If you’ve ever wondered why things seem so different in the Old Testament, this is why – same God, different covenant. In the Old Testament, the Spirit would come and go, falling on people for divine acts of service. Even David, a man after God’s own heart, found himself begging God not to withdraw his Spirit (Ps. 51:11). But none of the New Testament writers wrestled with maintaining God’s presence. Why not?
Think about it. First, what is the only thing that caused the Spirit of God to depart from Adam and Eve? Sin.
Second, what is the only thing that caused Jesus to say, “My God, why have you forsaken me” (Matt. 27:46)? Sin, as Jesus was bearing the sin of the world.
Third, what is the only thing that would cause the Spirit of God to depart from you today? Sin.
But what did Jesus do with our sins? He took them away forever (John 1:29; Heb. 10:14). That’s why the Spirit of God will never leave us.
Bam! That’s the simple, logical, and liberating difference of God’s new way of grace – permanent relationship, permanent indwelling by God’s Spirit, no matter what. Yes, even when we commit sins, he remembers them no more (Heb. 8:12).
Even when we are utterly disobedient, he remains faithful. The Holy Spirit is sealed within us, forever, and he will never leave us nor forsake us (Eph. 1:13–14; Heb. 13:5).
So what is the result of all of this supposed to be? “Ahhhh.” We breathe a big sigh of relief. We take in the splendor of the new covenant and celebrate with amazement. We relax in the grand beauty of God’s perfect promises.
(from the book Relaxing with God by Andrew Farley)