One of the many things I have enjoyed in my time alone with God is when He shows me something new in the Scriptures. It’s always been there but for some reason I had not noticed it before. This theme has stood out to me in the last few months and I want to share it with you. It is the Holy Spirit’s power working in His people. This theme is in the Old and New Testaments. I find this to be very important because the same Spirit that empowered them is the same Spirit that empowers us. The power of the Holy Spirit in a believer’s life is vital to serving our Savior, Sanctifier, Healer and Coming King.
I always enjoy the stories of the Old Testament but not until recently did I notice the power of the Holy Spirit in a lot of these passages. Look at the story of Samson. The Philistines had received Samson as a prisoner and the Bible says, “then the Spirit of the Lord rushed upon Him”, (Judges 15:14 ESV). When that happened, he killed 1,000 Philistine men with the jawbone of a donkey. Another story in the Old Testament is that of David. “Then Samuel took the horn of oil and anointed him, (David) in the midst of his brothers. And the Spirit of the LORD rushed upon David from that day forward”, (1 Samuel 16:13 ESV). David’s life became effective at this time because the Holy Spirit began to empower him. You can see this played out in the very next chapter where he takes on Goliath!
There are stories in the New Testament that show the power of the Holy Spirit in the early church. One of my favorite stories is when we see the Holy Spirit empower Peter is in Acts 4. This is the same Peter who was scared and denied Jesus in Luke 22:54-62. Peter and John are arrested and they will not back down from preaching the Gospel. In this story Peter and John knew that the people who arrested them were the ones who called for the death of Jesus. Peter and John were not afraid but instead were filled with the Holy Spirit. This power allowed Peter to speak in boldness to them in Acts 4:18-13 ESV:
“Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them, “Rulers of the people and elders, if we are being examined today concerning a good deed done to a crippled man, by what means this man has been healed, let it be known to all of you and to all people of Israel that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead-by him this man is standing before you well. This Jesus is the stone that was rejected by you, the builders, which has become the cornerstone. And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved”. Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were uneducated, common men, they were astonished”.
There are many instances in the Bible, (more than can be put in this Newsletter) where the Holy Spirit comes upon the person first and then they are effective for God. It is the same way for believers today as it was in the Old and New Testaments. If we want to serve God effectively, then we need to come to God and ask Him for help. There should be a point in our lives where we tell God, “I can’t do this on my own”, and this should be the point when we ask for the power of the Holy Spirit in our lives. When we come to this realization, then we will be able to reach others and serve God more effectively.