“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.” Acts, 1:8.
In Acts 1:8, Jesus was speaking to His fearful followers. The same followers who ran in terror for their lives in the dark hour of testing. Nevertheless, He commissioned them to carry His Good News to all nations, but not without the transforming power and presence of the Holy Spirit.
Is it possible to be a faithful witness for Christ without the empowerment of the Holy Spirit?
Some may say, “that power comes with the “born again” experience. I agree, we must be “born again” as Jesus directed in John 3. In fact, in John 15:3, Jesus gives evidence of the “born again” lives of His Apostles but we cannot deny that on the day of Pentecost as recorded in Acts 2, these same people received the power of the Spirit to fulfill the Great Commission.
Through the years, I have observed an immeasurable lack of this power, which led to frustrated witnessing. These people had intense zeal, but the lacked the power of the Holy Spirit!
The mystery in being a Spirit-filled and powerful witness for Christ is not in mere polished speeches and the latest philosophy, but by God’s Spirit and God’s power flowing and working through a yielded life.
Conferences and seminars can provide needed training and they have their place in the kingdom. However, these alone do not guarantee a transformed, Spirit-filled life, effectively witnessing for Christ.
If you note in the book of Acts, following Pentecost, the High priest and other authorities of the day couldn’t take their eyes off the Apostles because they were bold and confident! Their fascination deepened when they realized these men had no formal education but they had been companions and followers of Jesus. (Acts 4:13)
Moreover, these same, bold, uneducated, Holy Spirit-filled people turned the world upside down for Christ.
All the Apostles, except for John were martyred for their faith in Christ, but not until their witness reached to the ends of the earth. The same power and presence of the Holy Spirit, working through Christ’s followers today is still reaching the nations and fulfilling the Great Commission.
How can we receive the Holy Spirit’s power that reaches beyond ones perimeters?
The Biblical record provides us with insight. There are no sets of rules to receive this power. How did the apostles receive it? How do believers today receive the promise of the Father? They tarried and waited until the Holy Spirit fell upon them, filling them with power to witness for Christ. After this, the fire spread rapidly in Jerusalem, Judea, then reaching Samaria, and finally to the nations.
This is precisely what happened with our early Anabaptist forefathers; The power they received from on high quickly set the European nations on fire. It spread from canton to canton in Switzerland–than on into Austria, France, Germany, and the Netherlands, while at the same time alarming the great reformers such as Luther, Zwingly and Calvin.
Barbara and I can both testify that God is faithful to keep His word and promise. Within two weeks of seeking and waiting on the Lord, we received this Anointing and power after specifically praying for it in the confines of our isolated Amish home in Missouri. It requires no education, no seminars, no training, or attending conferences. God is anxiously waiting to impart this gift to all who ask. (Luke 11:13) The power of this anointing on our lives resulted in being marked, abandoned, and accounted as heretics among the Amish people within one year of receiving it without so much as making one public statement among the them concerning our faith. This mystery is best described in Paul’s words,
” the mystery which has been hidden from ages and from generations, but has now been revealed to His saints. To them God willed to make known what are the riches of the glory of this mystery among the gentiles: which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.” Colossians 1:26-27.
This word was brought home to our lives 30 years ago, after many generations of darkness clouding our people, in particular we Amish.
When once Christ possesses your life in this fashion, there is no turning back, the only way to go, is forward–forward to new horizons, but then only, as Christ leads the way. We can no longer make claims or have ownership in anything except where Christ is leading us, which will often lead us in places of severe testing, and fiery trials. To avoid His leading in such times will but result in utter deception.
The reason many of us stumble is that we do not understand the work of God’s purging in order to be a faithful and powerful witness. Again, our witness stands greater in who we are, then what our words can convey. This does not negate the fact that we will indeed speak as the Spirit leads us, but when we do speak, it is Christ speaking through us. For years, I attempted to speak for Christ, but the more He purged me, the more He was able to speak through me.
A star witness, as I have coined it, never needs to be in a sweat as how to best reach the people. The spiritual aroma that follows him will always have an affect on those nearby. Being led by the Spirit, a star witness will know the next steps he is to take in following Christ. Sometimes his work is intense and requires patience while waiting on the Lord. Waiting is perhaps one of the most difficult assignments required of us. We become impatient and often begin manufacturing our own course—which will always end in failure.
Waiting, is not in most christians vocabulary, for it is much harder than walking. It is when the Lord hedges us in when our sphere of influence seemingly comes to am end—life comes to a stand still and seeming failure, while our hearts are throbbing to move forward–never realizing; that patiently waiting on the Lord bears the healthiest fruit in the Spirit-filled life. Job 3:23.
It is my prayer, that all who read this will receive a mighty impartation of power in the Holy Spirit as recorded in God’s word in Acts 2.
I pray that the Spirit’s power and presence will fill you with such magnitude that it transforms your life, and the lives of those around you.
I pray that your eyes are open and your heart is filled with God’s Truth.
I pray that you will speak the Truth in love for God and those before you.
I pray that you will not compromise your transformed witness for Jesus and that you will walk in your spiritual DNA—who God created you to be.
I pray that you will not stumble when offenses arise, for they surely will.
I pray that you will not bow to fear, will stand strong under assault, glorify God in all things, forgive immediately those who have wronged you, never lean to your own understanding, and maintain your testimony for Jesus, as He establishes his authentic prophetic voice to the nations through men and women such as you. Rev, 12:11, 19:10b.
May you be His own star witness.
edited by Micah Smith…….You may view more “Anabaptist connections” articals on our blog at; www.anabaptistconnections.org …………….You may freely distribute these in there original form