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IN TOUCH WITH GOD    by Edward Heppenstall

 
Power From God APRIL 4

POWER BY THE HOLY SPIRIT—2

Ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you. Acts 1:8.

When we study the early Christians we discover that the power of the Spirit was not given as an end in itself, to shock, to surprise, to overwhelm the individual, but to fulfill the great commission. One hundred twenty disciples filled with the Spirit shook the world. What a triumph was there.

The indwelling of the Holy Spirit is pre-eminently calculated to fashion men and women of great dedication to God. Everything about the presence and power of the Holy Spirit is calculated to unlock the mind, to evoke all our powers, to bring out all the possibilities for doing the work of God in the world. The Spirit is strong to enlist people in the service of God. "The people that do know their God shall be strong, and do exploits" (Dan. 11:32).

The presence of the Holy Spirit makes a strong church. It makes strong Christians. What was the great blessing of Pentecost? Cowardly, weak, timid, ignorant men; fishermen; tax gatherersóby the power of the Holy Spirit they became the majestic apostles whose mighty work and witness changed the face of the world for all time. They endured to the end, to martyrdom, to face every possible sacrifice to build the City of God. The Spirit led them to the most magnificent triumphs for the Kingdom of God, greater than anything ever seen before. Under the latter rain the remnant church of God is to exceed this.

Without the Holy Spirit the world is too strong for us. All through the Bible God gets things done in a remarkable way by an odd group of men and women filled with the Spirit, who never could have gone very far by their own efforts and under their own steam.

Jesus Christ is not asking for our strength, our wisdom, our power. When Gideon went to war with the Midianites, their armies "lay along in the valley like grasshoppers for multitude" (Judges 7:12). Yet God utterly defeated them by three hundred men empowered by the Spirit. What you and I can do on our own for God will never amount to much. Only the power of the Holy Spirit can make the difference.

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