Monday, February 23, 2015
Today’s Topic: The Source of True Power
Today’s Text: Acts 1:6-8 So when they met together, they asked him, “Lord, are you at this time going to restore the kingdom to Israel?” He said to them: “It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by his own authority. 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.”
Yesterday when I got up to share my ten minutes during our church’s Jubilee Celebration, I was suddenly overpowered by the Holy Spirit. I opened my mouth to speak and words came out from a place in my heart that erased and replaced what had been prepared in my mind. It was so overwhelming that I almost broke down in tearful speechlessness.
But the Holy Spirit had a message for me, and chose that moment to also deliver it through me to others. The message could be condensed into one statement – As followers of Christ we are empowered to accomplish every aspect of the commission of Christ.
As I reflect on my own life and the life of the church I have concluded that we have participated in a disabling dialogue that goes like this – Some are called and gifted to go; some are called and gifted to witness; and others are called and gifted to disciple.
We have adopted this dialogue as truth, maybe because it’s more comfortable for us. We all prefer to work within the boundaries of our comfort zones. But there’s a problem with that – a HUGE problem. All the power and provisions for working with comfort zones come from within us, according to our own strength and knowledge. Comfort zones are the product of sight. Comfort zones don’t require faith. Comfort zones eliminate the need for the Holy Spirit.
The disciples of Jesus were looking to pad their comfort zones after the resurrection of Jesus when they asked Him, “Lord, are you at this time going to restore the kingdom to Israel?” But Jesus refused to give them the knowledge they thought they needed, and instead told them that they were about to receive enough power to live by faith and fulfill an eternal purpose. He told them to live by the Spirit and not according to the knowledge found in the flesh.
Jesus simply tells us “You don’t have a need to know, you only need the power to be my witnesses.” We don’t need to know what we are naturally good at – we will become great at what God does in us. We don’t need to live within the confines of our conditional comfort zones – we have the Power to go and make disciples and teach them to observe all things that Jesus has taught us. The Power is promised to do it all, not just part of it.
In the REAL church, knowledge does not produce power; the presence of God produces power. As individuals and as a church we are the temple of the Holy Spirit, and the fullness of God abides in us. We experience the presence of God, and we are equipped with the power of God to accomplish His eternal purpose of being witnesses to the resurrected Christ. We do not know the answer to how long we have to wait for His return, but we do have the power to do His work until He does. By faith, let’s step out boldly to accomplish God’s purpose. Not just part of it – but ALL of it.