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29th March 2015
Jesus’ disciples needed to be clothed with power from God. So do we! We need the empowering of the Holy Spirit in order to be courageous.
If you want the Holy Spirit’s activity in your life, you just need to ask Him! Ask Him to come and fill you again and again. Heaven’s doors are open. You can come whenever.
We don’t live for the next encounter; we live under the influence of the Spirit at all times. It’s ongoing. We’re never separated from the love of God.
Have you received the Spirit? When the apostles received the Spirit, there was a tangible experience. Jesus’ followers were so filled with joy that people thought they were drunk! There was fire and wind and other languages. There was tangible evidence that the Spirit had come.
Jesus told His disciples to wait for the Spirit and not to go out in their own strength (Luke 24:49). Jesus Himself had done the same – the Spirit came upon Jesus at His baptism. Likewise, we’re not supposed to operate in our own strength, which runs out so quickly, but to be empowered by the Holy Spirit.
Peter was once a terrified follower of Jesus who denied even knowing Him. But after being filled with the Spirit, Peter was transformed into an incredibly bold man, preaching in the streets about Jesus to thousands.
The same Spirit is available to us today. He is God’s promised gift to us. And God’s promises are guaranteed – God is steadfast and true; He keeps His promises. So we can depend on Him to give us the promised Holy Spirit.
But we were never meant to just get the Spirit once. We are meant to be filled again and again and again. Real courage comes from being filled with the Spirit. It’s not a one-off blessing. It’s not a badge of honour or a sign of maturity. Being filled is for every follower of Christ.
In Acts 4:8 and 4:31, we see Peter being filled again. He’d already been filled, but he is filled again for fresh boldness. Living in the Spirit is not a one-off power encounter, as wonderful as those can be, but a way of life.
The Spirit is here. He is available. He fills us to overflowing with joy, peace and boldness. Keep being filled. We’re encouraged in the Bible to walk in step with the Spirit – to live out our lives in step with Him, going where He goes.
When we live in step with the Spirit, we are increasingly influenced by Him, but we also then influence others. If the Spirit of Jesus is in us, we take Him wherever we go and others encounter Him through us. The Spirit helps us to become more like Jesus. We begin to look more like Him, behave more like Him, think more like Him.
Ongoing courage comes from continually being filled by the Spirit so we can do the things that Jesus did – pray for the hurting, sit with the despised, cry with people, love them, to feed and clothe, to love those others find unloveable.
Wherever you find yourself this week, be filled with the Spirit and take courage! (And next Sunday jot down on a post-it note how you've been courageous this week and add it to our 'Acts of Courage' wall!)
Posted by Santino Hamberis