(Click to listen to an audio recording of this article, read by the author: Why do I need the Holy Spirit?)
Our own limits
It doesn’t matter how good your intentions are; it’s impossible to come to the life the Scriptures speak about on your own. You can have a good desire. You can have the best desire in the world. But you are limited, really. There are limits to what you can manage on your own.
You can gain a sense of what is right and wrong, according to your upbringing or surroundings. Your conscience can help you to a certain point. And you can manage a good bit of self-control over what people see, or that which is outward. But there’s one commandment that has to do with the inner life, and nobody can see if you’re transgressing it or not: “You shall not covet.” Covetousness is an inward desire, and since nobody can see what happens in your thoughts, not even the law can “arrest” you for that.
And, there, it’s like you hit a wall.
Power for the impossible
When you face the desires that arise from inside and the thoughts that come in the time of temptation, your own human abilities, your character traits and your best intentions can only help so much, regardless of how “good” they are.
Just consider someone like King David. He was described as a man after God’s own heart, and even he couldn’t manage a life of complete victory over sin. When it came to his own desires, covetousness and lust of the eyes, he simply couldn’t overcome. These lusts and desires led him into physical transgression. (2 Samuel 11-12) And David was a good, good man; we’re not talking about just anybody. We read in Psalm 51 that he sorrowed over his sin and repented from it, but he didn’t have the power necessary to overcome it.
Unlimited help and guidance
There is nobody who knows everything, right from the start. But, the Holy Spirit does know, because He was together with Jesus throughout His entire life. He knows Jesus’ footsteps, who, when He was a man like us, never sinned, despite being tempted in all things. (Hebrews 4:15; 1 Peter 2:21-22)
So the Holy Spirit can be a guide for you, showing you your own sin and giving you power to overcome the sin you are conscious of. He can also show you things that you need to be cleansed from, unconscious sin: things that you weren’t necessarily aware of. He is called the Spirit of Truth, The Helper and the Teacher, and He can train you in righteousness and give you all the power you need to live a victorious life!
Jesus described the Spirit that would come after He left. He said, “But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you.” John 14:26.
The Holy Spirit has many things to tell you. He can give you strength, help, comfort and guidance. By obeying Him, you can live the faithful life that you have longed for. You can have communion with God, and always be in tune with His voice. You can become an heir with Christ, an overcomer, someone with a future, not only here on earth, but in all eternity! Have you asked to receive the Holy Spirit?