We often think that having if Jesus were here walking and talking with us that a sanctified life would be much easier. But apparently, that is not the case. Jesus makes a remarkable statement in John 16:7 which has always caused me to stop and think. He says,
"Nevertheless, I tell you the truth; it is to your advantage that I go away, for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you. But if I go, I will send him to you."
We know from other Scriptures that Jesus was talking about sending the Holy Spirit as our Comforter. This has always been a mystery to me. How could the invisible Spirit of God impact my life more than the real person of Jesus Christ? Yet, Jesus says that it is to our advantage that He leave and send the Spirit. I am currently reading How The Gospel Brings Us All The Way Home by Derek W. H. Thomas. It is a book on Romans 8 and in a section I read today, he dealt with this thought. Here are his thoughts that helped me to a certain point.
"The disciples were understandably fearful of losing the Savior's presence and fellowship. The truth was that they would come to know Jesus better after He had disappeared from this world.
Does the presence of the Spirit seem a poor substitute for the presence of Jesus in the flesh? Perhaps this thought occurred to the disciples in the upper room. But a moment's reflection dispels any such concern. The Holy Spirit was present at the conception of Jesus (Luke 1:35) and enabled Him to grow in wisdom, strength, and favor with God and with men (Luke 2:40, 52). The Spirit came upon Jesus at His baptism and thereafter acted as principal strategist in Jesus' encounter with the powers of darkness (Luke 3:22; 4:1). By the Holy Spirit Jesus offered His life on the cross as an atonement for sin (Heb. 9:14). And, as Paul reminds us in this passage, by the Spirit Jesus rose from the dead (Rom. 8:11).
To have the Spirit in our hearts is to have Him who has been intimately involved in every facet of Jesus' work--incarnation, obedience, sacrifice, and resurrection. And the Spirit has been in fellowship with the Son for eternity. The Spirit knows the Father and the Son in comprehensive, exhaustive detail. He searches 'the depths of God' (1 Cor. 2:10). Nothing is hidden from the Spirit. He 'proceeds' from the Father (John 15:26) and is breathed out by the Son (John 20:22). 'By this we know that he abides in us, by the Spirit whom he has given us' (1 John 3:24). It is the Spirit who brings us into 'fellowship . . . with the Father and with his Son Jesus Christ' (1 John 1:3)" (33-4).
At least for today, it is a good thought on the importance of the Holy Spirit in my life.