Text: Acts 1:8; 1 Cor. 4:20
It is one thing to have the Holy Spirit, but something else for Him to have us – to fill our whole being and to empower us to live as Christian women. Christian women and to be precise, all Christian need not only the “life of Christ” within, but the “power” to express that life and power of God. It is possible for Christians to have a relationship with Jesus as our “Savior” and still be very weak Christians. Christians need spiritual life and spiritual power. Come with me to discover how to have a Spirit empowered living:
The Bible shows that the Holy Spirit is the source of power. Jesus asked His disciples to tarry n Jerusalem until they were endued with power from on high. Earlier John the Baptist had said that Jesus would baptize us in the Holy Spirit and fire (Luke 3:16).
WHY WAS IT NECESSARY FOR JESUS TO SEND THE HOLY SPIRIT?
Three good reasons:
1. Jesus was in one place at one time because of His humanity. Now He is omnipresent through the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is often compared to the air. He is the breath of God. Jesus breathed on the disciples. He is everywhere.
2. If Jesus stayed, God’s message would be imperfect to us. Why? It would be limited to language. Now God can commune with all the peoples of the world through the Holy Spirit.
3. Jesus said greater things than He did would we do ( John 14;12). We can do more through the power of the Holy Spirit. Jesus Himself needed the power of the Holy Sprit to live on the earth ( Luke 4:18).
Therefore He said it is to our advantage to go away and send the Holy Spirit ( John 16:7).
SOME WORK THE HOLY SPIRIT ACCOMPLISHES
Among New Christians ( John 16:8-12)
You may be surprised to know that the Spirit is involved in the unsaved world. He works among the unsaved world always. Do you have any idea what the evil world would be without the Holy Spirit? His omnipresence is like an envelope of righteousness – a living invisible restraint. He is the spiritual policeman who after convicting the world of sin, righteousness, and judgment, arrests them. E. g. The example of Saul’s ( Paul’s) conversion; your own example – how He arrested you, etc.
Among Christians (John 16:13-15)
The Holy Spirit takes the Scriptures and makes them clear to us ( the ministry of illumination). He also takes circumstances in which we find ourselves and He gives us insight into them. He takes pleasures and predicaments then uses them to mature us. He nurtures us. He comforts us when we are overtaken by fear. He tells us there is hope when we cannot see the end of the tunnel. He fills us with power and perseverance to stay on.
HOW ARE WE EMPOWERED?
THROUGH THE BAPTISM OF THE HOLY SPIRIT
· As a believer, He is already indwelt by the Spirit. Now in Spirit baptism, you allow the Holy Spirit to take control of you and empower you ( Acts 1:8). Spirit baptism is the occasion when “one is immersed and soaked in the environment, influence, power, and essence of the Spirit of God”. Spirit baptism has been called “the beginning of a great adventure in the Christian living – Life in the Spirit.” Spirit baptism is the opening of the door to a whole new Christian experience particularly in relating to the believer to the living Christ.
· Please note that God desires the Holy Spirit baptism for all who have been saved. It is not a special gift for a privileged few. It is what should automatically accompany salvation. Evangelical theologians do not accept the Pentecostal position concerning the baptism of the Holy Spirit. Some of their questions are ” Does the man who has been baptized with the Spirit have more of the Spirit than the man who is not?” No rather, the Spirit has more of some Christians than He does of others.
The Holy Spirit Baptism is an initiation into power. Jesus, while speaking to His disciples in Luke 24:49 said ” And behold, … the scripture was fulfilled in Acts 2;4 ” and they were all filled… they were empowered for service. After the baptism, the disciples never looked back. Peter spoke with power and boldness. Many convictions were accomplished.
HOW TO RECEIVE THE BAPTISM
a) Be born again. You need to repent from the power of Satan to the power of God. Acts 2;37-39
b) Be genuinely desirous of the baptism. Thirst for it
c) Believe that the Baptism is for all believers including you
d) Know that Jesus is the source ( Matthew 3:11). It is not the Pastor who baptizes but Jesus who is the Baptizer.
e) Trust Jesus to keep His word
f) Ask Him (Luke 11:13)
g) Know that speaking in tongues is the biblical evidence of baptism in the Holy Spirit. Acts 2:4; 10:44: 19:2-7. Critics of speaking in tongues use Paul as their point of reference but Paul asked the believers in Ephesus if they had been baptized by the Spirit. They responded that they had never even heard about Him. Paul thereafter laid hands on them and they began to speak in tongues and prophesy. Paul speaks for himself in 1 Cor. 14;18 ” I thank my God I speak with tongues more than you all.” You are edified when you speak in tongues. 1 Cor. 14:2-4. Acts 2:4
THROUGH FEEDING YOUR MIND WITH THE WORD OF GOD Romans 12:2
Be careful how you feed your mind. The Bible says “ the carnal mind is enmity against God; for its is not subject to the law of God nor indeed can be.” Romans 8:7.
Know that the Spirit of God is fed on the food of the Word of God. To come to the safest and best judgments, our minds must be Biblically informed and trained.
A Preacher once told John Wesley: “I get my text and sermons from God without studying” Wesley asked: “Does God ever give you a text that you have not read?” “No” replied the Preacher. “Then you had better read more” responded Wesley.
Therefore, spend time with the BIBLE. The Bible should be central as the world changes. The alarming trend in today’s Christian society is that many believers do not read their Bible daily or even regularly. One survey showed that 75% of Christians read a newspaper everyday, but only 25% read their Bible daily. How sad! Christians are changing with the world. We need the Priscillas to impart the sound doctrines to the Apollos of our day.
