But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” Acts 1:8 NKJV
After His resurrection, Jesus spent 40 days making sure His disciples and followers knew He was indeed alive and giving them last minute instructions before He went back to Heaven. As Jesus was leaving the earth, He told them to wait in Jerusalem until they had received the promise of God (Acts 1:4). So, what exactly were they waiting for?
Though I don’t understand it and certainly can’t explain it, from the very beginning, God has desired relationship with us and to be a very real and active part of our lives. Throughout the Old Testament, God’s presence was so much bigger and better than any action-packed, sci-fi movie! A whole world spoken into existence, burning bushes that didn’t burn up, seas parting to make a path down the middle, flaming chariots taking prophets into Heaven, men thrown into a fiery furnace and coming out not even smelling like smoke…just to mention a few of the many examples of God’s presence and power in the Old Testament! Then, of course, we have God the Son, in the New Testament and, once again, we see the miraculous. Jesus walking on water, calming storms, feeding 1000’s of people with a boy’s simple lunch, healing people of all sorts of issues and ailments, even bringing dead people back to life! I can only imagine what it would have been like to witness the very presence of God or to walk with Jesus during His time here on earth! It just doesn’t get any better than that! Right?
Jesus says it does. When Jesus was preparing His disciples for His death on the cross, He told them it was better for Him to go away so the Helper could come (John 16:7), then further explaining to them they would then be able to do even greater things than He did (John 14:12). What?! Yep! You can read and research it for yourself. As great as it would have been to live in Bible times, Jesus said once He was back at home in Heaven, we would have it even better because now God is with us as Holy Spirit, Who comes and makes His home with us personally. Listen to some of the Names of Holy Spirit: Helper, Comforter and Counselor. And take a look at some of the things He does for us: gives us spiritual gifts, teaches us, convicts us, guides us, empowers us and intercedes for us in prayer. All of that and so much more is ours when we accept Jesus and what He did on the cross for us. Once we do that, we receive the promise of God just like the disciples and followers of Jesus did. And just like they did, we can then spend the rest of our days living in the very presence of our God, discovering the power that is available to us in the Person of Holy Spirit. But, just like Jesus is a choice, so is living a life filled with Holy Spirit.
Yes, Holy Spirit is with us but we get to decide if we allow Him to help, comfort or counsel us. We get to decide if, and to what degree, we listen and apply as He teaches us truth or convicts us of sin. We get to decide if we will use the gifts He gives us in order to help others and to bring glory to God. We get to decide if we will operate in His power in order to take the good news to the end of the earth.
It’s all up to me. I get to choose Jesus…or not. And, I get to choose if, and to what extent, I submit and surrender myself to the presence and the power of Holy Spirit…or not. So, here’s my prayer for quite some time now. I invite you to join me:
Dear God, how I thank You and praise You for Your Son Jesus and what He did on the cross for me! Thank You that I will spend all of eternity with You. But oh God, please do not let me get to Heaven and find out I missed out on something I could have had of You while here on the earth!! Jesus, You paid too high a price and I want to enjoy ALL You died to give me to the fullest extent possible. Lord, do whatever you need to do in order that I might be filled to the full and to overflow with Your Spirit that I would know You more intimately, bring glory to Your Name and share this good news with others. In Jesus Name, Amen and Amen!