“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).
When it is time to go on the weekly shopping trip for groceries, it is not uncommon for my seven-year old to beg me to make an extra stop in the toy aisle. Now, sometimes I refuse his request, either because of lack of time or because I simply do not want to deal with the relentless bantering that goes something like this, “Please, Mommy, please, please, please can’t we get that?” (Insert sad puppy dog eyes here). However, there are times that he catches me in the right mood and we end up in the toy section. And it is in those moments that I am reminded of how easy it is for him to think that he needs that new toy so badly or life just won’t be as enjoyable.
I would love to think that I don’t have these moments – when I am not swayed to stop and fixate on something that I think I need in my life, in order to feel more fulfilled. But, more often than not, I find myself doing just what my seven-year old does in the toy section of the grocery store.
My current study is on the book of Acts. In Chapters 1 through 4, we learn about the power of the Holy Spirit that Jesus promises to His followers. After 40 days of teachings, Jesus meets with his disciples before ascending into Heaven. It is then that he proclaims, “you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you. And you will be my witnesses, telling people about me everywhere – in Jerusalem, throughout Judea, in Samaria, and to the ends of the earth” Acts 1:8 (NLT). Here, Jesus instructs the disciples to become His teachers. He provides the Holy Spirit as a guide for them to teach others.
Chapter 2 brings us to Pentecost, which occurs 50 days after Passover (when Jesus was crucified). It is on that day, that the believers encountered “a sound from heaven like the roaring of a mighty windstorm…then, what looked like flames or tongues of fire appeared and settled on each of them. And everyone present was filled with the Holy Spirit and began speaking in other languages” Acts 2:1-4 (NLT).
Peter, the disciple who once denied knowing Jesus three times before His crucifixion, then began to preach to the crowd. He spoke of Jesus’ death, ascension into heaven and resurrection to all of the people that day. He then explained to the people that if they repent of their sin, they too will be filled with the Holy Spirit (see Acts 2:38). About 3,000 people were baptized and became followers of Christ, because of Peter’s preaching.
In Acts Chapter 3, Peter heals a crippled beggar. As the people looked in amazement at the miracle performed, Peter reminds them of who God is and what He has done for their ancestors (see Acts 3:12-13). We see in Acts Chapter 4, Peter and John standing before the Council boldly defending their right to proclaim the Good News of Jesus’ resurrection. This is the same Council that condemned Jesus to death.
What powerful acts of faith! I love how Peter so eloquently teaches on behalf of Christ through the gift of the Holy Spirit. It is clearly not the same Peter we had seen before. He had been transformed through the power of the Holy Spirit and he was willing to face rejection, persecution and suffering for his faith. What an example for all of us.
I have been baptized a Child of Christ. That means I am filled with the Holy Spirit. The same power that Peter had is inside of me. The Holy Spirit is intended to spark something inside all of us. Therefore, I shouldn’t be looking to outward things or people to fulfill my needs. I need to be looking inward.
Thanks to the power of the Holy Spirit I am writing this right now. It is not easy to sit down at this computer week after week, writing about my past, my shortcomings and failures. I feel naked and exposed. It is uncomfortable. But, it is also extremely satisfying and fulfilling knowing that I am allowing myself to be honest. It is the thought that maybe I can reach one person and help them to draw near to God. And it is through the gift of His Holy Spirit that I am able to.
Dear Lord, I thank you for the gift of the Holy Spirit in my life. Help me to continuously call upon the Holy Spirit in times of self doubt, or when I feel I am lacking somehow in my life. It is through the Holy Spirit that I am able to share my thoughts on your Word through my writing. Thank you for that gift and may it be an inspiration to others to find their own gifts in seeking you first. I pray in your most holy name, Amen.