Many times, in scripture, we are told that someone full of the Holy Spirit, acted. In Acts 2 the Holy Spirit came upon the apostles and Peter stood up and preached. In Acts 4 when Peter and John were interrogated by the religious leaders, Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, spoke, challenging and amazing them.
What do you think it means to be full of the Holy Spirit? Do you experience it?
Today we will talk about God’s power working through us to impact other people.
Acts 1:8 You will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth. You will receive power enabling you to bear witness to me in all the world.
Let us imagine a conversation between you and God.
God I want you to do something impossible.
Let’s have some suggestions of what that might be. It doesn’t have to be actually impossible but just impossible for you, in your view.
You That’s impossible.
God I am the God of the impossible.
You But I am only a human being.
God I will be with you – or, in you. I will fill you.
What are you going to say next?
- Oh OK, then. All is well.
- Can I trust You? How can I know that you will be with me?
- Even if I believe that You are with me, how can I know You will do anything?
- I appreciated that but I simply cannot do it.
This is not an unusual conversation.
When Moses was commanded to lead the people of Israel out of Egypt he had a string of excuses. God’s first response was, “I will be with you.”
READ Exodus 33:12-16
“Presence” is given an upper case P. God’s presence is person. I think we can say that God’s Presence is the Holy Spirit. So Moses was saying, “If You don’t go with us; if your Holy Spirit does not go with us, we do not want to go. It is only the Holy Spirit who distinguishes us from all the other peoples of the earth.”
Think about that as Christians. The only thing that distinguishes us from other people is the presence of the Holy Spirit.
When Joshua was commanded by God to take over from Moses and lead the people of Israel into the Promised Land, God said, “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” (Josh 1:9)
There are many examples in the Bible of God promising “I will be with you”. In fact, it would be an interesting Bible study to see how many of the main characters in the Bible were told, one way or another, that God would be with them. Does anyone want to do some study?
There are at least five instances of the Great Commission in the New Testament, where we are given our mission. Everyone one of them includes the promise of the Holy Spirit. Acts 1:8: You will receive power when the Holy Spirit come son you and you will be my witnesses.
Matthew: And, surely, I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
Mark: And these signs will accompany those who believe: driving our demons, speaking in tongues, protection from snakes and poison, healing the sick.
Luke: stay in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high. “Do not try to go out on this mission without the Holy Spirit.”
John: He breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit”.
There are many examples of people doing “impossible” things because they were filled with the Spirit. The other side of that is that Jesus said that without Him we could do nothing (John 15:5).
Moses imagined God being reluctant. “If you don’t go with us…” but God is not reluctant. He said, “I will be with you.” He constantly says, “I will be with you.” The Holy Spirit is God with us.
God is not reluctant but sometimes we are.
Let’s come back to that conversation with God. It is not an unusual conversation. I suspect it happens thousands of times every day. I suspect every day, God asks us to do something that is beyond our ability and we have a version of that conversation. How does it finish?
How would you like it to finish? Christians should never say “I am only human”. We are humans in whom God lives and that is a very different thing. How can this be true of us?
READ John 15:1-11
Remain in Jesus and He will remain in us and the result will be much fruit. Live in Jesus. Walk with Him; talk with Him. It is not an occasional thought about Jesus but constantly living in Him. When we do that, we will know His presence and we will see the fruit. Are you living your whole life in Jesus and experiencing the supernatural power of Jesus?
On your sheet of paper, do you want to continue that conversation? Why not have a conversation with God about that? Write a prayer or a conversation and listen for what God might say.