This story was found on an online sermon illustration website, but the story’s source is unknown.

In a seminary missions class, Herbert Jackson told how, as a new missionary, he was assigned a car that would not start without a push.

After pondering his problem, he devised a plan. He went to the school near his home, got permission to take some children out of class, and had them push his car off. As he made his rounds, he would either park on a hill or leave the engine running. He used this ingenious procedure for two years. Ill health forced the Jackson family to leave, and a new missionary came to that station. When Jackson proudly began to explain his arrangement for getting the car started, the new man began looking under the hood. Before the explanation was complete, the new missionary interrupted, “Why, Dr. Jackson, I believe the only trouble is this loose cable.” He gave the cable a twist, stepped into the car, pushed the switch, and to Jackson’s astonishment, the engine roared to life.

For two years needless trouble had become routine. The power was there all the time. Only a loose connection kept Jackson from putting that power to work.

There are many times in the Old Testament when people received power from the Holy Spirit. The book of Judges lists six times when the Spirit of the Lord stirred or came powerfully upon someone, four of those times were on Sampson. These instances of the Spirit’s coming were for moments of inspiration or power but they did not last. It wasn’t until Jesus’ arrival that the Holy Spirit arrived and remained. This was the testimony of John the Baptist.

And John bore witness: “I saw the Spirit descend from heaven like a dove, and it remained on him. I myself did not know him, but he who sent me to baptize with water said to me, ‘He on whom you see the Spirit descend and remain, this is he who baptizes with the Holy Spirit.’ And I have seen and have borne witness that this is the Son of God. John 1:32-34

After Jesus’ baptism, there was a visual sign of the Holy Spirit and an audible voice of God the Father confirming that Jesus was God’s son. John proclaimed that Jesus baptizes his followers with the Holy Spirit. The Spirit, mind, courage, and breath, (all words used to translate the Hebrew word ruach in the OT) of God lives, dwells, and remains in believers. It would be a shame to live unconnected to Him.

Dr. John Riley
Jr. High Pastor

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