Behold, I send the Promise of the Father upon you; but tarry in the city of Jerusalem until you are endued with power from on high. Lk 24:49
You need power for everything you do. You need the power of your muscles to move your body. You need the power of your lungs to sneeze. You need the power from your engine to drive your car. You need the power of a battery to use your phone.
Depending on how great a task is will determine how much power you will need to accomplish a task. When a task comes to you that requires more power than your physical body can handle, you must go to some other source of power in order to accomplish that task.
I remember when a 2000 pound grave vault fell on my foot and broke it. The vault was so heavy that I could not move it with my own power. My co-worker, who was helping to put the vault in the ground could not lift it either. In our own human strength, it was impossible to lift. In my mind I thought of how long it would take for the fire department to get to us to help me and how long I would have to bear the excrusiating pain that I was experiencing. Right then I prayed in my heart, “Jesus, please help me.” Immediately I saw a light go off in my co-workers head. He ran to the truck and took out a long metal bar. He used the strength of the bar to lift the vault just enough for me to pull my broken foot out. Thank God for the strength of that bar (but more importantly, thank God for answering my prayer!)
What I couldn't accomplish in my strength, and what my co-worker couldn't accomplish in his strength, was accomplished through the power of the bar.
Just like there are many things in our natural life that we cannot accomplish without outside power, so there are many things in our spiritual life that we cannot accomplish with out the power of the Holy Spirit.
The disciples of Jesus were a rough bunch of guys. They were fisherman and tax collectors. They weren't theologians. They weren't preachers. They weren't even educated. But Jesus called them to do be the leaders of His church. How could they accomplish such a task? Jesus called them (and us) to go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature and to make disciples of all nations. They had never done anything like that before. They hadn't even held a bible study at their house. How were they to change the world?
The answer is in the gift that Jesus left with the disciples (and with all who the Lord shall call). That gift is spoken about in Luke 24:
“Behold, I send the Promise of the Father upon you; but tarry in the city of Jerusalem until you are endued with power from on high. ” -Jesus (Luke 24:49)
The disciples were told to preach the gospel to every creature under heaven, but before they were even to start trying to do so, Jesus told them to WAIT until they were 'endued with power from on high.' Why? Because there was no way they could change the world in their own strength. Only by the power of the Holy Spirit could they accomplish such a task. When the disciples did finally recieve this baptism of fire, you can see how such a rag-tag bunch of nobodies became world changers. In Acts chapter 1, before they recieved the power, they were sitting around rolling dice to see who would be the Judas replacement. BUT, in acts chapter 2 they were out preaching in the streets, seeing 3000 saved, and then seeing people healed and demons being cast out. What a change when you have the power!
Imagine being in the days of railroad being laid across America. Imagine you were told to make the railroad go through the Rocky Mountians. And then imagine you were giving a shovel. I don't care how hard you worked, you would never get the job done. But then imagine that you got a message that a train load of dynamite was on its way, and to wait for it. All of a sudden what was thought impossible, was now doable.
Well, we, just like the disciples, are called to preach the gospel to every creature under heaven. But we are just like they were. We are dumb, slow, and weak. Even the smartest among us do not have what it takes to change the world. Just look at the ministers that come out of our top schools…
We need this power of the Holy Spirit to be the Superhuman people that God has called us to be. We need Holy Spirit Power.
The Holy Spirit power is supernatural power that comes from God. You'll read about it all throughout the bible. Jesus used it all the time in His ministry, like in this instance:
“And the power of the Lord was present to heal” (Luke 5:17b)
In this circumstance, the power of the Lord (which is the same as the power of the Holy Spirit) was there to heal people of their sicknesses. But the power of the Holy Spirit is not limited to healing sicknesses. This power enables men and women to do many other things as well, including preaching effectively, casting out demons, performing signs and wonders, speaking in tongues, raising the dead, and the like.
And this power is for all who believe. Stephen was a great example of this. Stephen wasn't an apostle. He was just a regular guy. But he learned about the power of the Holy Spirit. The bible says that he was full of faith and of the Holy Spirit. He was chosen by the people, not to be a preacher, but to serve tables. But look what he did:
“And Stephen, full of faith and power, did great wonders and signs among the people.” (Acts 6:8)
Being filled with the Holy Spirit gives you supernatural power to accomplish what you could never do by yourself.
So how can you have this power? This power is available to you and me right now. We can use this power to accomplish the will of God in our lives. Receiving this power was standard proceedure in the early church. This is especially evident in Acts 19 when Paul meets up with some believers:
And it happened, while Apollos was at Corinth, that Paul, having passed through the upper regions, came to Ephesus. And finding some disciples he said to them, “Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?” So they said to him, “We have not so much as heard whether there is a Holy Spirit.” And he said to them, “Into what then were you baptized?” So they said, “Into John's baptism.” Then Paul said, “John indeed baptized with a baptism of repentance, saying to the people that they should believe on Him who would come after him, that is, on Christ Jesus.” When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. And when Paul had laid hands on them, the Holy Spirit came upon them, and they spoke with tongues and prophesied. Acts 19:1-6
You see that Paul asked these men if they recieved the Holy Spirit after their conversion to Christ (only to find out that they hadn't even been completely converted to Christ yet). There is a seperate experience from the new birth, from conversion to Christ, called the baptism of the Holy Spirit. John the baptist spoke about it:
I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance, but He who is coming after me is mightier than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. – Matthew 3:11
And we see the same type of thing in Acts chapter eight. After the people of Samaria receive the word of God and are baptized, the church sends Peter and John so that they might recieve the baptism of the Holy Spirit:
Now when the apostles who were at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent Peter and John to them, who, when they had come down, prayed for them that they might receive the Holy Spirit. For as yet He had fallen upon none of them. They had only been baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. Acts 8:14-16
The baptism of the Holy Spirit is a seperate experience from salvation that is typically recieved by having someone lay hands on your in faith to recieved. The experience is accompanied by the sign of speaking in tongues. You can also receive this experience on your own, if need be, by asking for it in faith.
“If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him!” (Luke 11:13)
And just like anything you recieve, it must also be maintained in order to work properly. Even if you having been filled with the Holy Spirit with the evidence of speaking in other tongues, you still must continue to be filled with the Spirit on a regular basis:
And do not be drunk with wine, in which is dissipation; but be filled with the Spirit, speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord, giving thanks always for all things to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, (Ephesians 5:18-20)
God has blessed us so much with this precious gift. We must learn how to recieve it and maintian it in our christian lives. When we do, we will find that we have the power to live holy lives, live as a witness to Jesus, and perform great miracles in his name.