Believers today are more interested in what the newspaper editor says than what God says. Know that every spiritually successful Christian woman builds her life on the Word of God. The power and inspiration you need to live your Christian life is in the Word of God. As we enter the next millennium, decide to build your life with the truths of God’s Word. It would produce a spiritual empowering. Psalm 119:130, 97, 105, 113, 127, 159, 165.
“You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free” John 8:32; Dan 11:32.
3. THROUGH A CONSISTENT PRAYER LIFE
Women of prayer are women of power. The Kingdom of God is not in word but in power.
1 Cor. 4:20. It is not a matter of talk, but power – resolute power. Anna
- The women of old of this church were women of prayer. In fact their prayers have sustained the church. They prayed to change their situations. It is good to pray for ourselves and for our church. But please let’s now change the focus a little. The Bible is rejected in school all over the world; children are being taught garbage – how to case arrest of their parents when they discipline them. Children are allowed to engage in pornography. An Appeals Court Justice, Madam Mary Southing, of British Columbia has said: “perhaps the views Canadians have about child pornography may change over time, perhaps to the point were it becomes acceptable.” Judges in this country want to approve the possession of child pornography. Conditions are being created for the break up of marriages; people (even Christians) are prepared to sponsor Hollywood instead of sponsoring godly things; gays and lesbians want equal rights and governments are making laws in support of them.
- In light of all these evils around, Christian women need to be the powerhouse for their children. Abraham Lincoln’s mother was his powerhouse.
The world is actually changing – Christian women go on your knees to change it for the better. According to the prophet Samuel failure to intercede for our world in these days is sin. 1 Sam 12:23. Let us confront the devil with our consistent prayer lives. He fears the women who prays. Pray his activities out. Let Christ reign wherever the sun shines through your prayers especially PRAISES Psalms 22:3.THROUGH THE ACT OF RIGHTEOUSNESS Proverbs 28:1
- The Lion is the Master of all it surveys in the forest because it is very powerful. The Bible says the “righteous are as bold as the lion.” Jesus is called the Lion of Judah. It is because of the boldness of the lion, Satan is spoken of in 1 Peter 5:8 that ” he roars like the lion.” Satan is not a lion because he hates righteousness he can be one. Live a Holy Spirit empowered life in this changing world through righteousness.
- The writer of Hebrews 1:9 quoted from Psalm 45: 6, 7 on how Jesus has been anointed by God with oil of gladness above His fellows because He loved righteousness. Jesus never ran out of anointing because of His love for righteousness
- Some people want salvation but they don’t want Christianity. Sin limits the believer. There is a secret in Christianity and the secret is that ‘to be full of power is to be full of righteousness.” One of the things to weaken the forces of evil is to make the decision Daniel made – he purposed in his heart not to defile his body with the king’s choice food. Purpose in your life to be HOLY UNTO THE LORD not by mouth but by deed.
The Bible says:
· righteousness and justice are the foundation of God’s throne. Psalms 27: 2b.
· Prov 3:32: “The secret of the Lord is with the Righteous”
· Proverbs 12:13: “ The just shall come out of trouble”
· Isaiah says in Isaiah 3:10 ‘say ye to the righteous, that it shall be well with him for they shall eat the fruit of their doings”
· The Bible says RIGHTEOUSNESS is our breastplate in our battle against Satan.
· Psalms 93:12
· Righteousness through Jesus glorifies and praises God. Phil 1:11 according to Paul, and in 1 Cor 15:34 he says ‘BE AWAKE TO RIGHTEOUSNESS AND DO NOT SIN” this is why Peter asks Christian wives to convert their unholy husbands with exemplary lives. 1 Peter 3:1-6. If you are a Christian woman/man , then know that you have been created in true righteousness and holiness (Ephesians 4:24).
THROUGH YOUR ACT OF WITNESSING ACTS 1:8
People who are empowered by the Holy Spirit live their lives witnessing.
· They know Christianity must affect the changing world around for the better. The Holy Spirit empowers the woman to become a witness. In Canada only 8% of the population go to church. 92% don’t. Here we are not talking of Christians but churchgoers inclusive. It is worse in other nations. The time for witnessing about Christ is now. As women in a changing world, let us be driven by passion for souls.
· Let our focus be on Jesus and not on ourselves. When our church started, fishmongers were used by the Holy Spirit to establish churches in Ghana. The women yielded to the prompting of the Holy Spirit and witnessed about the Living Christ wherever they went.
· We have to empty the kingdom of Satan to populate the kingdom of God. We have a moral responsibility to change the world through our witness. Many of us are so messed up with what the world is telling us that we do not listen to what the Word of God is telling us. Be careful how you feed your mind – TV, movies, conversations, sponsorships, books, etc. to satisfy the lust of the flesh. The Bible says “the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God nor indeed can be “ Rom 8:7.
· The fortunate nations of the world are always heard sending food aid to the deprived areas. The people in your community are deprived spiritually and it is more serious than the hungry. They need spiritual food aid from you – woman. Be a spiritual donor Woman.
LET THE HOLY SPIRIT EMPOWER YOU TO LIVE A LIFE THAT WILL AFFECT THIS CHANGING WORLD.
BREATHE THE SPIRIT; SPEAK IN THE SPIRIT; THINK IN THE SPIRIT; WALK IN THE SPIRIT. DO EVERYTHING IN THE HOLY SPIRIT. LET HIM HAVE MORE OF YOU.