John 16:7, Jeremiah 29:11, Colossians 1:27, John 3:16

Suzie Brock
Suzie Brock

Can you imagine for a moment spending time in the physical presence of the person you most love and admire on this earth and then having that person say to you, "It's better that I leave you"?

That is exactly what happened to Jesus' disciples when, after three years of doing life together, enjoying shared experiences with him daily and literally falling in love with him, he then shocks them with this statement: "Nevertheless I tell you the truth. It is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if I depart, I will send Him to you." (John 16:7)

How could it be! They had given up all to follow him; they hung on his every word and watched his every move, honouring him above all men, and loved him so deeply that I can't imagine the alarm and confusion they felt when Jesus announced that it would be to their advantage if he went away.

I picture myself there in that moment; I see myself throwing myself at his feet and clinging to his legs with tears streaming down my cheeks as I plead for him not to leave. I'm not a 'drama queen' by nature but I would be in that instance!

What could he have possibly meant by the word 'advantage'? How could it ever be an advantage to not be in the physical presence of love personified?

The word 'advantage' by definition means "any opportunity, or means specially favourable to success, interest, or any desired end." The heart of God that day was that we would have an advantage in this life. An advantage towards success and towards reaching our destinies in Him. He knew then that we would all need a constant help in our times of trouble, a constant access to comfort, wisdom and guidance.

The way God chose to accomplish this was by his own Holy Spirit inhabiting us. He gave his life as the greatest sacrifice and thus released his Spirit to every heart that would receive him. A constant living, thriving presence inside of us; a released power that would be forever at our beckoning, ready to lead us into paths planned for us from the beginning.

Jeremiah 29:11 says "'For I know the plans I have for you,' says the Lord. 'They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.'" That blows my mind, and what blows it more is the knowledge (yet I still lack full comprehension of it) that that 'advantage' is now mine.

Colossians 1:27 says "For God wanted them to know that the riches and glory of Christ are for you Gentiles, too. And this is the secret: Christ lives in you. This gives you assurance of sharing his glory."

Christ IN ME! This is the unimaginable advantage, Christ IN US! Every day of my life and every challenge I face, I face with an advantage. I am not left to fend for myself or to compete for survival against others; I am on the winning team; I am the advantaged one in every circumstance. I am never without help, hope or light. He is THE light living in me. If you think this is unfair you need to think again because this offer of advantage and of his Holy Spirit has always been an open offer to every heart that has ever had a beat.

John 3:16 says "For this is how God loved the world: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life."

Do you want an 'advantage' in your life? Have you always felt at a 'disadvantage'? Find Christ! If you're already a believer, but not walking in this truth, then I pray you would awaken to it, grab hold of it and walk in the great advantage that the blood of Christ shed on the cross afforded you!  CR

The opinions expressed in this article are not necessarily those held by Cross Rhythms. Any expressed views were accurate at the time of publishing but may or may not reflect the views of the individuals concerned at a later date.