By the Holy Spirit who dwells within us, guard the good deposit entrusted to you. These are Pauls’ words to Timothy in 2 Timothy 1:14. In the context they refer to the need to be good custodians of the faith once delivered to the saints (see Jude 1:3). We are to watch over the truth of God like security guards guarding vaults of gold bullion. This is a task that God has called all believers to, but especially those, like Timothy, who hold a position of responsibility in the church.
What is striking about the injunction though is the fact that this responsibility can only be carried out by the Holy Spirit. This is that precious Holy Spirit who has residence within every true believer in Jesus Christ. This special gift is also the essential enabler of all that we do for God. To rely on ourselves for the requisite strength to undertake the works and service that the LORD calls us to, is a recipe for failure. Timothy can only keep this deposit of truth if he relies on the Holy Spirit.
This is true not only for Timothy, but for all of us. Moreover, it is true not only for guarding the good deposit, but for any task we are called to by God. To speak of a self-dependent servant of the Lord is an oxymoron. A true servant of the Lord is always fully dependant upon the Lord. Every time I engage in any activity for the Lord I should stop and ask: am I relying on the Holy Spirit in doing this.
I suggest, though, that this can go further into all aspects of living for God. Anything and everything, whether of the most menial or major tasks, should be undertaken in Holy Spirit dependency. Which raises the question: how can I know I am depending on the Holy Spirit? To which I offer the reply, it is through:
- Prayer. Seeking the Lord for the task in hand.
- Asking. Actually saying to the Holy Spirit; I need your help.
- The Word. If we are not acting in live with the precepts and principles of the Word then we will not have the Holy Spirit with us.
- Fellowship. Sharing with others about what you are doing, having them pray for you, receiving their rebukes and counsel are all helpful. Through these means we will be being pushed into the Holy Spirit’s way.