Have you ever suffered multiple inconveniences due to an extended power outage? The lack of air conditioning on a hot muggy night; spoiled food from a refrigerator not working; eyes straining to read by candle light; groping for clothes in a dark closet — just a few of the inconveniences we are likely experience.
In the same way an electrical power outage can make life difficult, so too will a Holy Spirit power outage be a challenge to live out our Christian faith in today’s world.
Jesus instructed the disciples before his ascension not to leave Jerusalem until they had been “baptized with the Holy Spirit.” He said, “You will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem…and to the ends of the earth.” (Acts 1:5, 8)
This is exactly what happened to the disciples. They began to testify boldly to Jesus’ resurrection and experience the gifts of the Holy Spirit. These gifts included wisdom, understanding, counsel, knowledge and fear of the Lord, as described in Isaiah 11: 2-3, and faith, healing, miraculous powers, prophesy, discerning spirits and praying in different tongues, as described in 1 Corinthians 12:7-10.
Just as Jesus affirmed that the disciples needed the power of the Holy Spirit, so too, do we need this same power if we are to fulfill our calling as Christians, living out our faith in today’s world.
While I received the Holy Spirit when baptized as an infant, it wasn’t until I seriously confronted the sin in my life as an adult and people prayed with me for the release of the power of the Holy Spirit, that I began to experience God’s presence in deeper way. Only then did I begin to experience the fullness of the Holy Spirit and the reality of the gifts of the Spirit. All my priorities and values began to change. I no longer compartmentalized my life, putting Jesus in a box, but accepted his offer to dwell in me. My objective was to bring his presence into every aspect of my life, including my family and work life.
The Holy Spirit gives us eyes of mercy for the homeless person asking for money at a stop sign, gives us patience to listen to a business colleague who needs to talk, and empowers us to pray with a friend for the healing or resolution of a significant need.
If you are not experiencing the fullness of God’s presence and the gifts of the Holy Spirit, follow Peter’s advice in Acts 2:38: repent of any sin and pray for the release of the power of the Holy Spirit which you received in your baptism. Jesus said, “If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the gift of the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!” (Luke 11:13) All we have to do is ask.
Are you experiencing a Holy Spirit power outage?