“You will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you.” Acts 1:8
This morning I was reading through the Good Book of Acts and verse number 8 in the very first chapter particularly hit me, “…you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you…” I began to ponder, power for what? Power over what? So I started searching my brain’s archives for reminders of what that Holy Power might look like.
I know He’s called the Comforter, so we need to call out to and rely on Him when we’re feeling anxious. I thought about some of you all who’ve admitted you’re prone to reach for sweets or snacks or drippy foods when you feeling blue. Aren’t we silly souls? Trusting a bag of potato chips over the Spirit of God? So surely one way we receive power is by getting our comfort from the True Comforter vs. destructive imposters.
The Good Book of John says the Spirit reminds us of what we’ve already learned. My lans am I happy to embrace this truth ‘cus my rememberin’ is getting pretty poor these days. Please don’t tell anyone but I put a pot o’ beans to boil on the stove last week and forgetting about them, walked to the corner market. Boy did I have a charred mess when I got home, not to mention a stinkin’ kitchen. It’s a wonder my neighbor didn’t call the fire department! Then that very same evening I was out watering my new fuchsia bush when my grandson called. We sure had a nice chat, and my water bill this month will remind me of the fine time we had. When you are seeking assistance in remembering, especially for reciting the powerful promises of God, just call on the Spirit. God wants us to commit the Good Word to memory. Psalm 119:11 says Thy Word I have treasured in my heart that I might not sin against Thee. But my old brain seems to be short circuited by cobwebs. So when I’m wanting to imprint a particular passage in my heart I say, “Spirit! The Good Book of John, chapter 14 in verse 26 (I like to remind Him where I found the assurance…) that You, my Helper, will bring to my remembrance all that Jesus told His disciples to pass on to me. I’m callin’ on You to bring those powerful passages back to my memory.” And He does! Remembering the Word is critical because it will give you confidence and courage to overcome the devil. Whether that scoundrel is trying to give you reasons to whine or be blue, or just like in the Garden he’s saying “Oh, go ahead and eat that dessert. You deserve it! Don’t you think God wants you to be happy?” The Spirit will remind you that all things are lawful but not all things are helpful or build you up. And one of His fruit is self-control, and that’s power!
But if that isn’t enough power for your pleasing, the Holy Spirit is also your Coach according to John 16:8: (That John sure was prolific, wasn’t he?) Now candidly, some of us would politely prefer to pass on this part of the Spirit’s power-rendering. “When he comes, He will convict the world concerning sin, and righteousness and judgment. Concerning sin because they do not believe. Concerning righteousness because I go to the Father and you will see me no longer. Concerning judgment because the ruler of this world is judged.” (John 16:8-11) Jesus was telling his followers, “I’m headed back to Heaven, and I know ya’ll will have a tendency toward forgetting, especially those things I told you that you don’t really like to hear. So I’m sending my Spirit to remind you and empower you to follow my commands.” That Jesus, He sure did know how we think and how we slip and slide off His sacred path! He sent us a Holy Helper to keep us from wandering.
So for any of ya’ll who heard yourself recently saying, “I’m too tired to exercise” or “I just don’t have the energy to cook dinner tonight so I’m gonna slip through the drive-thru”, remember the words of your Brother Paul, “You will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you.” If you have Jesus in your heart - if He’s your Lord and your Savior - you are called to walk in power. Call on the Comforter when you are weary, anxious, or tempted. Ask Him to bring promise and praise verses to your mind to battle the enemy’s temptations of the flesh. And when you hear the Holy Helper whispering in your ear, listen and take heed. “STOP! Don’t! That won’t fill the hole in your heart. It won’t fix the problem you’re frettin’ about. Put it down and go sit with your Father. He’s patiently waiting for you.”
Praise Jesus, sisters and brothers, for the Helper who lives right inside of us, always ready to help in time of need.