The Power of the Holy Spirit

(Psalm 62:11) “Power belongs to God.”

And His power is revealed through the ministry of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is the Divine person who imparts to us as believers the spiritual power that belongs to God. The work of the Holy Spirit is to take what belongs to God and make it ours. All of God’s power belongs to us as His children as this is part of our birthright in Christ and this includes the power of the Holy Spirit. Now the Lord Jesus Christ promised us the power of the Holy Spirit for our witnessing and service for God, “ But you shall receive power after the Holy Spirit has come upon you and you shall be witnesses to Me”(Acts 1:8). His promise of the Spirit outpoured was not only for the first century believers only but also for every believer in every age, “The promise is for you and your children, and for all who are afar off- for all whom the lord our God shall call” (Acts 2:39).

Profession without power

Today, multitudes of believers are sitting in churches that have no boldness or confidence in witnessing for the Lord Jesus. Either they are not willing to do it or they are lukewarm and in some cases backslidden. However, there are many who love the Lord Jesus and want to be useful to Him but have never encountered the power of the Holy Spirit in their lives. Even though the Holy Spirit is living in them He is virtually a prisoner without power. He desperately wants to get hold of them and use them according to His wise, infinite, loving and divine will but they will not allow Him to take complete control of their lives. They hold things back from His control consequently they do not have His power and have no testimony for the Lord Jesus Christ.

Many know there is something missing

There are many church leaders, missionaries, full-time workers and others in different avenues of Christian service and ministry who have never really been empowered with the Holy Spirit for their ministry. They may know their Bibles and to some degree have success but they know deep down in their hearts that there is something missing in their Christian experience and service. Many believers, in fact, remain spiritually powerless because they have never experienced or fully understood just what the Holy Spirit has power to do in their lives. What does the Holy Spirit have power to do?

1. The Holy Spirit has power when He controls the preaching of God’s Word.

 (Ephesians 6:17) “The sword of the Spirit is the Word of God.”

If we want to see God’s power working through us towards others then we need to be great students of His Word the Bible. The Word of God is the spiritual weapon and ammunition we need to fight the good fight of faith and our mouth is the trigger, however, it is the Holy Spirit that launches the Word in such a way as to bring about deep conviction of sin in the hearts and minds of unbelievers. This happened on the Day of Pentecost when Peter was preaching the Word of God under the control of the Holy Spirit. His listeners on that day were “cut to the heart’ and cried out “men and brethren, what shall we do?” In the work of conviction and conversion just preaching God’s Word isn’t enough unless His Word is accompanied by the convicting power of the Holy Spirit. A lot of what we see as so-called gospel preaching is not the gospel. Many are going in for experiential theology, emotionally gratifying spiritual experiences of one kind or another or for signs, miracles and wonders or for personal prophecies but remain ignorant where the basic doctrines of the Bible are concerned. Many do not even know how to use the Bible in witnessing.

Expectancy

The first century believers expected God to accompany the preaching of His Word by the power of the Holy Spirit. Signs and miracles often followed the preaching of the Word but they were never the focus of their ministry. When the believers in the book of Acts were being threatened by persecution they did not primarily pray for God’s miraculous power to be seen but for boldness in preaching His Word. “Now, lord, consider their threats and enable your servants to speak your word with great boldness. Stretch out your hand to heal and perform miraculous signs and wonders through the name of your holy servant Jesus.’ After they prayed, the place where they were meeting was shaken. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke the word of God boldly” (Acts 4:29-31). They understood what the Holy Spirit had power to do in witnessing for Jesus. The Word of God was always central to their witnessing.

By the Word and the Spirit

Peter used the Word of God on the Day of Pentecost. Phillip the evangelist used the Word of God in Samaria and with the Ethiopian Eunuch. Paul used God’s Word with the jailor He brought to faith in Jesus at Philippi. The Lord Jesus Himself used God’s Word when he spoke to Nichodemus about the new birth. In fact right through the book of Acts we see the believers preaching God’s Word with great effectiveness in the power of the Holy Spirit. We read in Acts where, “Those who had been scattered preached the word wherever they went” (Acts 8:4).

Contolled by the Holy Spirit

In witnessing it isn’t enough just to know the Bible but also to be totally available to the Holy Spirit to use us according to His will and not ours. He knows every situation much better than we do and knows just what needs to be said and how it should be said. The secret of effective witnessing is to be under the total control of the Holy Spirit moment by moment. Paul tells us in Ephesians 5:18 that we are to be continually filled with the Holy Spirit. Sometimes we will need to be filled several times in one day. Peter was filled with the Spirit at least three times in the book of Acts. For each new opportunity of ministry or witnessing we must make sure that we are filled with the Holy Spirit otherwise our words will fall to the ground.

