Tuesday, November 18, 2008

“ABBA, FATHER”

The Holy Ghost has a way of simplifying our relationship with God the Father and Jesus. He is the One who teaches us to say, “Abba, Father.”

This phrase refers to an oriental custom of Bible days, regarding the adoption of a child. Until the adopting papers were signed and sealed by the adopting father, the child saw this man only as a father. He had no right to call him Abba, meaning “my.”

Yet, as soon as the papers were signed, registered and sealed, the child’s tutor presented him to the adopting father—and for the first time the child could say, “Abba, Father!” As the father embraced him, the young one cried, “My father! He’s not just a father anymore. He’s mine!”

This is the work and ministry of the Holy Spirit. He tutors you of Christ. He presents you to the Father. And he keeps reminding you, “I have sealed the papers. You are no longer an orphan—you are legally a son of God! You now have a very loving, wealthy, powerful Father. Embrace him—call him ‘my Father.’ I have come to show you how much you’re loved by him! He loved and wanted you!”

Our cry should be one of exceeding joy and thanksgiving. The Spirit in us literally cries out, “You are an heir, an inheritor of all that Jesus won.” And what an inheritance you have, because your FATHER is the wealthiest in the whole universe! Don’t shy away from him, he’s not mad at you. Stop acting like an orphan who’s poverty-stricken, lacking joy and spiritual victory. You are not forsaken—so enjoy him!

Not only are we not forsaken but the Holy Spirit is there with us during moments of confusion and suffering.

The Holy Spirit’s mission is to comfort Christ’s bride in the absence of the Bridegroom. “He shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever” (John 14:16). “But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost” (v. 26).

Comforter means “one who soothes in a time of pain or grief”—one who eases pain and sorrow, brings relief, consoles and encourages. But I like this definition from the Greek: “One who lays you down on a warm bed of safety.” During the cold, dark night of your soul, he lays you down on the soft bed of his comfort, soothing you with his tender hand.

By calling the Holy Spirit the Comforter, Jesus made an infallible prediction. He was predicting his people would be suffering discomfort, and would be in need of comfort—that there would be a lot of pain and suffering among his people in the last days.

The Holy Spirit brings comfort by reminding you that he lives in you with all the power of God inherent in his being. And that’s why you can say, “Greater is he that is in me than all the world powers combined—greater than all demon powers!” God sent the Spirit to use all his power to keep you out of the clutches of Satan—to lift your spirit, drive away all depression and flood your soul with the love of your Lord.

“We glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience…. And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us” (Romans 5:3, 5).