“And now I will send the Holy Spirit, just as my Father promised. But stay here in the city until the Holy Spirit comes and fills you with power from heaven.” – Luke 24:49
We are exploring this month what it means to be “in Christ.” What are the hallmarks of a life lived in concert with our risen Savior?
One of the benefits that I think is often overlooked by believers is the extreme power given to us by the Holy Spirit. I think sometimes we get confused about our relationship with Jesus. We believe that we are the initiators, we believe that we set the parameters (where I will go to church, when will I go to church, how much will I give of my time and resources, etc…)
We treat our relationship with Christ as any other facet of our lives, one we try to control. But we are wrong in this assumption. See, the Lord created us, knew us before we were born, and had a plan for us. Then He died for us so that we could have the blessing of remaining in communion with Him. He is our initiator.
It is true that we have free will to accept or reject Him at any time. However, I truly believe that He continues to pursue us all the days of our lives until we make that wonderful choice to follow Him. And then something amazing happens. Once we have given our hearts over to Him completely, the Holy Spirit takes up residence within us to accomplish 2 things:
1. To keep us in constant communion with God and His will;
2. To empower us to fulfill our mission here on earth.
With the Holy Spirit comes power, and a lot of it. Power to run and not grow weary, power to witness to the lost, power to discern the will of God, power to love in the face of hate, power to overcome trials and challenges, and power to stand strong in the midst of opposition. And many others…
I am a child of grace. I am empowered by the Holy Spirit to complete my mission, regardless of the obstacles. But in a culture that idolizes self-sufficiency, it is sometimes very hard for me to admit that I need help. It is a blow to my pride to admit that I can’t do it all. I close the door on the gift that God wants to give me, because I don’t want to admit that I need it.
I pray that each of us will learn this month that our identity in Christ has nothing to do with us, and has everything to do with Him. For in our weakness, He is strong. We are vessels that He is trying to use to transform the world. Imagine what would happen if we just let go, and let Him do extraordinary things through us. I pray that we can all learn to tap into this unending source of power for good, and allow it to flow through us and out into the world each day.
Sweet Holy Spirit,
Forgive me when I don’t pay attention to You. Forgive me when I don’t call on You in times of need. Continue, Lord, to speak to me in ways that I can understand. Lead me directly into the Father’s will. Empower and embolden me to follow my path and mission as laid out by You. Teach me to be the empty vessel that You need me to be, and to rejoice in my own weakness. For it is in You that I find my true strength.
In Christ’s name I pray,