“But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.”
For the past few months, my mind and heart has been fixed upon one thought, “Go make disciples”. (I’m just waiting now for the right door of opportunity, to go and deliver the sermon, that came out of this thought).
Jesus commanded His disciples in Matthew 28:19 to, “Go and make disciples of all nations.” This command was not just for those who were there with Jesus hearing Him speak these words, but also for all who have followed Him since those words were spoken. I can imagine that the disciples’ reaction after hearing that command almost 2,000 years ago, would be much the same as mine and as well as the reaction many, even most, Christians have today…. “How are we going to do that?” Jesus gave the answer to that question in Acts 1:8 when He said, “You will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you…”
It is difficult for us today to really appreciate just how big of a statement that really is. Remember, at this time in Israel’s history, they were living under the power, the rule and the authority of the powerful Roman Emperor. It wasn’t a government of the people, by the people, and for the people. The idea that common people – like Jesus’ disciples – would have any kind of power was completely unheard of and in fact it would be totally ridiculous. In the 1st Century, only kings and Caesar would have any power at all. In addition to that, the only people who had any power were either born into it, or took it at the end of a sword or a spear.
Jesus wasn’t talking about political power or military power – He was talking about supernatural power. The Kingdom of God is different from human kingdoms. His Kingdom was going to grow and expand by witnesses, not by soldiers. It would spread through a Gospel of peace, not by a declaration of war. His Kingdom. would expand by the work of the Holy Spirit, not by the force of bullets or bombs.
When the Holy Spirit came upon these early believers, that had never happened before. Up until now, the Holy Spirit came occasionally upon certain people for a certain purpose, but then He would leave. He would come then He would go. That is how the Holy Spirit operated in the early days of these belIevers. Christ followers Today have been given the Holy Spirit permanently. We have the power of God’s Spirit living within us.
What the. disciples were about to learn is that God never expected them – or us – to carry out His mission in our own strength. The work that God gives us to do is not our working for God, but in stead God working in and through us. Every time we go beyond borders to take the Gospel to those in need we are not depending in on our personality, our persuasiveness, our possessions, or our position. We are completely and totally depending on the power of God living in us. My dear readers, We have been empowered to go beyond our borders. “ We have the Power!
Are you depending on the power of God’s Spirit living in you?
Dear LORD: help me ! Help me to Depend on You , LORD , forgive me for trying to do anything within my own power. “For ye shall receive power After the Holy Spirit shall come upon you”.