Jesus gives you the power to join Him on mission.
Jesus said, “As the Father has sent me, so I am sending you,” (John 20.21 NlT). In Mark’s Gospel, Jesus added, “Go into all the world and preach the Good News to everyone,” (Mark 16.15 NlT). It is very clear that Jesus has sent you and me into our world to be His hands and feet and to share His Good News. But doing that can be incredibly challenging.
The world we are going into is often resistant and sometimes even hostile to the Gospel (Romans 8.7 ESV). Satan himself controls our culture. He is called the “god of this age,” (2 Corinthians 4.4 NIV) and the “commander of the powers in the unseen world,” (Ephesians 2.2 NlT). (1 John 5.19 NlT) says that “the world around us is under the control of the evil one.” just before Jesus sent His men out into their world, He warned them, “Look, I am sending you out as sheep among wolves. So be as shrewd as snakes and harmless as doves,” (Matthew 10.16 NlT).
So how are we to accomplish what Jesus has called us to do? Where can we find the strength and power to overcome this present evil and stand firm for Christ in a culture gone astray? The answer is simple; You need God’s power working through you. In, and of your own strength, you will not be able to boldly stand for Christ, but in His power, you are more than able to do it (Romans 8.37 ESV).
just after Jesus’ resurrection, He gathered His men and prepared them to launch His mission. He said, “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you. And you will be my witnesses, telling people about me everywhere—in Jerusalem, throughout Judea, in Samaria, and to the ends of the earth,” (acts 1.8 NlT). The word “power” is the Greek word dunamis. It means an explosive power that comes from God.
In the Gospels, dunamis is often used for the power of God revealed in miracles. Jesus told His disciples to wait and pray in Jerusalem, and they would receive divine power when the Holy Spirit came upon them. That is exactly what happened. In the book of Acts, we read that God’s Spirit came down upon those early disciples in a powerful way, enabling them to perform miracles and boldly declare the Gospel of Jesus Christ!
Today, that same power of God is available to you through the Holy Spirit. The moment you heard the Gospel and were saved, you received the Holy Spirit. In that moment, you were sealed (Ephesians 1.13-14 ESV), and indwelt with His Spirit (Romans 8.9 ESV).
Now you have the choice to release or not to release the power of the Spirit in your life. You may ask, “How can I experience the power of the Holy Spirit?” Simply ask the Spirit to fill you (Ephesians 5.18-19 ESV), and then yield to Him completely, following His lead (1 Thessalonians 5.19; Ephesians 4.30 ESV). You can pray, “Lord, thank you for giving me your Spirit. Now fill me, lead me and change me to be the person you created me to be. I choose today to rely on your power and follow your lead!” In so doing, you are refusing to control your own life and voluntarily submitting yourself to the Spirit’s control (Romans 8.5-6 ESV).
When you walk in the power of the Spirit (Galatians 5.16 ESV), you don’t have to be afraid. Instead, you can be bold for Jesus, knowing His power is at work in your life. We are promised that the Spirit who lives in you is greater than the spirit who lives in the world (1 John 4.4 ESV).
Let’s go back to the words of Jesus in (acts 1.8 NlT). Why did Jesus give His followers the Holy Spirit? He said, “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you. And you will be my witnesses, telling people about me everywhere.”
one of the main reasons Jesus gave you His Spirit was to empower you to be His witness right where you live. Through the Spirit, those early disciples were given power and boldness to proclaim the Gospel, and lives were radically changed. Now you may be asking, “Why don’t we see this more often today? If God’s Spirit hasn’t changed and the power of the Gospel to transform people hasn’t changed, then why don’t we experience God’s power more often?”
I think the answer to that question is directly tied to sharing the Gospel. Jesus sent His Spirit to empower us to be His witnesses. Therefore, to experience the power of the Spirit in your life, you must join Jesus on His mission to reach the world. What does that look like?
First, pray for people who are far from God. When the early disciples were threatened because of their bold preaching about Jesus, they prayed. As they prayed, the Spirit shook the foundations of the building and empowered them to boldly tell people about Jesus! (acts 4.31 ESV). When you begin to pray for the lost, God shows up. So start praying actively, intentionally and fervently for your lost friends. Pray that their hearts would be open to the Gospel. Pray that God would draw them to Him. Pray for the Spirit to convict them of their lost condition. Pray for them to have a desire to know Jesus. The more you pray, the more you’ll recognize the Spirit moving in response to your prayers.
The second way to experience God’s power is to share your faith. There is a direct relationship between sharing your faith and experiencing God’s supernatural power. Nearly all the miracles, healings and demonstrations of God’s power in the New Testament were for the lost, so they could experience God’s power and turn to Christ. When Jesus sent His men out, He gave them the power to heal and cast out demons, so that people far from God could see God’s power and be saved (Luke 9.6; Mark 3.14-15 ESV).
If you want to see God’s power at work, start sharing the Gospel. Take the risk; initiate the conversation; share what Jesus has done for you. Be bold. don’t hesitate or back away. Take your stand for Christ and watch Him show up in a powerful way.
You can’t play it safe and experience the Spirit’s power. He’s not at work on the sidelines. He’s at work in the game. He doesn’t show Himself to those who timidly hold their tongue and refuse to risk. He is with the one who is bold enough to trust Him and to share the Gospel, knowing that it is the power of God to save those who believe (Romans 1.16 ESV).
Jesus has called you to live on mission with Him. He has promised that if you do, He will release His power in your life. I can’t think of a better way to live!
Photo Credit: Mike Matin