With a demonstration of the Spirit’s power

Just being a natural talker isn’t enough in fact a talker, can actually hinder the work of the Holy Spirit. Even if we have the so-called “gift of the gab” that does not mean that we will automatically have real spiritual power in witnessing. We need to remember what Paul said to the Corinthian believers, “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 men’s wisdom, but on God’s power” (1 Corinthians 2:4-5).

Two extremes

There are two extremes today in the Church. There are those who magnify the Word but virtually ignore the ministry of the Holy Spirit ultimately leading to dead orthodoxy, legalism and truth without life-giving power! On the other hand, there are those who magnify the Holy Spirit above God’s Word and focus on experiential theology, signs, miracles and wonders ultimately leading them into false and “strange fire” and fanaticism. Aaron’s sons offered up false fire and were actually slain by God. This is why leaders have to be very careful how they go about leading God’s people. Many there are today who try to whip up revival by any and every means! In fact what they call revival is not Biblical revival at all but that is a subject for another time.

The Biblically correct balance

The real balance is to have the Word of God uplifted by the power of the Holy Spirit! Unless we totally rely upon the Holy Spirit to direct God’s Word coming out of our mouth we will not be able to effectively witness. We need to give people the seed of God’s Word but only the Holy Spirit can take that seed and plant it in the soil of the heart and then water it causing Divine life to spring up in that heart soil. Whenever we have the opportunity to witness to others we need to pray two things. “Lord, cleanse me from all of my sin and fill me with your Holy Spirit to do what you have called me to do. In Jesus name I pray. Amen!” If you pray this in faith then God will empower you when the time comes to witness for the Lord Jesus.

2. The Holy Spirit has power to reveal Jesus as Lord to men.

(John 3:3) “I tell you the truth, unless a man is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” (John 15:26) “When the counselor comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth who goes out from the Father, He will testify about Me.” (1 Corinthians 2:14) “The man without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually discerned.”  (1 Corinthians 12:3) “Therefore, I tell you that no one who is speaking by the Spirit of God says, ’Jesus be cursed,’ and no one can say, ‘Jesus is Lord’ except by the Holy Spirit.”

In these verses we are told that no one can really say that Jesus is truly Lord unless they have a revelation of Him. Being born again is more than just having an intellectual knowledge about Jesus from the Bible. When we are really born again the Holy Spirit Himself will lead us into a personal encounter with the Lord Jesus Christ. We will have a revelation that He is the Son of God and that He is alive and dwelling in us by His Spirit and that His Word, the Bible is really true and relevant for our lives. Just testifying about the Lord Jesus from God’s Word will not convict anyone unless the Holy Spirit takes that spoken Word and makes it a living revelation to their heart and mind.

What Peter did

On the day of Pentecost Peter’s sermon was scripture from beginning to end and his main focus was the Lordship of Jesus Christ. Firstly, he was using God’s Word. Secondly, he was preaching Jesus as the risen Lord and Messiah and coming King. Thirdly, he was aiming the truth at the hearts and consciences of his hearers. Fourthly, the Holy Spirit Himself was conveying the Word with deep conviction. Peter was not preaching in his own strength but by the power of the Holy Spirit. Before Pentecost he was locked up with others in an upper room and fearful of the Jews but after the Holy Spirit had been outpoured he was shouting the gospel from the rooftop.

“He shall not speak of Himself”

When the Holy Spirit was poured out on the day of Pentecost He did not draw attention to Himself or to the apostles or to His gifts but only to Jesus Christ alone. John tells us concerning the Holy Spirit, “For he shall not speak of Himself, He shall glorify Me” (John 16:13-14). Any true and genuine work of the Holy Spirit will always have Jesus centrally uplifted as Savior and Lord accompanied by a deep conviction and renunciation of all sin. The Holy Spirit will only honor preaching centered on God’s Word, the cross, the resurrection and Second Coming of the Lord Jesus Christ. The Holy Spirit will not honor any other emphasis. Everything revolves around Christ died, Christ risen and Christ coming again!

3. The Holy Spirit has power to convict the world of sin.

(John 16:8,9) “When he comes, He will convict the world of sin…of sin because they do not believe in Me.”

