You have a bunch of money that you’ve saved up (undoubtedly from using Dave Ramsey’s methods) for a new car.
You are now in the position that you can go to the lot, pick out the car you want in the color you want with the options you want, and pay cash for it!
So you do it, sign the papers and the salesman hands you the keys.
You’re excited! You can’t wait to drive this ‘dream car’ around, show your family and friends, and tell them all about it.
So you sit down, adjust the mirrors, buckle up and turn the key.
No ‘crank’, no ‘click’…zip.
You can’t believe it. You pop the hood and look…and realize there’s no BATTERY in the car!
Just an oversight…the service team forgot to put a new one in there, and soon you’re on your way.
Trying to drive a car–no matter how new, how sleek, how many options, etc.–without a battery–the Power Source–is obviously ridiculous.
Yet, many Christians try to live the ‘Christian Life’ without a Power Source.
The Holy Spirit is that Power Source, and He is ABSOLUTELY CRUCIAL to your faith.
In Acts 1, we see the Disciples with Jesus, after His resurrection. He promises them, again, that “you will receive Power when the Holy Spirit comes on you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria and to the very ends of the earth” (Acts 1:8)
Later on, we see Peter–the very one who denied Jesus 3 times on the night of His betrayal–boldly standing in front of crowds of people (Acts 2) and religious leaders (Acts 5) standing on the name of Jesus, and confidently asserting that He is the Messiah, and has risen from the dead!
What happened to him? What changed him?
2 things, really:
- He was now ABSOLUTELY CONVINCED that Jesus is alive! He’d seen Him, talked to Him, eaten with Him, touched Him, and been restored by Him.
- He also now had the Holy Spirit come upon Him–and was now within Him!
“On the day of Pentecost all the believers were meeting together in one place. 2 Suddenly, there was a sound from heaven like the roaring of a mighty windstorm, and it filled the house where they were sitting.3 Then, what looked like flames or tongues of fire appeared and settled on each of them. 4 And everyone present was filled with the Holy Spirit and began speaking in other languages, as the Holy Spirit gave them this ability.”
From that day forward, the Church–the body of Christ–moved out and changed the world, boldly proclaiming that Jesus IS Savior and Lord!
The Power Source–the Holy Spirit–enabled them to be bold, be confident, to work miracles in Jesus name–and to face their own death with confidence in His ability to help them conquer it.
That 1-2 punch–Absolute Belief in Jesus, and the Power of the Holy Spirit within–is why they were so effective.
Here’s the thing: I believe many Christians today have some degree of both of these things, but are not fully ‘transformed’ by either.
We believe that Jesus rose from the dead…but not to the extent that it’s really ‘changed’ us (as it did them, who walked and talked with Him), and we have been influenced by the Holy Spirit (after all, we’ve come to faith because of His leading), but are not ‘led by’ Him.
The Scriptures–especially the rest of the New Testament–give encouragement to ‘walk with’ the Holy Spirit, to be ‘led by’ the Holy Spirit, to ‘submit to’ the Holy Spirit, to ‘be empowered by’ the Holy Spirit…yet, the Holy Spirit makes us uncomfortable, and we don’t quite understand Him, so we shy away.
That’s sort of like trying to drive a new car with no battery. No dice.
HOW, then, are we ‘led by’ Him?
It comes from prayer, worship, knowing the Word, listening for His voice that leads us, then stepping out…
It’s an awareness and an influence that we can cultivate, and He wants to cultivate…but first, we must welcome Him. We must willingly submit to Him.
It’s an ongoing commitment to ‘always keep being filled’ (Ephesians 5:18) His presence and influence.
Question: Has your faith been an ’empowering’ and ‘transformative’ faith? Have you felt the POWER that comes from the Holy Spirit in your life? Have you had more boldness, more love, and more passion to speak the name of Jesus to family, friends and perfect strangers? Have you sensed His leading, and learned to listen and follow?
Maybe you’re driving without a battery.
Ask God to help you be CONVINCED of Jesus’ resurrection and the ‘relationship’ you can have with Him now, and ask Him to help you sense the leading of the Holy Spirit more, and the courage to step out and follow.
Cultivate that relationship…and you will receive POWER!