Jesus said to his disciples, “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth” (Acts 1:8). Then in Acts 2, it happens. The Holy Spirit falls on the believers gathered together. They witnessed that power in the form of tongues of fire and they heard that power as each other’s words were transformed into languages they never knew.
The apostle Paul experienced God’s power in a different, but still, life-altering way, as a light shone down on him and Jesus’ voice confronted him, leaving him blinded with some kind of scales covering his vision (Acts 9:1-19).
Those are cool stories, and a demonstration of how God used that initial spark of power to get the church off and running. I’m glad that happened to those leaders of the early church, but It’s never happened to me. Nothing even close to those experiences has ever happened to me. Maybe that’s why I often don’t feel like I know God’s power. In those moments I’m looking for the wrong thing. God’s power is available to all believers, but it isn’t going to affect the way I feel while I’m focused on myself.
Believers can experience God’s power in personal supernatural ways; it’s not a long shot or a pipe dream. The reason we miss out is because we don’t see how God’s power is often portrayed in the New Testament. Or if we know, we haven’t decided to share it with anyone. Check out these Scriptures to see the regular ongoing manifestation of God’s power.
“Jesus replied, ‘You are in error because you do not know the Scriptures or the power of God’” (Matt 22:29). – Power goes along with the Scriptures.
“With great power, the apostles continued to testify to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus. And God’s grace was powerfully at work in them all” (Acts 4:33). – Power is in testifying of Jesus’ resurrection.
“For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes” (Rom 1:16). – Power is in the gospel.
“For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved, it is the power of God.” (1 Cor 1:18). – Power is in the message of the cross.
“And so it was with me, brothers and sisters. When I came to you, I did not come with eloquence or human wisdom as I proclaimed to you the testimony about God. For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and him crucified. I came to you in weakness with great fear and trembling. My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit’s power so that your faith might not rest on human wisdom, but on God’s power.” (1 Cor 2:1-5). – Power is in the testimony about God, even when shared in weakness, fear, and trembling.
So there it is, God’s power goes out of us when we share the gospel, even if we do not feel powerful; the power is not in us, unless the gospel is in us. Power comes out of us when the gospel goes out of us to others.
Share the gospel and experience the powerful things God will do!
Pastor John Riley
Junior High Pastor