The Spirit of your Father

Scripture Reading

But when they deliver you up, take no thought how or what ye shall speak: for it shall be given you in that same hour what ye shall speak. For it is not ye that speak, but the Spirit of your Father which speaketh in you.

Matt. 10:19-20

The Setting

The setting for this passage of scripture takes place when Jesus instructs his twelve disciples to go out and preach to the lost sheep of Israel; telling them the kingdom of heaven is at hand (Matt. 10:5-8). Picture yourself for a moment as one of the twelve disciples. Here you have been following Jesus around for quite some time but now he is telling you to go preach to fellow Jews on his behalf. First he empowers you though with miraculous powers, “Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils.” [Matt. 10:8] Then he warns you that not everyone or every town will receive your message but they will deliver you up to the councils and will scourge you in their synagogues and you will be brought before governors and kings (Matt. 10:17-18). Would you have accepted the mission before you?

This setting above brings us to this week’s scripture reading when Jesus assures his disciples that they are to take no thought, or worry, on how or what they will say; rather he tells them that it will be the Spirit of your Father speaking in you, or on your behalf. What a statement! How often have we been in a situation or circumstance where we fumbled for words or doubted our message and yet perhaps we only needed to trust that God was speaking to us or in this case through us? This may have occured while trying to share the message of the gospel with someone or maybe just during conversation in everyday life. Perhaps it raises the question though, does God speak to us in the scriptures or in Spirit?

And God said, Let there be light: and there was light.

Gen. 1:3

God Speaks

This fact quickly becomes evident in the first chapter of the Bible during the creation of the world, “And God said, Let there be light: and there was light.” [Gen. 1:3] Following this, God then first spoke to people, “And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.” [Gen. 1:28] But did you know some of the most well known biblical characters struggled with trusting God and to speak on his behalf?

Man Doubts

Take Moses for example. He was commanded by the Lord to go and speak on his behalf to Pharaoh who ruled Egypt and was a tyrant over the people of Israel. But this was Moses’ response to the Lord, “And Moses said unto the LORD, O my Lord, I [am] not eloquent, neither heretofore, nor since thou hast spoken unto thy servant: but I [am] slow of speech, and of a slow tongue.” [Ex. 4:10] The Lord rebukes Moses for this in the next verses, “And the LORD said unto him, Who hath made man’s mouth? or who maketh the dumb, or deaf, or the seeing, or the blind? have not I the LORD? Now therefore go, and I will be with thy mouth, and teach thee what thou shalt say.” [Ex. 4:11-12] If only Moses had realized at that time the incredible role and prominence he would play in bringing the Israelites out of the land of Egypt.

And the LORD said unto him, Who hath made man’s mouth?

Ex. 4:11

Oracles of God

Two other references from the Old Testament are worth noting to see how the Father speaks through people. Consider how King David expressed words of praise on behalf of the Lord in the Psalms, “My mouth shall speak the praise of the LORD: and let all flesh bless his holy name for ever and ever.” {Ps. 145:21] Note also how the ancient prophet Isaiah spoke as the oracle of the Lord himself, “As for me, this [is] my covenant with them, saith the LORD; My spirit that [is] upon thee, and my words which I have put in thy mouth, shall not depart out of thy mouth, nor out of the mouth of thy seed, nor out of the mouth of thy seed’s seed, saith the LORD, from henceforth and for ever.” [Is. 59:21]

My mouth shall speak the praise of the LORD: and let all flesh bless his holy name for ever and ever.

Ps. 145:21

Jesus and the Father

Let us transition over to the New Testament to see how Jesus spoke on the Father’s behalf throughout his earthly ministry. We will see that Christianity is not only a spiritual relationship with God; but it is also about living a life in complete dependence upon him. For evidence of this, there is no greater example in scripture than the Son of God who lived his life on earth in complete dependence upon the heavenly Father.

