I would like to speak a little more about spiritual mothers, near and far. Beginning with the Scriptures: John 14:16-18, “And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you forever; even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you. I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you.”
Notice that there are two comforters in the passage, Jesus is the first, and The Spirit of truth is “another comforter”. Notice both of these comforters have been with the disciples, and both of them are going to be in them.
And then John 16:12-15: “I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now. Howbeit when he, the spirit of truth come, he will guide you into all truth: for he will not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come. He will glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall show it unto you. All things that the Father hath are mine: therefore Said I, that he shall take of mine, and shall shew it unto you.”
Again, notice here “the Spirit of truth” is not the same person as Jesus. In this discussion, there is clearly Jesus, and the One who will bring us, or show us, the things that are His.
So then, what is the outcome? In First Corinthians 15:45 it is written, “The first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam was made a life giving spirit.” Jesus became a life-giving Spirit.
The promise of the Father is that we would have all of Him living in us. Jesus is in us, as a life-giving Spirit, and the Holy Spirit is in us as our teacher, our source of power for speaking and doing.
Jesus is in us as our identity, and the Holy Spirit is in us to teach us who we are in this new identity. The Holy Spirit teaches us about this Christ who is now our life, “Christ in us, the hope of Glory”. On the one hand, there is the Life in us, and, on the other hand, the power to understand and live out this Life.
A person with an identity crisis is already defeated. This is Satan’s first point of attack, either preventing us from finding out who we are in God, or making us forget it.
Now where mothers are concerned, the same two things apply: identity, and nurture. For the purpose of illustration, let me take this to the extremes. At the beginning of our life, mothering, for us, is all nurture. There is not yet the capacity for our identity to be formed; the benefit of us having parents comes along later with maturity. But at the other end of life, there is no nurture—only identity. All too quickly, it seems, the nurture flows in the other direction, as children have to take care of the parents in their old age! If everything is working right, by that time the children know who they are, and the flow of life can easily go the other way. (John 13:3-5)
In other words, one of the things that life teaches us, is that as we mature we are nurtured by more and more people. In the beginning, only a mother can give us anything, then a father, then siblings, (although that is not always a pretty sight) then teachers, and friends, and finally strangers. Once that degree of maturity is achieved, the nurturing part of mothering is not so important any more. But the identity part is always important: “Then shall we know even as we are known,” I Corinthians 13:12. Even when your mother goes on to be with the Lord, your identity will be set in her.
What a great hope we have in Christ!
~ By Jay Ferris