The Advocate April 4-8

The Holy Spirit is the One who dwells in us, guides us, and convicts us of sin. We could not live a holy life without His power. However, we cannot experience His power without totally yielding to Him. From the moment of spiritual birth, the Holy Spirit indwells, or resides in, every Christian. But to be controlled by the Holy Spirit, we must, as an act of our wills, completely surrender our lives in obedience to Christ. Many believers experience episodes of contact with the Spirit rather than the fullness of the Spirit in their lives. They may have periods of victory followed quickly by seasons of spiritual defeat. This is frustrating and discouraging. By surrendering fully to the Spirit, we can live a truly transformed life in which the Spirit guides our thoughts, words, and actions.

Day 1      John 15:26-27

Reflect: Based on this text, how do you understand the word testify? How does the Holy Spirit’s testimony to the disciples differ from the testimony the disciples are called to give?

Apply:   What truth is the Holy Spirit presently teaching you? What works of the Lord in your life are worthy of testifying about? Ask the Holy Spirit for courage to do so.

Pray:       Father, may I be a reliable and inspired witness for Jesus. Use my life and testimony for You to bless future generations.

Day 2      John 16:1-6

Reflect:  What did Jesus not want to happen to His disciples? Who would be fighting against them and why? How will Jesus’ “I told you so” comment help them in this?

Apply:     How would you describe the battles we face today? Who are our enemies? How should we prepare ourselves? How do Jesus’ words apply to us?

Pray:       Holy Spirit, may I increasingly take note of all You teach me to keep me from stumbling.  Thank You for the courage and strength for my battles and the rest that comes from my confidence in You.

Day 3     John 16:7-11

Reflect:  How would you summarize the Spirit’s role in the world? How do you understand the three things of which He convicts us? Why is this beneficial?

Apply:    How have you experienced conviction from the Holy Spirit? Do you think a surrendered life responds differently to conviction? Why or why not?

Pray:       Holy Spirit, bring me to a fresh place of godly sorrow for my sin. Thank You for Your grace that convicts, humbles, and frees me to live and to love to God’s glory.

Day 4      John 16:12-15

Reflect:  What do you see about the Spirit’s role in the Trinity? What role does the Holy Spirit play? How does the Spirit help to bring glory to Christ?

Apply:    How has the Spirit guided you in your walk? How did you accept it? What happened as a result? Do you think a surrendered life responds differently to guidance? Why or why not?

Pray:       God, help me to be more open to Your Spirit of truth. Increase my capacity to take in all         You want to reveal to me at the appropriate times in my life.

Day 5     John 16:16-24 

Reflect: What are some of the ways that sorrow is turned to joy at the cross? How would you explain verses 23-24 to someone? How does the call to surrender play a part in this?

Apply:    How have you or someone you love experienced what Jesus talks about in verse 21? What would change if you viewed your current difficulties “in reverse” with the knowledge that God will one day work through them?

Pray:       Father, thank You for the privilege of knowing wonderful things from Your Word and for the indwelling Holy Spirit to guide me into a greater knowledge of the things of God. Holy Spirit, open my understanding as I study Your Word and seek You.

Put It Into Practice

Recall ways you have been convicted by the Holy Spirit (given you a clear indication not to do something) and how you responded. Then consider ways He has affirmed or guided you (given you permission to do or released you from doing something) and how you responded. The more we listen and obey, the more we will hear Him. Ask the Holy Spirit to speak more loudly and then practice the 10-second rule: respond to Him within 10 seconds of hearing from Him!