Now the Holy Spirit convicts people about their sin but the first and foremost sin he convicts the unsaved about is their unbelief in Jesus Christ. This was the precise sin that Peter’s listeners were convicted about on the Day of Pentecost. People may preach all sorts of sermons against the sins of the flesh but unless people firstly believe in Jesus Christ they will never been inwardly changed. We may preach all sorts of outward reforms and protest all we like about moral corruption and decay in our society but unless those in society repent and believe in Jesus Christ and yield their allegiance to Him there will be no thorough work of salvation in their lives and society will remain unchanged. Only the New Birth can bring about a changed life and nothing else. The sin of unbelief in Jesus is the ‘key domino’ that knocks down all the other ‘dominos’ of sin.

An inward transformation

True conversion is not merely a religious reformation but an inward transformation of a person’s heart. If we have been truly born again then we will have a Christ loving, Christ accepting way of life instead of a Christ hating, Christ rejecting way of life. God will be near to us and relevant to our daily living instead of a remote figure who is beyond our grasp. God’s Word will be a living and active power in our daily lives and we will be able to understand it instead of it being some irrelevant historical book that is too hard to understand and has no bearing on our present life.

A new nature with new spiritual ‘tastebuds’

Unless people firstly see the Lord Jesus Christ for who He really is and thoroughly repent and turn to Him by faith alone they will never be able to overcome other sins because the human heart is “deceitful above all things and desperately wicked” (Jeremiah 17:9). In the work of the new birth God does not just patch up our old nature instead He gives us His own new nature. Paul said, “If any man is in Christ he is a brand new creation, for the old (life) has gone and the new has come” (2 Corinthians 5:17). When someone is really converted to Christ and yields to Him as their Savior and Lord they receive from the Holy Spirit new desires, new values and new ambitions. They begin to love what God loves and to hate what God hates. They receive new “spiritual taste buds” for the things of God. They want to pray, study their Bibles and have fellowship with other believers and have a desire to share their newfound faith with others. They have their first love!

A deep conviction!

When Paul came to Ephesus preaching about the Lord Jesus in the power of the Holy Spirit there was such a deep conviction of sin in people’s hearts that they stopped sinning and renounced it altogether. Many of them had been heavily into the occult. “Many of those who believed now came and openly confessed their evil deeds. A number who had practiced sorcery brought their scrolls together and burned them publicly. When they calculated the value of the scrolls, the total came to fifty thousand drachmas. In this way the word of the Lord spread widely and grew in power” (Acts 19:18-20).

Occult power broken

How some Christians and even pastors endorsed Harry Potter is amazing! When sin is really dealt with by the Holy Spirit witchcraft is exposed along with it. People who get saved out of the occult need to burn every occult object and book they have including charms bracelets and pentagrams. This is what the newly saved believers did at Ephesus. In fact whatever has been causing us to sin against the Lord must be renounced and forsaken altogether. Paul writing to the Thessalonians says, “Because our gospel came to you not simply with words, but also with power, with the Holy Spirit and with deep conviction. They tell how you turned to God from idols to serve the true and living God, and to wait for his Son from heaven. Whom He raised from the dead- Jesus who rescues us from the coming wrath” (1 Thessalonians 1:5a, 9b). Whenever we are witnessing to others and sharing God’s Word with them we must be consciously aware that it is only the Holy Spirit alone who can bring about conviction of sin. We must not try to bring about conviction by our own efforts but count on the Holy Spirit to do His work.

4. The Holy Spirit has power to deliver us from the passions and desires of our fallen human nature.

(Galatians 5:16-18, 25) “So I say, live by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature. For the sinful nature desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the sinful nature. They are in conflict with each other, so that you do not do what you want. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under law. Those who belong to Christ have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires. Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit.”

The prophet Micah said concerning the Lord, “He has showed you, O man, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God” (Micah 6:8). The most important thing for us as believers is to please the Lord Jesus Christ. At the end of the day it is not primarily our service that counts but whether we have pleased the Lord. We can be involved in Christian service and ministry and we should be but if the Holy Spirit is not directing what we say and do then our efforts are nothing more than dead works. Paul tells us in Galatians that we are constantly at war with the desires of our old nature in fact every one of us, as believers will experience conflict between the desires of the Spirit and the desires of the flesh. Sometimes we will become weary with this conflict and it will be very fierce, however, we can know victory through the power of the Holy Spirit. Paul deals with this in Romans chapters six to chapter nine.

