” prayer. But when I am on the spot or nervous about speaking or preaching I pray to the Holy Spirit or Ghost (depending on my mood). I pray that I am just the conduit/testifier for God’s words and presence.
Years ago, I came up with an image that I employ when I am nervous about my sermon or preaching. I imagine that God is on my left side, Jesus is on my right side, and the Holy Spirit is a red ribbon who wraps me safely from head to toe in the protection of the Trinity. The ribbon is more than just red silk, in my mind it’s an energy force.
I offer this image to you so that you can feel loved and protected by the Paraclete when you feel vulnerable or afraid. Remember, the Holy Spirit never fails us for she walks alongside us through thick and thin.
Whatever it takes, Lord, fill me with the Holy Spirit and any gifting you would be pleased to give me.
(Jon Bloom, desiringGod.org)