Never Underestimate...

Gathering them together, He commanded them not to leave Jerusalem, but to wait for what the Father had promised, "Which," He said, "you heard of from Me; for John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now."... you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth." Acts 1:4-5, 8

The Holy Spirit can never be underestimated; and He can never be overstated. Without Him I can do nothing good. Without His anointing on my life all my "works" and "services" are powerless. 

Jesus knew this. So, He commanded His disciples to "wait" for the Holy Spirit after He ascended into heaven. Jesus knew that the disciples would be powerless to spread His Gospel and serve His people without this anointing of the Spirit. So He exhorted them to "wait...for you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you..." 

To put this in negative terms Jesus might have said, "wait...for you will have no power until the Holy Spirit comes upon you..." 

Each one of us needs the anointing of the Holy Spirit in our lives and His power for everything. The night before Jesus was killed some of His last words to the disciples were about the importance of the Holy Spirit in their lives. Jesus said, "After I go to heaven, the Holy Spirit will teach you all things (John 14:26)." When someone knows they are about to die their last words are usually what is most important to them. Jesus' last words were invested in stressing the importance of the Holy Spirit in our lives.

We need the anointing of God upon our lives. This anointed (of the Spirit) will give us power to witness, love, make decisions, forgive, obey, study God's Word, pray, give, serve, speak, act, suffer, and everything else we can  mention that is good. Without this anointing we are powerless and are left to our own human devices. 

A good example of doing with and without the Spirit's power can be found in the later verses of Acts 1 & 2. 

Example One - Doing Stuff Without Anointing: While the disciples were "waiting" for the Spirit's power to come upon them they began to make decisions in the church. Peter (poor Pete) brought up an idea: "Hey guys, we need another Apostle to take Judas Iscariot's place." He even brought up some Scripture verses to support his notion (see Acts 1:15-26). So using some Old Testament methods of decision making (casting lots - which, by the way, the disciples never used again after receiving the Holy Spirit) they placed a guy into an important leadership position. This man, Matthias, was no doubt a Godly man. However, he is never mentioned again after this. One has to question whether this was God's decision or whether the church moved forward with what seemed to be "a good idea." After all, Jesus had said, "Wait...". 

Example Two - Doing Stuff With Anointing: In Acts 2 after the power of the Holy Spirit came upon the disciples they were filled with power and anointing. Immediately, Peter (yay Pete!) began to preach with power and many people came to know Christ that day (see Acts 2:1-41). In addition, God began to do some crazy stuff in the church. People were filled with awe and wonder at what God was doing among them. They were filled with power to love one another, help one another, serve one another, pray with one another, study the Bible together, worship together, etc. And, God continued to find this first church a safe place to add even more believers! (see Acts  2:42-47). The church grew.

Back to my main point: Scripturally speaking, I have no power without the Holy Spirit. Our churches have no power without God's anointing that comes through Jesus Christ. We have no power to love, serve, grow, study, pray, make decisions, help one another, etc. Yet, with the Holy Spirit's anointing we have all the power in the universe at our disposal! 

Peter learned this important principle and made sure he told people about it. Later in His life he wrote: "His Divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness ... so that ... we may become partakers in the Divine Nature... (2 Peter 1:3-4)." Those are some pretty crazy words if you stop and pray over them. The promises of God to participate in His "Divine Nature" and access His "Divine Power" often times leave me speechless and in awe. 

I want to encourage you today: do not underestimate the importance of the Holy Spirit's ministry in your life. If you are a believer He is right here, right now, in you. He is closer than your very breath! Pray to Him. He is Jesus. Ask Him to anoint you for "everything pertaining to life and godliness." Ask Him to help you learn how to access and channel His "Divine Power" for everyday life, running a family or marriage, serving in a church - everything! "Wait" for Him in everything; and in everything you will have real life Power.

I have never heard God say "no" to me yet when I prayed that He would take control of my life. I have never heard Him say "no" yet in over twenty-five years of experience when I told Him I couldn't do "it" in my own strength but would wait for His!

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