The Power of His indestructable life

The Holy Spirit Himself imparts to us the indestructible life and nature of the Lord Jesus Himself. He is our Great High Priest and His Priesthood is based on the power of an indestructible life. (Hebrews 7:16) Nothing in the heavenly realms, nothing on the earth or even under the earth can destroy that life of resurrection power. Sin cannot stand up against this indestructible life that is the Lord Jesus Christ Himself. If we have really been born again then the Lord Jesus Christ lives in us by the Holy Spirit consequently we have this indestructible life dwelling in us. It is only as we draw on this life by faith and obedience can we overcome everything the devil throws our way.

Spiritual conflict

As believers we will experience the conflict between the desires of the Spirit and the desires of the flesh and this in itself shows us that we really belong to Jesus. The unbeliever knows nothing of this conflict because they follow the ways of the world and the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the disobedient. Unbelievers are constantly gratifying the cravings of their sinful natures and following its desires and thoughts and are by nature objects of God’s wrath. (Ephesians 2:1-3)

There is always a choice

As believers we have a choice whether we sin or not but the unbelievers do not have this choice. (Romans 8:5-12) When Jesus died our old nature with its passions and desires were crucified with Him and His complete victory over sin, the world, the flesh, and the devil becomes our victory through the indwelling Holy Spirit. As believers we will experience intense times of temptation and at such times we will need to be constantly walking under the direct control of the Holy Spirit and being obedient to God’s Word. This is why the Bible encourages believers to be spiritually diligent at all times!

Crucifying the flesh

In the book of Galatians when speaking about the spiritual wrestling match between the desires of the flesh and the desires of the Spirit the English text reads, “So that you do not do what you want” but the Greek says, “that you may not do what you want.” When the phrase is expressed in this way it indicates that it is definitely possible to resist and to overcome the desires of the flesh. In fact the text goes on to say, “Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires.” When Jesus saves us He saves us from our sins not in them. If we have really been born again we will no longer be slaves to sin. Compare: (Matthew 1:21) (Romans 6:6-7) (Titus 2:14) (1 John 3:4-10 5:18-19)

A wrestling match

Paul tells us in Ephesians that we are constantly engaged in a wrestling match with the devil and that Jesus has given us His weapons and armor to defeat him every time he attacks us. (Ephesians 6:10-18) At the beginning of every day we need to put on the pieces of Jesus armor provided for us through the Holy Spirit especially taking up the shield of faith and the sword of the Spirit. When we are clothed with the spiritual armor and weapons of the Lord Jesus Christ Satan will see us coming down the road. When he sees us swinging that sword of the Spirit and holding up that shield of faith he will run away terrified! (James 4:7) Peter also encourages us to stand our ground in faith by refusing to give in to temptation and sin and to resist the devil that goes about as a roaring lion seeking someone he can devour. (1 Peter 5:8-10)

Under the Law of the Lord Jesus Christ

Before we were saved we were under the law of sin and death and condemned to eternal hell by the Law of God, however, when we were born again we came out from under the law of sin and death and came under the Law (sovereignty) of Jesus Christ. Through faith in Him and by obedience to His Word through the power of the Holy Spirit we can overcome the world, the flesh and the devil and any thing else that Satan throws at us. This is what Paul tells us. If we have been made alive to God through the work of the Spirit then experientially we will be able to overcome all temptation to sin and rebellion because “those who belong to Christ have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.” Therefore, if the Spirit has made us alive then we have an obligation to the Lord to keep in step with the Spirit. The only way we can do this is by faith and obedience to God’s Word by the power of the Holy Spirit. (Psalm 119:9-11)

5. The Holy Spirit has power to impart to us love and self-control.

(2.Timothy 1:7) “For God did not give us a spirit of timidity but a spirit of power, of love and of self discipline (self-control or a sound mind).”

Self-control is a fruit of the Spirit. (Galatians 5:23) Wherever you see professing Christians out of control and not acting with a sound mind you will find confusion and disorder and every evil work. This is clearly seen when you see pastors, church leaders and their congregations rolling around on the floor, laughing and gyrating around uncontrollably, making all kinds of wierd sounds and in some cases even making animal sounds and calling this the work of the Holy Spirit. When you see these videos it is anything but self-control and it certainly is not the actions of those who have a sound mind. In fact it is not only the works of the flesh but also the work of demons. It is more like insanity than that of a sound mind!

Charisma gone mad!

