By Brooke Holt
“But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” Acts 1:8
Have you ever been called or commissioned to do a job that felt beyond you or overwhelming? I remember sitting in one of my first Greek classes in seminary. I read through the syllabus, listened to the professor, and seriously questioned why I had enrolled in the class. In that moment, it felt way over my head, and I struggled to understand how I would grasp this ancient language.
As the book of Acts begins, the disciples have enjoyed time with Jesus since his resurrection. In this last time together, Jesus commissions these men to take the Gospel message beyond the nation of Israel and to the ends of the earth. Bear in mind, these simple men lacked formal education and societal status and had seemingly meager resources. How were they to fulfill such a calling? It sounded like too much. How could they take this message to the ends of the earth?
Yet God had a plan for these men and a plan for the proclamation of the Gospel. Thankfully, the plan included much provision. Jesus tells the disciples these things will happen after the Holy Spirit had come upon them. Jesus was leaving, but they would not do this kingdom work without him. Instead of living alongside them, Jesus would come to dwell within them. And with his presence would come great power, a power they could not yet fathom.
The fulfillment of their commissioning began with Pentecost. Jesus instructed the disciples to remain in Jerusalem and to wait. Just as John had baptized people with water, the followers of Jesus would be baptized with the Holy Spirit (see Acts 1:4-5). They only needed to remain, to receive, and then to go out and bear witness throughout the world in that power.
As you know, even with the Holy Spirit, this was no small calling. The disciples had to surrender their wills and plans. Often, they did not know where they would go, stay or even what they would say. God provided exactly what they needed when they needed it. They simply needed to listen, trust, and obey.
When you gave your life to Christ, you received the promised Holy Spirit. Now, you are called to live as his disciple and to take the good news of Christ’s salvation to the ends of the earth. That end may be your neighborhood, school, or workplace, or perhaps God will send you as a missionary to another country. You do not fulfill this call in your own power, giftedness, or wisdom. Like the original disciples, the Holy Spirit will empower you; the same power that raised Jesus from the dead now dwells in you.
Are you living in the power of the Holy Spirit? Are you truly listening, trusting, and obeying what the Spirit says to do? Is there more surrender available to you today? We would love to hear your thoughts in the comments.
Jesus calls the Holy Spirit a "gift" who will guide us, lead us, and empower us. Yet many believers don't experience the power and presence of the Holy Spirit in their lives. This unique Christian small group Bible study provides a space in which we can explore what it truly means to "walk in the Spirit" on a daily basis. The Spirit-Filled Life small group curriculum centers on a 6-part video teaching series examining the life-giving and creative work of the Holy Spirit in our lives. Begin to experience the gift today!
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