Ephesians 5:17-18 NKJV
“Therefore do not be unwise, but understand what the will of the Lord is. And do not be drunk with wine, in which is dissipation; but be filled with the Spirit”
The early church was a group of believers empowered by the Holy Spirit that spread the Good News. They waited in the upper room until they receive the promised gift from the Father. Only after they received the gift, the baptism of the Holy Spirit, did they go out into their world with the gospel.
Acts 1:8 NKJV
“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.”
Empowered by the Holy Spirit, they began to fulfill the great commission – they were controlled and energized by the Holy Spirit. Each of the first believers had experienced a life changing encounter with God. They did not leave their encounter with the same way, they were changed. Too many times today people will come to the altar and experience an encounter with man then leave the altar unchanged.
Throughout the church today the question is often asked, “Why don’t we see the church of Acts today?” The answer is simple, we haven’t tarried in the upper room for the endowment of power. The same gift is offered to believers today, however fewer and fewer believers are asking for and receiving that gift, the baptism of the Holy Spirit. And even less are truly walking in the Spirit.
All across the world there is a vast majority of people that have had an encounter with man (good song, good sermon, good program, etc…), but not a life changing encounter with God. Man, and the things of man, can not transform man. Only God can change and transform man – each one of us must come into the presence of God. Only in God’s presence are we changed. People can not be a witness for Christ if they have never really experienced an encounter with Him. In a court of law, a person can not testify with hear say – everything that a person bears witness of must have been personally seen or experienced by the person giving the testimony. The same is true in the spiritual realm -you cannot testify to (be a witness of) what you have not personally experienced. We can not testify to what we have not personally seen or experienced.
If we want to be an Acts church, we too, must be endowed with power. The only power that can transform us or our world comes from the Holy Spirit.
By the power of the Holy Spirit, may we not be unwise, but understand what Your will is. Cause us to desire to be filled, and refilled, with Your Spirit. Cause us not to get in a hurry or become distracted, but may we tarry in the upper room until we receive the gift that You promised. Then may we go out into our world energized and empowered by the Holy Spirit, as we fulfill the great commission. Cause everything we say and do be controlled by the Holy Spirit. May each and every person that claims the name of a believer to experience a life changing encounter with Jesus and Your precious Holy Spirit. Don’t allow them to leave their encounter the same way, cause each one to be changed.
Fill each believer with a desire for more of You and for the baptism of the Holy Spirit. And cause each believer to make the choice to walk in the Spirit. May our lives be a living testimony to those around us.
In Jesus’ name, Amen