Testimony on John 14:15-31
“If you love me, you will obey my command. And I will ask the Father and he will give you another Counselor to be with you forever – the Spirit of truth.” Jesus repeats this point four times in this passage, even saying, “He who does not love me will not obey my teaching. These words you hear are not my own; they belong to the Father who sent him.”Jesus had just spoken to the disciples about the Father – knowing him through Jesus. Now Jesus talks about the Holy Spirit, the third part of the Trinity. Jesus says that He will send us the Holy Spirit when we obey his command. And if I love Jesus, I will obey his command. I don’t want to be identified as someone who does not love Jesus, but I am identified as such when I do not obey Jesus and go my own way instead. Then it means my heart is given to something else.
Obeying God’s command is not about doing things like a robot, but it is about loving God. When I love God, I am compelled and able to obey him so freely and happily. When there is no love of God in my heart, I tend to think about myself, and then I obey what I desire or feel like doing. Loving God and obeying God come hand in hand. They are a package deal. What command does God want me to obey? God has many commands for me to obey and they pop up continuously. But the first command I really received was through John 4:35, “I tell you, open your eyes! Look at the fields! They are ripe for harvest!” I was reminded during Bible study to hold onto this command. God commanded me to look from myself, my situation, my desires, and to instead look at the harvest that is ready with a sense of urgency. If the fields are ripe for harvest, then nothing matters but to gather the crops before they spoil.
Through obeying that command, I began to really live for others by being a shepherd. I was really alarmed by that command, so I fished a lot on campus. It did not feel right to only fish minimally, if there were more crops than harvest workers. My whole view and perspective of life and serving God completely shifted through accepting that verse. I must hold onto this command. God does not want me to live for myself, but for others. And if I love Jesus, I will obey this command – finding sheep wholeheartedly despite the many no’s and no-shows. I will go to campus with faith that God’s ripe harvest is HERE on my campus and pray that the Holy Spirit may arrange things so that I find them and take care of them.
To those who love him and obey him, Jesus will ask the Father to send the Holy Spirit to us – another Counselor to be with you forever, the Spirit of Truth. Here Jesus shows what the Holy Spirit is like: that he is a counselor to be with you forever. Through the Holy Spirit I have unlimited counseling service. Even on the weekends – He is on 24/ hour call! Last Sunday morning I got into an argument with my mom when I gave into my frustration towards what she said to me in the middle of a nice pleasant conversation. My frustration turned into anger, and then I had a hard time paying attention on Sunday to the message.
I was so disappointed in myself because I had been successful all weekend long in being gentle and practicing humility, and then I slipped right before worship service! I kept praying for the Counselor to show up and counsel me, but the Holy Spirit’s counsel was through the message. After the message, all I could think was, if I love Jesus I will obey him. Obey what? Love your mother. Humble yourself. Forgive. Repent. If I love Jesus, I must struggle to be like Jesus, obey his commands, and do what Jesus desires me to do. I cannot excuse myself by saying that if I obey the command to be a harvest worker on campus, that’s enough to identify me as someone who loves Jesus. But even in the matter of humbling myself, I must obey God and love Jesus. As I saw the Holy Spirit’s humility to have unity and dwell in the hearts of sinful people who scratch his pride on the daily, I saw that I could swallow my pride and have fellowship and unity with my mother. When I do that, then I can enjoy fellowship with God again. The Holy Spirit really counsels me to repent and to have godly wisdom, values, and perspective.
When Jesus died and rose again, Jesus left his disciples to the Holy Spirit who helped them eventually understand the meaning of Jesus’ death and resurrection. He gave them deep understanding of the gospel and who Jesus is. The Holy Spirit also counsels me on how to deal with each sheep uniquely. I am thankful that because of the Holy Spirit, I don’t have to be clueless. There is always an answer. Since the beginning of my Christian life, I had a lot of questions and I knew there were answers to them all. When I open my heart to God’s wisdom and truth, then the Holy Spirit can counsel me and teach me very freely. I never have to feel stuck in my frustration or my sense of pride, but I can humble myself and listen to the Holy Spirit’s counsel. With each pride-scratching moment where my weakness is exposed, I do not have to get frustrated, but should see it as the sovereignty of the Holy Spirit to purify me. The more I do this, the more I can repent, and he will guide me to be less like my sinful self and more like Jesus at home, with sheep, at work, and in prayer. I pray to be more open to holy truth and counsel.
The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of Truth. What I loved most about God as I began to study the Bible was that he was always truthful. Sometimes the truth hurt and was challenging, but truth is so pure, real, satisfying and the only sure thing. No matter what, no matter how hard it was to accept, I simply could not deny that truth is truth. I just couldn’t deny my conscience. When I left the church, going to so many places and doing so many sinful things, no matter where I was, somehow the Holy Spirit would always give me spiritual perspective on the reality of what I was doing. I could not enjoy my sinful life freely because I knew the truth. And I couldn’t all of a sudden say that what was true was not true for no reason other than to justify myself, because I knew exactly what I was doing. So then I would always be burdened. Always.
