Do you ever feel weak and overwhelmed? If we are honest, all of us feel that way from time to time, whether it is navigating the stresses in our home or job, dealing with the pain associated with loss or illness, or walking through the countless uncertainties associated with a pandemic.
When Jesus was preparing to leave this earth after His resurrection, He wanted to prepare His followers for the challenges that life brings. To do that, He offered all who believe the gift of the Holy Spirit, including you and me! The Holy Spirit empowers us in so many ways. Just before His ascension into heaven, Jesus made this promise to His disciples: 8 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; Acts 1:8a. Then, days later, the Holy Spirit was “poured out” at Pentecost to dwell in all who believe. (Acts 2:1ff)
I am so grateful that we are empowered by the Holy Spirit! Jesus knew that we would need His power, not only to faithfully share the gospel, but to honor Him with our lives! How does the Holy Spirit empower me? There are many ways, but here are seven ways that the Holy Spirit is at work in our lives:
1) The Holy Spirit teaches me! 26 But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you. John 14:26 How is your memory? I’m told that people forget roughly 95% of what any pastor teaches on Sunday by Wednesday! That is not real encouraging for me as a pastor; but that is also why I send this message recap every Wednesday. Jesus knew that our memories are far from perfect. We need to be reminded of what God’s Word teaches. The Holy Spirit is at work in us, always teaching us and reminding us of God’s truths. We desperately need that!
2) The Holy Spirit sanctifies me. 16 So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. Galatians 5:17. To sanctify means to make “holy”. 15 But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; 1 Peter 1:15. It is not easy to “be holy”; in fact we need a lot of help with that! The Holy Spirit is at work in us, helping us to live in a way that honors Christ. To “walk by the Spirit” is the idea of continuous movement in the direction God wants us to take. It is also the idea of an habitual lifestyle decision. In other words, when it is my habit to choose to live under the influence of the Spirit as opposed to the flesh, He makes me holy. God can then produce much needed fruit in my life! 22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Galatians 5:22-23
3) The Holy Spirit assists me with my prayers. 26 In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans. Romans 8:26 Do you ever find yourself at a loss as to what to pray? You don’t even know what to say? That can happen when we are going through dark seasons in life… loss or loneliness or confusion or despair. In those moments, all you can do is groan or sigh. The Holy Spirit knows exactly what you are feeling and experiencing in those moments. He understands your pain, your brokenness, your heartache. When you don’t even know what to pray, trust that He will intercede for you.
4) The Holy Spirit fills me with hope, joy and peace! 13 May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. Romans 15:13. Where do you find your hope and joy? These days, some people are discovering that the source of their joy or hope has dried up because they placed it in the wrong things. If your hope and joy is in your job, it could be taken from you; if your hope and joy is in wealth, it could be taken from you; if you hope and joy is in vacations or leisure, they could be taken from you. If your hope is in people, they could be taken from you. The truth is, our hope comes from our relationship with God, who fills us with joy and peace, by the Holy Spirit. Thank God for that!
5) The Holy Spirit gives me special gifts. 4 There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit distributes them. 1 Corinthians 12:4. The Holy Spirit develops gifts in all who believe, and God uses those gifts to make Christ known, to serve Him and to serve one another. There are many gifts listed in scripture. If you are a believer, the Spirit is developing gifts in you to be used to honor Him!
6) The Holy Spirit convicts me. 8 When he comes, he will prove the world to be in the wrong about sin and righteousness and judgment: John 16:8 The world has developed a tolerance for sin… that happened a long time ago. But The Holy Spirit is at work helping people to see that sin is not the solution to life’s problems; the solution is a commitment to Jesus Christ and to live according to the Spirit, not the flesh. In fact, life works infinitely better we when we choose the Spirit!
7) The Holy Spirit gives me wisdom to help understand God. 10 The Spirit searches all things, even the deep things of God. 1 Corinthians 2:10. God’s wisdom is so much greater than ours. The Holy Spirit wants to help you to understand and apply God’s wisdom, revealed through His Word to our lives! Scripture is so rich with powerful truths. The Spirit offers you wisdom as you read and study the Bible, listen carefully when it is taught, and pray that you fully understand it and apply it to your life!
The Holy Spirit dwells in all who believe and He is very much at work in this world and has been since Pentecost. He empowers us! For far more, click here to listen to: Perfect Love - Part 6 - Empowered!