When we desire more power. what is it that we want, how do we get it, and why do we want it?
If we think we need more power to live the Christian life we have missed it.
If we think we need more power to perform miracles, signs and wonders, again we have missed it.
It we think we need more power to witness for Christ, that is true.
It talks Christ in me to live a Christian life. I can't do it. Any attempt would be a form of religion.
It takes Christ in me to preform miracles, signs and wonders. It is not a matter of more power, but faith in our Lord to work His Word in and through us.
But He said that we would receive power after that the Holy Spirit has come upon us. This is the Baptism with the Holy Spirit. Our Lord told us Himself what the evidence of that Holy Spirit baptism would be. He told His disciples and followers to go to Jerusalem and wait until they were clothed with power.
Luke 24:49 ESV And behold, I am sending the promise of my Father upon you. But stay in the city until you are clothed with power from on high.”
The baptism with the Holy Spirit is the promise of the Father.
Acts 1:4-5 ESV And while staying with them he ordered them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the promise of the Father, which, he said, “you heard from me; (5) for John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.”
Again our Lord said that power would be the end result when they received the promise of the Father, which is the baptism with the Holy Spirit. Then He told them why they would receive the power. First came the what, which is power. Second came the when, after the Holy Spirit came upon them which is the baptism with the Holy Spirit. Third came the why, they would take the power and be bold witnesses in the area of their influence and then spread out to everywhere they went.
Acts 1:8 ESV But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”
Paul understood why he needed the power to preach.
1 Corinthians 1:17 ESV For Christ did not send me to baptize but to preach the gospel, and not with words of eloquent wisdom, lest the cross of Christ be emptied of its power.
1 Corinthians 2:4-5 ESV (4) and my speech and my message were not in plausible words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, (5) so that your faith might not rest in the wisdom of men but in the power of God.
1 Corinthians 4:20 ESV For the kingdom of God does not consist in talk but in power.
2 Corinthians 12:8-10 ESV (8) Three times I pleaded with the Lord about this, that it should leave me. (9) But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. (10) For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
Many people are trying through human striving to do a job that can only be done in the power of the Holy Spirit. In our own power all that can be achieved is a form of religion that may reach church acceptance and respectability. The results many times produce a sense of personal security and contentment.
In all of the efforts of mankind we cannot change the gnawing realization that the church suffers from spiritual powerlessness. May believers are asking, “Where is the abundant life that Jesus promised?” “Where is the radiant joy filled life Paul spoke about?”, and “When do we start doing the things that Jesus did and greater things?”
It is evident that the joy and thankfulness of the believer at the point of conversion still lingers years later but there is a gnawing in his heart for more. The songs that have echoed the walls and halls of large Churches across the nations have addressed the cry for “More Lord.” Anyone reading the Book of Acts can see by comparison with the present church that the early Christians had something in their lives which gave them manifestations of power that we do not see in our churches today.
Anyone reading the books of first and second Corinthians will see that Paul did not try to come with great words and fancy speeches, but in the power of God. Oh Lord stir up faith in Your body today to trust You to do what You long to do! Let the church arise and let You be glorified in her.
What are these? Why does God drop them on and through us? What can we expect to experience while under them? What does God expect to be the end result of having these in our lives?
I have a detailed study on each, but for now I'll just share my quick-list chart.
Charles Morris. Founder and Senior Pastor of RSIM USA.