The Bible speaks of a power that eclipses the most potent weapon, the strongest river, the largest atomic explosion, and the potential of the human brain. It’s the wonder working power of God. The power that can change a life, calm a soul, set a captive free, and change the world.
The word often translated power in the New Testament is dynamis, the origin of the English word dynamite. The inventor of dynamite, Alfred Nobel, found a way to take a volatile substance nitroglycerin, and make it stable. The dynamis of God makes a volatile life stable by infusing his followers with the capacity to do his powerful work in the world.
Our omnipotent God, through the Holy Spirit, wants to gives us more power.
God’s power given to his people will make politicians jealous, will amaze the naturalist, will bewilder the scientist, and will overwhelm the executive. Each day God wants to give you and me, common, ordinary people, as we are, his power to accomplish his work.
When the Spirit descended upon the disciples at Pentecost and took control of the believers’ lives, his presence had an immediate effect, then and now.
Human frailties are transformed into supernatural gifts and abilities. From the moment the Holy Spirit arrived, nothing about the disciples remained the same. When his power fell upon them, they spoke in another language. From their lips flowed words they had never spoken before in languages they had never learned. These once frightened, unsure, timid, confused men never again evidenced such inadequacies.
Fearful reluctance is transformed into bold confidence.Before Jesus’ resurrection, these same disciples were afraid of being found by the Jews so they hid secretly behind closed doors. They were frozen in fear. But that was then. Now they poured into the public streets of Jerusalem preaching Christ and urging total strangers to repent and to believe in Jesus. Even the authorities and their attackers noticed the difference in these men. “When they saw the courage of Peter and John and realized that they were unschooled, ordinary men, they were astonished and they took note that these men had been with Jesus” (Acts 4:13 NIV). While they did not look any differently physically, nor had they taken crash courses that made them cultured and sophisticated, they were different. They were changed men.
Bitter suffering is transformed into joyful perseverance. Now bold in their witness and strong in their stand these early disciples felt the sting of Pharisaical blows. In an effort to squelch their preaching the Pharisees ordered Peter and John flogged. “They called the disciples in and had them flogged. Then they ordered them not to speak in the name of Jesus, and let them go” (Acts 5:40 NIV). The Jewish leaders must have thought that the flogging would shut them up for good. “The apostles left the Sanhedrin, rejoicing because they had been counted worthy of suffering disgrace for the Name. Day after day, in the temple courts and from house to house, they never stopped teaching and proclaiming the good news that Jesus is the Christ” (Acts 5:40-42 NIV). The Amplified Bible says they were “dignified by the indignity.” The flogging, the warning, and the threat merely fueled the fire of their determination. In fact, they left rejoicing. Joy filled their hearts. The wimps had become warriors.
Whenever I call my IT guy, the first question he asks is: “Is your computer plugged in?” If we want to see the power of God work in our lives, we must be plugged in. Here’s how—
- Pray for his power. We do not have because we do not ask.
- Obey his instructions. The power of God’s Spirit comes in direct proportion to our obedience.
- Worship his majesty. Worship is the pathway of connecting with God. Remember the early disciples were recognized as having been with Jesus.
- Expect his blessings. We must believe that God will do what he has promised.
- Rejoice in his service. Rejoicing in God in spite of our circumstances is a sure indication that we know that God is in control.