They say that lightning never strikes twice in the same spot but when you realise that Lightning actually flashes more than 3 million times a day worldwide — that’s about 40 times a second, this can be hard to believe. Did you know? The average lightning bolt can release enough energy to operate a 100-watt light bulb for more than three months straight. That’s pretty powerful stuff coming from the heavens all the time.
In Luke 24:49 Jesus speaks of a different kind of power coming from on high when he says to his disciples “I am going to send you what my Father has promised; but stay in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high.”
The spirit of God is spoken of as a source of power. In the same way that the spirit is not impersonal, power itself is not an abstract force. We always need power to do something. I don’t care about where the plugs are in my house until I need to recharge my phone and can’t find a spare one. It’s the phone I am bothered about not the power.
We so often long to experience the power of God in meetings, but what happens when the final worship song ends and we have to go back into the real world? After all, people don’t get excited about electricity just because it can gave you a buzz when you touch it! People are excited about what can be achieved when we connect with it. This can be the same with us and the Holy Spirit.
Through the work of the spirit of God in our lives God empowers us with the power to know, to show and to go.
The Power to Know
The Spirit gives us the power to know and discern God’s love for us. Paul prays in Ephesians 3 and says “I pray you may have power, together with all the Lord's holy people, to understand how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ”. The first power we need is a “power to understand”. Because our lives are full of brokenness from the scandal of sin and the shackles of our own shame we can sometimes miss the reality of the depth of love that God has for each one of us. Unless we experience this love we can never fully embrace an experience of the holy spirit at work in and through our lives.
In Romans 8 v 16 we discover that “The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children.” This means that God is at work in you and me showing us that he loves us enough to call us his own child. When you know you are God’s child you are free to act more like your father. That’s what the spirit does. The power of the spirit comes to unlock the revelation of sonship and the amazing inheritance that brings. We need the power to know.
The Power to Show
The spirit gives us power to show and demonstrate God’s love. If you look deeper into the scriptures about the work of the Holy Spirit we find that God empowers his children with supernatural gifts, prophecy and many other special abilities. We see the spirit move through people in miracles and divine circumstances. Natural skill and traits such as the gift of leadership or hospitality are given a supernatural edge and can make an impact way beyond the sum of their parts. What is the purpose of all these things? Is it so that a person can show off some power like a super hero in training? No, it is so that they can show and demonstrate God’s love to others. Every prophecy, every gift of wisdom, every healing and miracle and every moment of divine intervention speaks of the love of God to our world. If you want to know if something is of the spirit of God test it against love. The plumb line for all expressions of the Holy Spirit is love. And the reason for all the gifts and fruit of the spirit in our lives is to give us power to show that love in action.
The Power to Show
The spirit gives us the power to go and declare Gods love. The Spirit of God emboldens us to boldly preach the gospel and anoints us for impact in our sphere of influence and calling. We can only truly GO when God gives us the power to get off the starting blocks. Isaiah 61 declares that we have power to go and proclaim freedom for prisoners and liberty for captives. This can be outworked in exciting, unique and specific ways for each person according to who God has made you to be and where he has placed you in his plans and purposes. We have the power to show the kingdom of God wherever we are.
We need to know God’s love before we can be empowered to show and go in God’s love. Don’t just settle for the buzz, plug right in and move in that power today. What does this mean for you?
Dave Boden – Lead Pastor