When Shepherd Roberto saw me working at DDs once after I left, he asked me, “How are you doing?” And I could only answer honestly and say, “Only as well as you would expect me to be…” I could never deny God’s servants. God’s work was so clear. Who they were was so clear. What God had done was so clear. I could only try to hide, but unsuccessfully because the Holy Spirit found me everywhere I went. I suffered when I denied the truth. I was so miserable when I turned my face away from the truth. But God faithfully brought the truth to me. The Holy Spirit worked through Missionary Grace, through my mother, my father’s sickness, through the sisters, through everything, through strangers, through so many different things. I see how zealous and passionate the Holy Spirit is, even though he is The Holy Spirit and the Spirit of Truth. He is Holy. and He is Truth. He should not want to be near me an unholy sinner like me. But he did not leave me as an orphan, and somehow he continues to work in my life so that my life may be built up in accordance to the truth and not a lie. Surely, the Holy Spirit has such good intentions for me.
“The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you.” Through this verse, I see that despite how much the Holy Spirit works in the world and in each person’s life individually, the world does not accept him. Each person has had a moment where they really felt like God was speaking to them or trying to show them something. But the world does not see him or know him because they are blinded by worldly things, perspective, and desires. When I give into sin, I too become blind and live in the darkness. But when I turn my heart to Jesus, love him, and obey him, then I can have the Holy Spirit dwell in me. I can know him, have fellowship with him and even cowork together with him.
Then Jesus says, “On that day you will realize that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you.” Jesus then said, “If anyone loves me, he will obey my teaching. My Father will love him and we will come to him and make our home with him.” I was really touched to receive this message. In last week’s passage, Jesus reintroduced the Father and showed me how I have had fellowship with the Father all this time. I was really happy to know that God saw me as his daughter and gives me unconditional fatherly love. My heart was full. Then through this passage when Jesus reintroduces the Holy Spirit, the third part of the Trinity, I felt even more full. I was so amazed to see that I can have fellowship with the Trinity God, with each one uniquely, when I love God alone and obey his commands . And I realized that, man…with the trinity God, I never have to feel alone!! I have so much company!! My heart is a full house!! Then I realized why it was SO good to have unique fellowship with each one.
Growing up, I always wanted friends and a group of friends to have so that I could have company, never feel lonely, and feel a sense of belonging. I wanted my own little squad. Now because of Jesus, I can have the Trinity Squad and I don’t need to belong with anyone else. I realized this week that it is good and really important to have fellowship with each one uniquely. God is so social. Just like me, he likes to have fellowship, spend time together, and have a good relationship. With the Trinity God, I don’t need to long for human fellowship and acceptance, but I can enjoy an eternal Zoe-filled relationship with Jesus, the Father, and the Holy Spirit by keeping his commands and doing what pleases God.
I spent a majority of my life apart from God, living each day in shame, sin, and guilt. Never would I have imagined before that God would want to be close to me so as to make his home with me. All God wants is for me to love him. Then I can freely obey his commands, and God will be happy to make his home with me. I wondered what is this expression really about – him making his home with me. Maybe after a long day of wrestling with people in the world, God would look forward to coming home to me – dwelling with me. Instead of bringing him grief and a lot of work as I have done, I would finally be someone God is really pleased with and looks forward to spending some time with.
Lastly, Jesus promises a peace the world cannot give. I have tried to find peace by being accepted by the world, but it only led to me being far from the truth. I was far from God and burdened each day with a guilty conscience. But the greatest peace I have found is when I repent and turn all my hurt back to God. To have the assurance of God – the Trinity God – with me and even dwelling within me is a peace this world cannot give. Because of Jesus I do not have to seek peace in this world any longer. Instead I can love God, obey him, and have a peaceful home together with the Trinity God wherever I go.
Lord thank you so much for sending your Holy Spirit to guide me when I was so lost…May I love you, love the truth, and obey you so that I may enjoy my real home and real peace in you.
One Word: If you love me, you will obey my command.
So true. Without God we’re just lost and drifting through life and can’t ever find what we’re looking for. And the Trinity Squad sounds like a wonderful clique to hang out with 😊
I really enjoyed your testimony, Jean! Those words from John 4 about the harvest being ripe have been sticking with me the last couple months and your testimony encouraged me to go fishing more. Also, you got me thinking about seeking fellowship with each part of the Trinity Squad 😀 I want to seek that Zoe-filled fellowship with each one uniquely. I think it will be really wonderful!
I am touched and inspired to see things with that perspective that the harvest is ripe and ready despite the rejections. I can see Jesus’ love in your life and your struggle to obey Him.
The Trinity squad! Man, I can really relate to what you said about wanting a group of friends like that, but these 3 are the coolest and most awesome people out there. Just to be desired by them is maybe the greatest blessing possible. I want to have a home for them to come to where they can be pleased with and not be burdened so may God help me and us to have a wonderful home environment for them. Thank you for this testimony