Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Power from the Holy Spirit

"But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth."  Acts 1:8

When the Lord brought my husband and I back to him in 2000, he transformed our life.  We both clearly heard the Lord personally speak to us.  This was the first time that we had ever heard so clearly from God or understood that God wanted a personal relationship with him.  It was powerful.  He was looking for obedience.  He knew we were willing to obey because at that point in our lives hitting rock bottom in our marriage where we had two toddlers whom we both loved. We knew we needed God and we would not make it without him.

Our act of being obedient was the first step towards receiving power from on high.  He now wanted to sanctify and set us apart for him.  Soon after taking this step, the church we were attending prayed for us to receive power from on high and we began to speak in tongues.  This was the first time we ever saw the power of God.  He also bore witness with us by sharing the scripture from John 20:22 "And with that he breathed on them and said, "Receive the Holy Spirit.".  Then in Acts, he told them that they "would receive power from on high when the Holy Spirit comes on you."  He made it clear that you receive the spirit when you are born again, then you need to pray for the power.  He also confirms in his word again in Acts 8:15-17 "When they arrived, they prayed for them that they might receive the Holy Spirit; because the Holy Spirit had not yet come upon any of them; they had simply been baptized into the name of the Lord Jesus.  Then Peter and John placed their hands on them, and they received power from on high."  God clearly identified to us that baptism in the Holy Spirit from one appointed from God was necessary to do his will.  We cannot do anything without power from the Holy Spirit.

When we received this revelation God gave us power and the ability to begin to overcome sin in our lives.  Although, we did not do everything perfectly, we clearly could discern when the Holy Spirit was convicting us again in our lives.  He also began to show us that what we put into our eyes and ears would become who we are.  Did we want to be filled with the world (Television, Entertainment, Conforming to their ways) or do we want to be filled with him (his word)?  That is when we began our pursuit of reading the word daily.  We knew that we needed something greater.  In the midst of all this, our promise of a third child came and over the next 6 years between all three kids and sleep deprivation, we daily read the word of God despite the lack of sleep we had.  We went to church even when it was difficult and we didn't want to.

We persevered despite our situation.  We were hit financially.  We had many people reject us.  We had even the elders at one church go to the other church we came from say that they would prefer anyone but us to be the ones to bring the English church to their church in our community (keep in mind that we lived in their community).  We had people avoid us because they did not want to turn back to God, some of which are good friends who came back to God.  Even more funny after leaving the church who didn't want us there, they called us back two years later to serve (funny, huh?  We did decline).  We have seen many people who lives were changed because of what he did for us.  We saw the power of God come and through the gifts of the spirit and the power of the gospel we shared, we saw many who were set free come back to serving God again.

God has been good.  Although we are still in a battle, God is still there.  We know that we need to continue persevering despite what seems to sometimes be tough.  We still preach the gospel of Jesus and share the good news knowing that God is good and he will lead others back to him.  We were not able to do any of this had it not been that we received power from on high.  My prayer is that God will bring power from the Holy Spirit for you as well to be his witnesses into all the world!

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