Samuel’s last basketball game was today. He had just recently watched Sing 2 for a second time. The break dancing that Johnny did in that movie really struck a chord with Samuel. Between rounds, he would be down on the floor in the middle of the court attempting to break dance. Youth basketball is always an interesting thing to watch.
I wanted to talk about the number one weapon I’ve used in every single stressful situation I have had in the past 8 years. My biggest weapon is my relationship with my heavenly Father. Did I lose you right there? Are you expecting this to be a post about “You need to get saved?” Are you expecting me to preach? Hopefully I can put some fresh perspective on this topic for you, and you will be able to see this with new eyes.
Let me do a bit of a rewind to a point in Biblical history. Israel has always been opposed and has always been tiny. That they are still around and aren’t a piece of ancient history is a testament to God’s protection. When Israel was first formed, God told them to take the land of Canaan. Joshua led them in battle as their leader. Before every battle, they would consult the Lord. Let me point that out again – before every battle, they would go and ask God for success and what He recommended. Each time, God gave them specific instructions. For the few battles they lost, they would always consult God to see why, and He would tell them. The close relationship with God is the only reason Israel ever existed as a nation.
I don’t make it a secret that I rise early every morning and spend time with good coffee while spending time with God. But you may be asking yourself, how is that a weapon? How do I wage war by spending time with someone, or you are questioning if God is real…. By myself.
Maybe a weapon isn’t the right word. Maybe the better word would be the armory, the place where I go to get my weapons serviced and get new weapons. Maybe the appropriate word would be the spa, or the bed, the place I go to get rest and restoration. Maybe the appropriate word would be the war room. Maybe the appropriate word would be a time of intimacy. Does that sound too weird? Long and short, there’s not one thing I get from my morning time, there’s an incredible amount of things that I get. God is the source of ALL of my ability to fight spiritually.
I want to talk about three different names of the Holy Spirit – comforter, advocate, and paraclete.
Comforter: When I have gone through difficult things in life, when I’m wronged at work, when I fight with my wife, when I find out my son is going for yet another heart surgery – I’ve learned to chase down time with God. I get alone with Him, or if I can’t be alone, I still seek Him out. Why? The Holy Spirit is called our comforter – and in the same way a good friend helps ease your stress, He has been that for me. Why do I share that? Because no matter what you are going through, you will find a non-judgemental, loving, and comforting presence in the presence of God.
Advocate: Understanding how prayer works can sometimes be a little confusing. Why are we praying to a God if He wants what’s best for us? Do we have to ask Him if He already understands our need? Is He just too busy? When I see God from the perspective of the omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent being – yes these questions make sense. Yes, I don’t think those words are wrong in describing God in our situations, but I do think they are missing context. When God put Adam on earth – he gave him dominion over the earth. That dominion was stolen when he was tricked into eating an apple. We play a much bigger part in the battle for our lives than we realize. In other words, God is limited by what He can do on earth – because it’s not his responsibility. It is ours. But the Holy Spirit advocates for us with God. I know it’s a strange concept – but in simplicity, we are not fighting our battles alone.
Paraclete: This is a Greek word – some people translate it as Advocate in the legal sense, but some translators relate it to a Greek military term. It basically meant someone who fights with you, back to back. The Holy Spirit is there to help you wage war, back to back, side by side. You do not wage war alone, but the God of the Universe fights by your side. And just like David standing against Goliath – you and God are always a majority.
So why do I include those names and the descriptions? Because I want to urge you, whether you wake up early in the morning, or late at night, to dig into a relationship with God. He offers comfort, He offers to fight with you, and He offers specific wisdom to work through each day. I would not have been able to make it through my struggle with Samuel were it not for my daily time with God.
If you would rather hear me talk briefly about this topic, you can check it out here, when I was on my buddy Skip’s podcast: The Main Thing Podcast
- Principle 0: Whose Side is God On
- Principle 1: Using God’s Promises
- Principle 2: The Power of Your Words
- Principle 3: The Weapon of Worship
- Principle 4: Processing Frustration
- Principle 5: The Power of Relationships
- Principle 6: Fighting the Negative Thoughts
- Principle 7.1: The Other Relationship