Today in the Church most of what is called the manifestation of the Holy Spirit is nothing more than “Charismania gone mad.” As we have mentioned in other studies on this website real revival sees saints sanctified and results in sinners calling on the name of the Lord to be saved! When there is real revival there will be joy but it will be accompanied by holiness. Most of the so-called revivals today in the Western Church are nothing more than hype and the worship of worship. Real and genuine revival by the Holy Spirit produces a deep sense of personal sinfulness and a longing to be right with God. This has characterized true revivals down through the history of the Church. We have dealt with this in our series on revival.

Real power, love and self conbtrol

Whenever the Holy Spirit is really at work He will produce real power, real love and self-control. His love is not some mere emotional or exuberant feeling that makes a person go wild but His love is a deep sense of care and concern for others that always puts their interests first. (Romans 5:5) Of course much more could be said about this aspect, however, the Holy Spirit will never lead us into uncontrolled behavior and self indulgent emotionally gratifying experiences. While we will be emotionally fulfilled and know the peace of God that passes all human understanding when we walk in the Spirit we will also be self-controlled and spiritually alert and sober in our thinking.

6. The Holy Spirit has power to lead us in public worship.

(Ephesians 5: 17-21) “Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is. Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead be filled with the Spirit. Speak to one another with psalms, hymns and spiritual songs. Sing and make music in your heart to the Lord, always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.”

The Spirit controlled life affects every area of our daily living as believers and this includes public worship. The only worship that Gods accepts is worship in Spirit and in Truth for such worshippers the Lord seeks. (John 4:13-24) We may claim to worship in the Spirit but if our doctrines are wrong, or we are out of control or we are not open and honest before the Lord then the Holy Spirit cannot be leading our worship. Remember He is the Spirit of Truth and not the Spirit of error.

Order and not confusion

Of course worship is not meant to be dull, lifeless and slow and without exuberance or enthusiasm, neither is it to be conducted with unbridled emotional excesses of every kind. There is a balance because the Holy Spirit is not the author of confusion but the author of order and self-control and the spirit of prophets are subject to the prophets. (1 Corinthians 13:32-33 14:40) Biblical worship that is inspired and led by the Holy Spirit will have times of quiet reflection as well as times of exuberant praise. At times there will also be deep repentance and sorrow for sin. The word “Worship” itself is an old English word pronounced “Worth ship” or giving worth to one who is worth worshipping. God’s Word also says, “Worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness.” True worship will promote holiness of life and character and an ever-increasing likeness to the Lord Jesus. True Spirit filled worship will uplift the Lord Jesus and not the gfts or those using them.

Spirit filled worship

In Ephesians 5:18 tells us what the marks of Spirit filled worship. There will be psalms, Hymns and spiritual songs not “fleshly” ones. A spiritual song will be theologically sound having been written under the guidance of the Holy Spirit. Singing itself has always been a part of revivals. Exuberant singing characterized the meetings of the early Methodists under Wesley and also under William Booth of the Salvation Army. Some believers think that lively music is unspiritual but in the Old Testament every kind of instrument was employed in worship including singers. If they worshipped enthusiastically in the Old Testament how much more should believers under the New Covenant worship and magnify the Lord. Scripture itself says, “The Lord inhabits the praises of His people.” Worship also includes singing and making melody in our heart to the Lord resulting in thankfulness to God our Father for everything. Being thankful to God our Heavenly Father in all of the circumstances of our lives is a mark of a Spirit filled life and in line with God’s will. (1 Thessalonians 4:16-18)

Theological soundness in  worship

Of course all prayer and praise must be offered up to God through the name of our Lord Jesus Christ because He is the mediator of the New Covenant and our Great High Priest who has passed into the heavens on our behalf. Paul also tells us that a mark of Spirit filled worship is the ability to allow others to use their gifts. If we really revere and respect the Lord Jesus then we will submit to each other in worship. So much of worship today is not only fleshly but the songs themselves are theologically questionable. While hymns and choruses reflect personal experiences with the Lord they will always be theologically sound and in line with scripture.

7. The Holy Spirit has power to guide us in everything.

(Acts 13:1-4) “In the church at Antioch there were prophets and teachers. Barnabas, Simeon called Niger, Lucius of Cyrene, Manaen (who had been brought up with Herod the tetarach) and Saul. While they were worshipping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, “Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.” So after they had fasted and prayed, they placed their hands on them and sent them off. The two of them, sent on their way by the Holy Spirit, went down to Seleucia and sailed from there to Cyprus.”

