This resource is adapted from our Ezer Equipped monthly newsletter dedicated to equipping our women with content, from both within and outside of our church, to help us continue to grow as disciple and disciple-makers. To subscribe to the Ezer Equipped newsletter, click here.
Welcome to this month's edition of Ezer Equipped!
It’s been a weird two months. Businesses are closed. Gatherings canceled. Human connection has been limited to those within our own household. And rather than being gathered together every Sunday, the church has been scattered, dispersed. As an introvert, I didn’t really think this would bother me much. But I have felt times of loneliness, isolation, and longing for connection. But even though we are isolated and scattered, we are not alone! In times like this, we can take great comfort in the promise of God with us!
In John 14, with the cross looming on the horizon, Jesus’ took great care to prepare his disciples for his departure. He knew his crucifixion would leave them distraught and disoriented. But he promised to send them another who would never leave them—the Holy Spirit. He even goes so far as to say that it is better for them if he goes away so he can send the Spirit to them (John 16:5-7). Better? Really? If I am honest, a lot of times I would prefer to have Jesus beside me rather than the Spirit inside me (to quote the words of Pastor J.D. Greear). I think that is true for many of us because we don’t really understand the magnitude of the Spirit’s role in our lives.
The Spirit’s ministry to us is vital. He gives us new life and new birth (Titus 3:4-6) and he continues to transform us into the image and likeness of Christ (2 Cor. 3:18). In other words, it is through his work that we become children of God (regeneration) and through his work that we become like Christ (sanctification). This means the Spirit is at work in us from beginning to end, from cradle to grave. Jesus calls him our “helper”, our “advocate”; he is our Ezer—coming alongside us to strengthen, encourage, guide, comfort, convict, teach, and remind us of truth. How amazing to know we are not left to stumble through life with only our own “wisdom” to lead us!
But as if that weren’t enough, there’s more! He unites us in an intimate and rich relationship with the Godhead, in which we experience the grace of Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit. His presence in us identifies us as children of God and serves as a guarantee of our future inheritance as co-heirs with Christ. He empowers us in God’s mission, emboldens us in times of fear, strengthens us in weakness, groans alongside us in suffering, and prays for us without ceasing.
There is much to say about the third person of the Trinity, and we won’t be able to cover it all in-depth so over the next two months we will focus on two specific aspects of his work. This month, we are discussing his ministry to us individually, which unites us in communion with God. In June, we will focus on the Holy Spirit’s ministry through us, which unites us in communion and service to one another. We pray you find the resources provided, not only informational but also profoundly encouraging and transformative.
“May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.” 2 Corinthians 13:14
Grace Church Women’s Discipleship Advisor
Book: John 14:15-26
In this passage, Jesus promises he will not leave his disciples alone, but that he will send another helper to them who will never leave them. This promise also applies to us and can bring us great encouragement and strength in times of uncertainty, suffering, loneliness, or anxiety.
“I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate, who will never leave you.”
Article: The Holy Spirit Is Your Helper
by: Paul Tautges
As believers, the Holy Spirit comes alongside us. His ministry to us is vital. In this short article, the author explores a few ways in which the Holy Spirit comes alongside us as our helper.
“Scripture teaches that every true believer has been united to Christ by the ministry of the Holy Spirit (1 Cor. 12:13). Therefore, when it comes to the Holy Spirit’s presence, there are no ‘haves’ and ‘have-nots’ among Christians. By His grace—and because of the promise of Jesus—the Spirit is now every believer’s helper. He comes alongside you to comfort, empower, encourage, help, and sustain you.”
by: J.D. Greear
This book is accessible and easy to read, and yet it is full of helpful and practical truth regarding the Holy Spirit. Greear guides us through six distinct ways we experience the Spirit’s presence: the gospel, the Word of God, our giftings, the church, our spirit, and our circumstances.
“Because Jesus took our punishment, we share in his position before the Father (2 Cor. 5:21, Gal. 3:26-27). In Christ God looks at us and says, ‘You are my beloved son [or daughter]; in you [because of Christ] I am well pleased.’ As we believe this, the Spirit falls on us, as he did on Jesus. As he floods our hearts, we feel the truth of the gospel intimately. The more intimate we become with the gospel, the more the Spirit manifests himself to us. The more I embrace that I am his son, the more I am filled with his Spirit.”
Video: The Holy Spirit
by: Jeff Eenigenburg
In this short video, our Taylors campus worship pastor encourages us, that as believers, God has given us his Holy Spirit—just as Jesus promised. And he highlights a few key ways the Holy Spirit ministers to us in times of need.
“Whatever you’re facing right now, whatever confusion you might have in your life, whatever sense of isolation you might have, know that you are not alone because the Holy Spirit is living in you. He is resourcing you. He is comforting you. He has secured you. He’s giving you guidance and wisdom, and he is praying for you. You’re not alone!”
by: Revive Our Hearts
In this podcast, Nancy Leigh Wolgemuth clearly explains the specific ministry of the Holy Spirit and explores the ways he works in and through believers.
“Now, whether you realize it or not, you are absolutely dependent upon the Holy Spirit for every single aspect of your Christian life. And whether you realize it or not, if you are a child of God, you have inside of you the greatest Source of power in all the universe!
So if like me, you often feel weak and inadequate and unable to do what God has called you to do or to be the woman you know God wants you to be, let me just remind you, you have the Holy Spirit inside you—the greatest power in the universe!”
We encourage you to use these conversation starters as a means of self-reflection and for discussion within your community.
- The Holy Spirit’s ministry to us is similar to that of an ezer—one who brings necessary strength and aid to someone in a position of vulnerability and weakness. Have you ever thought about God being your ezer? If you lived in the reality of this truth, how would it impact your daily life? How might it change your relationship with and understanding of God?
- There are two ditches we could fall into where the Holy Spirit is concerned. One is to neglect the supernatural work of the Spirit and the other is to abuse and distort his work. Based on your experience, how would you characterize your relationship with and understanding of the work of the Holy Spirit? How has your bias hindered your reliance on the Holy Spirit?
Scripture warns us to not just be hearers of the Word but to be doers of it as well. All of life is repentance. What is a believable next step God is calling you to take in response to all you’ve learned? Pick one or two of the below steps to take.
- We all have gaps and bias that impair our understanding of the Holy Spirit. The Spirit of God never operates apart from the word of God—but only speaks what he receives from the Father and the Son. So we have created a new resource for you: The Holy Spirit’s Ministry To Me that explores his work in us, which we hope both encourage and equip you. Print this out and work through it over the next month.
- Read Romans 8. Paul mentions the Holy Spirit twenty-two times in this chapter. As you read, make a list of all the ways Paul says the Spirit is at work in the life of a believer.
Additional Resources for Further Study
Book: Forgotten God
by: Francis Chan
Article: 6 Ways We Experience the Holy Spirit
by: J.D. Greear
by: Scofield Foster
by: Matt Williams
Podcast: Part 1: The Spirit of the OT vs. The Spirit of Christianity
by: The Bible Project
Part 2: God's Ruakh
by: The Bible Project
Part 3: Holy Spirit in the New Testament
by: The Bible Project