Imagine someone gives you a gift. You unwrap the gift and inside was an expensive, gold-plated phone. How would you feel? What would you do after receiving the phone?
How would you feel when you power up the phone and it does not work because it does not come with a battery and has no way of being powered by one?
“And Jesus returned in the power of the Spirit into Galilee and there went out a fame of him through all the region round about.” (Luke 14:4)
What did it mean when the verse says Jesus returned? The answer to that lies in what transpired before this time.
Verse 1 begins with, “And Jesus, being full of the Holy Ghost returned from Jordan, and was led the by Spirit into the wilderness”
When a person surrenders his life to Christ, a measure of the Holy Spirit is deposited in the person. Romans 8:14 “For those who are led by the Spirit of God are the children of God”.
The Holy Spirit is the spiritual midwife who oversees the spiritual birth of the Christian. Just like the midwife ensures that everything required for a safe delivery is readily available, so also does the Holy Spirit ensure that all that is required for the delivery of a new baby in Christ, is in place.
While a human midwife cannot guarantee the safe delivery of a baby, the Holy Spirit is Himself a guarantee that a baby in Christ will live. “Now He who establishes us with you in Christ and has anointed us is God, who also has sealed us and given us the Spirit in our hearts as a guarantee.” (2 Corinthians 1:21-22 also Ephesians 4:30)
Having the initial deposit of the Holy Spirit is not enough. When we come to Christ; unknown to us, the power of darkness attacks with all of its fury in order to retrieve what was lost. While we were yet in sin, we were no threat to the evil one, we were merely pawns to be used at will. Now that we have moved over to the Lord’s side, the devil nurses the hope that with all the tools in his arsenal, (sickness, loss, pain, frustration, failure) the new Christian could be lured back.
The attacking strategy of the enemy, used since the beginning of the world, is still the same. The lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes and the pride of life. It worked with Adam and Eve so satan was confident it would work with Jesus. It however did not work. Why? Because Jesus was full of the Holy Spirit! When Jesus overcame satan in the wilderness, He ‘returned in the power of the Spirit’
Jesus knew that knowledge of the scriptures, His teaching and the initial deposit of the Holy Spirit in the disciples would not be enough. This was why He gave them the promise in Acts 1:8, “But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Sama'ria and to the end of the earth."
The disciples needed an outpouring of Holy Spirit for the work that lay ahead of them. It was not a task or commission for the faint-hearted. It was not a challenge that could be overcome in human strength. What lay ahead could only be accomplished by the power of the Holy Spirit!
Countries spend a lot of money training soldiers and intelligence officers. Some trainings take months while others may take years. Once the training is completed, these trained men and women are sent into the battle field or enemy territory to gather intelligence. No country trains its soldiers just for knowledge sake or to keep them somewhere in relative comfort.
When we are empowered by the Spirit of God, we should expect to be taken into enemy territory where the power of God will be unleashed. God does not empower us by His Spirit for us to stay in the comfort of His presence.
He sends us out on missions to rescue those who have been held captive. We will face all kinds of risks but we can be assured that the weapons He has given to us (Gifts and Callings) are superior to those of the enemy. We can therefore march with confidence and the assurance that we have all we need to succeed in the assignment He has given us.
When an appliance is charged by a power source, it becomes necessary to recharge it after some time of use or else it will run out of power. The same way, a child of God needs to recharge regularly. I find I have to recharge my phone virtually every day. How much more should I be recharged daily in the presence of God?
Are you presently running on low power? Do not wait until you are totally flat before you recharge! Plug in to God now and let Him recharge you with the power of the Holy Spirit! Just like a device is useless when it has no power, you can be of little use to God if you are not empowered by His Spirit.
In order for us to be effective in Christian ministry, we need to be empowered by the Holy Ghost. Man’s effort at doing God’s work often hit road blocks and in many cases fail but when we are empowered by the Holy Spirit, we can do all things through Christ who strengthens us. (Phil 4:13)