“But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit’the Father will send Him in My name—will teach you all things and remind you of everything I have told you.”
While taking a final my sophomore year in college, I needed help with an answer. I remember the moment clearly. I was drawing a blank—almost sure I’d never learned the material. Then suddenly, there was a distinct moment of clarity when I knew the answer. It seemed to come from within me, but not really from me. It seemed to spring fully formed from my head onto the paper. I sat in awe for a few seconds before I finished the rest of the test.
That experience revealed to me what real truth feels like. It was a “knowing,” crystal clear and unwavering. I don’t mean what feels true, but truth with a capital T. We all have our individual truths, those beliefs and experiences that filter the way we see the world. Sometimes, however, those aren’t a real absolute, but rather our understanding of the way the world works, or because of a situation in our past—how we relate to it. My truth is easily influenced and twisted by others. You could call that being flexible, even teachable. However, real truth is not negotiable. There was a fifteen-year period in my life when I didn’t understand the difference between absolute truth and someone else’s personal truth. My soul bears the scars of that season and my lack of knowledge of truth.
The Holy Spirit comes to us to teach us not just truths about Jesus, but the truth of Jesus—who He is, what He has done, and why it is imperative to live His way. There is plenty of mystery in our faith, and plenty to wonder over. Even so, that mystery is grounded in the absolute—personified in Jesus Christ—as a reflection of the invisible God. It is the responsibility and mission of the Holy Spirit to ground us in that absolute, to teach us and remind us of Jesus. Real truth is not relative or subjective—it is what it is and we know it at a visceral level. No amount of validation, justification, liberalization, generational teaching, preferences, or cultural norms can change the absolute truth. It is up to us to go deep, and to go past what we have learned to seek the real truth of the revealed truth in Scripture.
God the Holy Spirit wants us to have moments of clarity—experiences we know are real and true. He wants us to know Jesus and make our understanding clear and in line with Him. That involves feeling, but also growing into it as an intentional process. We must be diligent in discerning right from wrong, as well as being teachable in His hands. It may take time to work out what He is revealing and apply it to our lives, to break down and through relative truths. The Holy Spirit has to loosen their hold. The truth sometimes has to bubble up from such a deep place that it takes a long time.
The unique and beautiful grace of a relationship with the Holy Spirit is that He is constantly soaking us in the truth. He doesn’t reveal cold, hard facts, but warm, life-restoring love. The more time we spend with Him, the more we are exposed to the absolute of Christ. The more we let Him teach and remind us of Christ, the more liberated we become to live as He intended. The Holy Spirit is the most stable structure to build upon. As the classic hymn says, “On Christ, the solid Rock, I stand; all other ground is sinking sand.”
Come, Holy Spirit, to teach me new things about Jesus and about Yourself today. Reveal the truth to my spirit and let it sink into my mind, heart, and body. Remind me of Jesus’ words throughout my day and let me live according to the deep truth of Your counsel. In Jesus’ name, amen.
What hope for revelation do you carry to better understand what the Lord is doing in your circumstances?
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