This week, we combined sessions 1 & 2 of the Holy Spirit into one productive dialogue. As Chan leads us, we see the Jesus pointing us to this comforter and power as He departs from the disciples physical presence. He leads the discussion with the words of Jesus in the 24th chapter of Luke. He instructs the disciples “…But stay in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high.” in verse 49. Here we find the foundation of our discussion.
Immediately, we began discussing the dangers and ramifications of hearing the mission, accepting the mission, and doing the mission under the authority, but without the power. As believers, we discover both our gifts and our callings by walking with the Lord and by reading His Word and by following His direction. This is where the disciples found themselves. They had walked with Him, and were now receiving their call to ministry and being released into the harvest. But, Jesus says, don’t go alone! Don’t even go with each other! Don’t just go in my name! He says, wait until you have power! The power of the Holy Spirit!
It would seem that the name of Jesus would be enough! Jesus says that at His name, the devil will flee, demons will can be cast out, favor with the Lord is obtained, our prayers are answered, the dead can be raised, miracles can be performed, but He warns the disciples not to enter the harvest to work until they receive the Holy Spirit. Much of why can be found in Galatians 5, when looking at the fruits of the spirit.
Though we have the name and authority of Jesus, we must remember that we are wrapped in flesh. The power that Jesus knew we would need is the power to walk with Him, and to defeat the flesh while on assignment. Last week, we looked at the challenge of following Jesus, concluding that the study of the Word was not enough to follow Him. It gives us the instructions to follow the Lord and helps us to be wise in our daily walk. The Holy Spirit however give us the power to apply and not to abandon what we have learned when under spiritual attack!
We wondered how many of us have doubted our missions and calls because we have failed or come up short? One looking at the instructions of the Lord to the disciples, it was concluded that some of us are hearing correctly, just not waiting until we have all we need before stepping out to do what we have been instructed to do! Are you in stride with God, or walking ahead of Him? Are you on the right path at the right time? Jesus tells them to wait!
Waiting is hard! Knowing your mission and not being able to work the field is challenging, because we know what lays ahead. Our zeal for the Lord can cause us to leap into action and conquer the world for the name of Christ with our without the Holy Spirit!
The question was posed, “Can we accomplish anything without the Holy Spirit?” The answer, yes! As creations of the Lord, in His image and likeness, we are creative, powerful, insightful, and wise. We can figure things out, make our own way, solve our own problems, and make our own plans.
The disciples were more than able and capable of applying the teaching of the Lord on their journeys without the Holy Spirit, but he knew that the journey as mere mortals would leave them off track and suspect witnesses. Their success of the journey was dependent on their faith walk. And not just the success of spreading the Gospel by preaching and teaching, but their ability to walk in righteous. We are called to be a disciple, then to make other disciples! Jesus instructs them that they would be “my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the farthest parts of the earth.” Acts 1:8 As disciples, we know that being a witness for Christ involves more than what we verbally communicate to those we encounter. Much of our witness is our walk. It’s the discipline we demonstrate as we discipline our bodies to submit to submit to God’s Word and Will that are often the determining factors in aiding the Holy Spirit or hindering the Holy Spirit in convicting and converting hearts.
The Kingdom of God, both inside the walls of the local church and in the streets of the world depends on believers seeking to be Holy! The closer we are to the image of God, the more effective witnesses we become. Let us focus on the image, and make it our life’s mission to not only be like the image of God, but to help others get there as well.