In a world often obsessed with self improvement, self esteem, self worth, self everything, we will see that Jesus turns this type of ideology on its head. Let us not forget that Jesus is the Son of God who was manifest in human flesh, but Jesus approached his role in complete humility and submission to the Father, “Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.” [Phil. 2:6-8]

God [is] a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship [him] in spirit and in truth.

John 4:24

The Father sent Jesus

In the preaching of Jesus, he brought the focus not on himself but on the Father as recorded in this statement, “I have many things to say and to judge of you: but he that sent me is true; and I speak to the world those things which I have heard of him.” [John 8:26] Jesus then continued with more pronounced emphasis on the Father, “Then said Jesus unto them, When ye have lifted up the Son of man, then shall ye know that I am [he,] and [that] I do nothing of myself; but as my Father hath taught me, I speak these things.” [John 8:28] Did everyone just catch the connection to this week’s scripture reading? Jesus told his disciples that it will be the Spirit of your Father speaking in you and during his ministry he was portraying that same point whenever he spoke to the multitudes.

For I have not spoken of myself; but the Father which sent me, he gave me a commandment, what I should say, and what I should speak.

John 12:49

The Everlasting Commandment

As his earthly ministry continued in the midst of unbelieving and skeptical Jews, Jesus maintained his resolve to consistently present a message in reliance upon the theme of this week’s scripture reading, “For I have not spoken of myself; but the Father which sent me, he gave me a commandment, what I should say, and what I should speak. And I know that his commandment is life everlasting: whatsoever I speak therefore, even as the Father said unto me, so I speak.” [John 12:49-50] Let us continue on as Jesus brings even more emphasis to this point by saying, “Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in me? the words that I speak unto you I speak not of myself: but the Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works.” [John 14:10] Jesus leaves no ambiguity in that he was sent by the Father into the world and that he was fulfilling the will of the Father.

When ye have lifted up the Son of man, then shall ye know that I am [he,] and [that] I do nothing of myself; but as my Father hath taught me, I speak these things.

John 8:28

The Christian Life

Step back for a moment and give some thought to all these passages of scripture on the Spirit of your Father. If Jesus lived his earthly life in complete dependence upon the Father, should we not also live our lives in the same manner? The Christian life is not meant or intended to be lived through self will and self effort. It is not meant to be lived in self improvement, better self esteem and self worth. It is to be lived in submission of and dependence upon the Lord God.

By living a life of faith in God and by loving him with all of our heart, soul and mind, this then brings us to one last message from the Lord, “Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him.” ]John 14:23] This is the Spirit of your Father, living a life in complete dependence upon him!

Bible Study Questions

  1. In this study on the Spirit of your Father, ask yourself if you were one of the apostles, would your faith have trusted Jesus’s statement about the Father speaking on your behalf?
  2. Can you name the very first verse in the Bible when God spoke?
  3. Why do you think Moses felt so inadequate to speak on God’s behalf to Pharaoh?
  4. Why did Jesus make so many statements to the Jews about his interdependence upon the Father?
  5. Can you find the verses in John where Jesus speaks of the everlasting commandment from the Father? Hint – John 17:1-3
  6. In this study, who is it that gives believers eternal life? Hint – same verses as question 5.
  7. What is something you can do today to live in more reliance upon the Spirit of your Father and less on your own effort?

WORD GUIDE – * (ass – donkey) * (smitten – to strike)

Helpful Resources

For reference, here are some frequently asked questions that are answered in this Bible Study. It is with sincere prayer that they have been answered through carefully researched and written commentary for seekers of faith. The absence of answers in the study is perhaps indicative that the events and circumstances were deemed less worthy of documentation in the overall importance of biblical scripture. What the Spirit of your Father means? What does the Bible say about the Father’s Spirit? What is the meaning of Matthew 10:19-20? Spirit of the Father verse. God will give you the words to speak verse. God will speak for you. The Holy Spirit will speak for you KJV.

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