I recently heard a story of a lady who had a small house on the seashore of Ireland at the turn of the century who was quite wealthy but also quite frugal. The people were surprised, then, when she decided to be among the first to have electricity in her home.
Several weeks after the installation, a meter reader appeared at her door. He asked if her electricity was working well, and she assured him it was. “I’m wondering if you can explain something to me,” he said. “Your meter shows scarcely any usage. Are you using your power?”
“Certainly,” she answered. “Each evening when the sun sets, I turn on my lights just long enough to light my candles; then I turn them off.”
Ok Really? Sounds kind of silly, doesn’t it? I mean I know she was frugal but she had access to the power of electricity yet she didn’t use it…or barely!
As silly as it sounds, this story is a great parallel for us as Christians. We as Christians are given power as well …great power…Holy Spirit power…yet many times…most of the time…we don’t use it!
Everyone who trusts Christ to save them receives his Holy Spirit in their lives, but few people experience the power of the Holy Spirit because they still depend on their own power instead. Rick Warren from “The Daniel Plan”
I will be the first to say that being a Christian is not easy! But who said it would be? If it was easy, everyone would be doing it! Right?
But God already has this all figured out! Not surprising…
God doesn’t expect us to live our lives as Christians in our own power and strength. It would be impossible…and that’s why when we accept Jesus as our Savior, the Holy Spirit comes and lives inside of us…in order to empower us.
So why do we keep trying on our own?
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 NIV
So you have not received a spirit that makes you fearful slaves. Instead, you received God’s Spirit when he adopted you as his own children. Now we call him, “Abba, Father. Romans 8:15 NLT
Are you relying on yourself…your own power…your own strength…to walk out your life as a Christian? Why? Is it your pride, need for control, or lack of trust in God causing you to depend on yourself?
So many times we try to please and obey and do what is right in God’s eyes… in our own strength…in our own power… whether we are trying to be a better wife, a better mother, or a better Christian woman…
And we become tired…worn out…discouraged…and eventually we give up. We realize that our own power can only go so far.
But do you know about this power that you have as a Christian? Do you know about the power of the Holy Spirit that lives inside of you?
I am not talking about just any kind of power….I am not just talking about the man power (or woman power) …our will power…that we are so accustomed to…
I am talking about God’s mighty power…His great power…His “dynamite” power!
The word “power” can be translated as the Ancient Greek word dunamis which means “miraculous power, force, strength” depending on the context. Dunamis is the root of such modern English words as dynamite, dynamo, and dynamic.
And interestingly, dunamis is used 121 times in the New Testament and translated into some of the following English words: ability, abundance, power, strength, might, mighty, virtue, mighty deed, wonderful work, worker of miracles
That sounds like some great power! Certainly more power than my own power or any human power! Doesn’t it?!
But you belong to God, my dear children. You have already won a victory over those people, because the Spirit who lives in you is greater than the spirit who lives in the world. 1 John 4:4 NLT
But you shall receive power [ability, efficiency and might] when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses in Jerusalem and all Judea and Samaria and to the ends – the very bounds – of the earth. Acts 1:8 AMP
Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think. Ephesians 3:20 NLT
It really is impossible to live our Christian life apart from the power and presence of the Holy Spirit.
I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may be with you forever. John 14:16 NASB
Depending on the Bible translation, this scripture refers to the Holy Spirit as our Advocate…our Helper…our Comforter…our Counselor…our Redeemer.
One commentary states:
The word used here, signifies an advocate, counsellor, monitor, and comforter. He would abide with the disciples to the end of time; his gifts and graces would encourage their hearts. The expressions used here and elsewhere, plainly denote a person, and the office itself includes all the Divine perfections. The gift of the Holy Ghost is bestowed upon the disciples of Christ, and not on the world. This is the favour God bears to his chosen. As the source of holiness and happiness, the Holy Spirit will abide with every believer forever. Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary
So how can we rely on the mighty power of the Holy Spirit?
1) Relying on the Holy Spirit’s power means not depending on your own power. Surrender your will to Him. Surrender your willpower to Him…and by the way…this includes our pride.
2) Relying on the Holy Spirit’s power means praying for the Holy Spirit to help you. Check out what the bible says about the Holy Spirit helping us…
When you are arrested, don’t worry about how to respond or what to say. God will give you the right words at the right time. For it is not you who will be speaking–it will be the Spirit of your Father speaking through you. Matthew 10:19-20 NLT
But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I said to you. John 14:16 NASB
But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come. He will glorify me because it is from me that he will receive what he will make known to you. John 16:13-14 NIV
For those who are led by the Spirit of God are the children of God. Romans 8:14 NIV
Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words. Romans 8:26-27 ESV
These scriptures clearly depict how the Holy Spirit helps us by…giving us the right words to say…teaching us…guiding us…leading us…and helping us in our weakness.
3) Relying on the Holy Spirit’s power means having faith in God. It means trusting that the Holy Spirit is the Spirit of Truth.
I will ask the Father to give you another Helper, to be with you always. He is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor recognizes him. But you recognize him, because he lives with you and will be in you. John 14:16-17 ISV
I don’t know about you but it gives me great relief to know that I don’t need to walk out my life as a Christian in my own strength but that I am empowered by the Holy Spirit!
My prayer and desire is that we all as Christians will experience the power of the Holy Spirit and be encouraged that we don’t need to depend on our own power. Recognizing our limitations and weaknesses is the first step in God demonstrating His power through us!
My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness. So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me. 2 Corinthians 12:9 NLT
1) Are you relying on yourself…your own power…your own strength…to walk out your life as a Christian? Why? Is it your pride, need for control, or lack of trust in God causing you to depend on yourself?
2) Do you know about the power of the Holy Spirit that lives inside of you?
3) How can you rely on the power of the Holy Spirit in your life?
Review the outline above about how we can rely on the power of the Holy Spirit.