The Holy Spirit led the First century believers especially when it came to selecting people for Christian ministry and service. The Church leadership was so in touch with the Holy Spirit that He was able to speak directly to their spirits concerning major decisions that affected the whole local church. Notice that it was while these prophets and teachers were worshipping and fasting that the Holy Spirit called Paul and Barnabus to missionary service. Paul had already received his call but submitted himself to the local church until the time was right for him to move out into real apostolic ministry. Undoubtedly he had tremendous gifts but the leaders still waited on the Holy Spirit for guidance. Even after the Holy Spirit had spoken to them they still continued to fast and pray and then after that they laid hands upon Saul and Barnabas and sent them on their way.

“Those who are led by the Spirit”

It is our privilege as believers to be regularly led and guided by the Holy Spirit. Paul said, “Those who are led by the Holy Spirit of God are sons of God” (Romans 8:14). The Holy Spirit knows everything we need to know as believers. John the apostle says, “But you have an anointing from the Holy One, and all of you know the truth… As for you, the anointing you received from him remains in you, and you do not need anyone to teach you. But as his anointing teaches you about all things and as that anointing is real, not counterfeit-just as it has taught you, remain in him” (1 John 2:20, 27).

How does He speak?

How then does the Holy Spirit speak to us and guide us in the Christian life? Firstly, He is the Spirit of Truth and not error. He will never lead us to say or to do anything contrary to God’s Word the Bible. In fact His voice is very clear when He speaks to us through God’s Word. (Proverbs 2:1-9) (Psalm 19:7-11 119:9-11,105,130) Secondly, He will always give us the wisdom we need when we ask for it in faith. James said, “If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him. But when he asks he must believe and not doubt” (James 1:5-6a).

How do we receive His wisdom?

How do we receive God’s wisdom? Firstly, we must submit our wisdom to God’s wisdom and even be willing to lay our wisdom aside if necessary and then ask God for His. Secondly, we must really desire to know God’s wisdom in the situation we are facing and be willing to do whatever He asks us to do in it. Thirdly, we must definitely ask and definitely expect guidance. As we read and pray over God’s Word the guidance needed will come. Sometimes it does not come right away and we need to be patient and wait on God for the answer. Sometimes He will answer us right away but at other times He won’t answer us for some time. Fourthly, we must ask in faith and not doubt. In fact we must believe that we are receiving it as we are asking for it. (Mark 11:24)Fifthly, we must follow step by step as the guidance comes, usually it doesn’t come all at once.

God’s guidance is not complicated

God’s guidance is very clear guidance and the more we are familiar with His Word the more familiar we will be with the voice of the Holy Spirit. Hearing the Holy Spirit is not so much hearing a voice speak but a deep and inward assurance that what we have decided to do or say will be successful. As well we will have God’s peace even though our circumstances and emotions may be like the tossing of the sea in a wild storm. True peace does not mean the absence of conflict in fact we can be in the worst crisis of our lives but still know God’s peace through it all. Also it needs to be said that problems and difficulties in our lives as believers does not always mean that we are out of God’s will. Remember that Paul himself said that through much tribulation we must enter the kingdom of God. None of us can avoid difficult circumstances but we can know God’s wisdom and peace in those circumstances.

8. The Holy Spirit has power to give us boldness in our testimony and service for the Lord Jesus Christ.

(Acts 1:8) “But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you and you will be My witnesses.” (Acts 4:31) “And when they had prayed, the place where they were praying was shaken and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke the word of God boldly.”

Just as we totally depend on the Holy Spirit to guide us in everything so we must entirely depend on Him for power to witness to others about the Lord Jesus. Here in the text witnessing is not primarily preaching but personally testifying to what Jesus has done for us. We may not be able to preach but we can all witness one on one. This is why the Lord Jesus baptizes with the Holy Spirit. It is not a matter of what we can do with the Holy Spirit but what He can do through us. We cannot manipulate Him into doing what we want. The Holy Spirit Himself is not some spiritual power to get hold and use according to our wills but a loving, sensitive and Divine person who wants to get hold of us and use us according to God’s will. He will always choose the avenue of ministry for us and impart to us the gifts we need for the task He has assigned to us. (1 Corinthians 12:11) For every new avenue of service and for every new opportunity to witness we must always make sure that we are filled with the Holy Spirit. Even if we have natural ability and gifts we need to rely more than ever upon the Holy Spirit to use us.

Adapted from the book “Power from on High” by R.A.Torrey.

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