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Dear Partner,

In the early years after I made the commitment to spend much time in prayer, seeking a deeper level of fellowship with the Lord, I was shocked as I began to hear the voice of the Holy Spirit. The things He said to me sounded so un-religious, so very different from what I had been taught by systems of religion for most of my life.

For example, one of the very first things the Holy Spirit ever said to me was, "I am your Friend." What? What was that? You are my friend? Most of us have been blessed to have at least one, and perhaps a few, real friends in our lives. As I began to try and digest the concept that the Holy Spirit is my friend, the religious training in my mind began giving me all kinds of trouble. How could this be? My concept of "GAWD" (including God the Holy Spirit) was that He was an absolute perfectionist who would only fellowship with me if my behavior was meticulously perfect. In contrast, my human friends loved me in spite of all my faults.

Also it seemed to me in those days that it was virtually impossible to get real (practical) help from "GAWD" while, by contrast, my friends were always eager to help me if I was in any kind of trouble. What's going on here? The Holy Ghost is telling me He is my friend. What does He mean by that? The New American Heritage Dictionary gives the following definitions of the word friend:

  1. A person whom one knows, likes, and trusts.
  2. A person with whom one is allied in a struggle or cause; a comrade.

I had no problem relating these definitions to my earthly friends. Of course my earthly friends know me, like me, and trust me. I know them, like them, and trust them. My earthly friends are always willing to ally themselves with me if I am in any kind of trouble and I would do the same for them. But the question was, could I believe these same things about the Holy Spirit?

I didn't have any problem with the concept that the Holy Spirit "knows" me because God is all-knowing. But, you see, that was part of the problem. I was aware that He knew me, which meant He also knew all of my faults and shortcomings. My thinking was, "Well, since He knows me, He cannot possibly like me." But wait a minute! My earthly friends know me. They know all of my faults and shortcomings, yet they still like me and they are still my friends. Could it be possible that the Holy Spirit is my friend in exactly that same way? I was really having a hard time believing it until one day, while praying in the Spirit, the Holy Ghost elaborated by saying to me,

"Think not religiously that I am only with you when your performance meets certain standards. I have been with you in your finest hour. I have been with you in your worst. I have been sent to abide with you ... forever! The blood is continually available for you. It never loses its power to cleanse. The blood will never fail you. The blood will never lose its power to cleanse you and keep you in fellowship with Me, says the Spirit of Grace."

"I am the Friend Who has seen you at your worst, yet I still love you. I cannot be shocked. I cannot be surprised. I can be pleased and I can be grieved, but My fellowship with you is not so fragile that I would break off that fellowship when I see your failings. You have earthly friends who love you more than that. Think you not that I love you more than those?"

The Holy Spirit is our Friend. He knows us at our best and He knows us at our worst, yet He remains our Friend. It is the blood of Jesus Christ, and our continual faith in that blood to cleanse us from all unrighteousness, that has made "friendship" with the Holy Spirit possible. The Holy Spirit not only knows us, He likes us. The "accuser of the brethren" sure would like to keep us from believing that! It took a long time for my religiously trained mind to believe that the Holy Spirit "likes" me! Again, I didn't have any trouble believing that my earthly friends liked me, in spite of my faults and shortcomings. After all, I liked my earthly friends with all of their faults and shortcomings. But to think that God the Holy Spirit actually liked me? It took quite a while for me to believe it, but I have since walked in this truth for years now and let me assure you it has changed my life forever!

Let me encourage you to begin thinking of the Holy Spirit as your best Friend. Think about the fact that He actually "likes" you! He likes to fellowship with you. He thinks you are a great companion, somebody He likes to be with! Other than your spouse and children, who do you trust the most on earth? Isn't it your true friends? Learning that the Holy Spirit is my best Friend has been one of the greatest truths in my life that has helped develop a relationship with Him based on TRUST! The Holy Spirit is your best Friend. Get to know Him. You will come to the place where you will trust Him completely!

Sue and I love you and appreciate you. We thank God for your generous and giving heart. God bless you!

Your friend and co-laborer,

Gary Carpenter

 

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