We were bone tired and filthy. We were finally back in our South American hotel after having ridden 90 minutes back from an orphanage. We had not had time to shower before going to dinner. It was now late evening, and we wanted to check in with our daughter in the States and touch base with some folks I'm studying with in Asia. So we fired up Skype and talked to Megan face-to-face, used Skype to call a friend in Thailand, and then use QQ software to chat with friends in China. Even away from my mobile phone, I expected to be able to have instant access to people all over the world. We live in an amazing time!

I remember when I read the Dick Tracy comics as a boy, marveling at the communicator on his wrist. G-daddy, my grandfather, would laugh his Scooby Doo laugh and say, "That will never be possible." He was obviously wrong. Most of us don't wear it on our wrist, but we can put it in our pocket and do things with our mobile phones that Dick Tracy never imagined! With our mobile phones and electronic devices, we expect to have instant access to almost anyone, at any time, anywhere in the world.

So when we read a story like Queen Esther needing permission from the King to enter his presence or she could lose her life, our first reaction is befuddlement (Esther 4:9-11). How could this be?

Most of us live with a sense of naïve idealism about our freedom to talk to anyone at any time. If we are honest with ourselves, however, we realize that none of us could simply board a plane, fly into Reagan airport, take a taxi to the Whitehouse, get out, walk in and expect to see the President. Even knowing the President doesn't get us out of security checkpoints, background checks, and a couple of Secret Service agents hanging around when we talk. (Those guys in dark uniforms on the roof are not there for decoration!)

We also have other limitations on our communication with people important to us. If you are like me, you have family members who have died that you would love to call and have a chat. Not possible. Many of us have folks we want to love, but who keep us at an emotional distance, so that a real visit with them is not possible — they choose to remain emotionally unavailable. And some of us have rifts in our relationships so deep that there is not a way to get meaningful conversation started between us. Real communication is all but impossible.

This is where these following promises about the Holy Spirit are unbelievable blessings ... and yet real for us in Christ!

Now all of us can come to the Father through the same Holy Spirit because of what Christ has done for us (Ephesians 2:18 NLT).

In the same way the Spirit also helps our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we should, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words ... (Romans 8:26 NASB).

While we have many blessings because of the Spirit's presence in our lives, let's focus on three revealed in those passages:

  1. We always have instant access to God!
    While no earthly ruler, President or King, is comparable with God, our Father in heaven welcomes each of us as his beloved child when we approach Him in prayer!
  2. We are heard clearly by God!
    God hears our words, but more than our words, our Father hears the longings and groanings and emotions that words cannot express.
  3. We are never alone; God is not just with us, the Father lives within us!
    More than God being near us when we talk with him, God is in us through the presence of the Holy Spirit. He will not abandon us or forget us. He is as real and constant as the beat of our hearts and the breaths we take.

When Paul spoke in Athens, he delivered one of the most moving and powerful messages of all time. In that message, Paul shared this memorable thought:

"God did this so that they would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from any one of us. 'For in him we live and move and have our being.' As some of your own poets have said, 'We are his offspring'" (Acts 17:27).

The promise for us is much greater!
For generations, people have found these words moving and powerful. Yet this promise is for those who do not yet know Jesus as God's Son, God as their holy Father, and the Holy Spirit as their abiding presence. The promise for those who know Jesus as Lord is much greater: we can always have access to the heart of God, we can be assured that our Father hears our words and feels the deepest longings of our hearts, and even when our conscious conversation is ended, God is still there with us making his home in us through the Holy Spirit!

For your thought and discussion, check out the following questions:

Why is it important that the Holy Spirit gives us immediate and assured access to God? (Ephesians 2:14-22)

Why is it important for the Holy Spirit to intercede for us when we pray? (Romans 8:26-28)

Why is it important to realize that God is not only with us, but that He is also within us? (Romans 14:18-23)

What is a time you most clearly felt or recognized the presence of God in your life?