What is spiritual power? Where does it come from?
Does spiritual power come from within ourselves?
Jesus tells us that it comes from somewhere else. It’s “power from on high” (Luke 24:49). It’s the “power” of “the Holy Spirit” (Acts 1:8).
What happened on “the day of Pentecost”? Did Jesus’ followers discover spiritual power within themselves? No! They received power from on high – “from heaven”: “they were all filled with the Holy Spirit” (Acts 2:1-4).
As we read on in the book of Acts, we see the Lord’s servants moving forward in the power of the Holy Spirit: “they were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and they spoke the word of God with boldness” (Acts 4:31).
When the power of the Holy Spirit is working through the preaching of God’s word, Jesus is exalted. The vital connection between the working of the Holy Spirit and our confession of faith in Jesus is emphasized in 1 Corinthians 12:3 – “No-one can say that Jesus is Lord except by the Holy Spirit.”
Saying that Jesus is Lord is more than mouthing the right words. What makes our confession of faith in Jesus real? It’s the power of ‘the Holy Spirit. That’s where a real confession of faith in Jesus comes from.
Through the power of the Holy Spirit, we are brought to see Jesus as more than a tragic hero. We see beyond his crucifixion. We see that Jesus is the risen Lord. When we see that Jesus has risen from the dead, we look back to his crucifixion with new eyes. We look at Jesus, crucified for us, an we say, “Hallelujah! What a Saviour!” (from the hymn,”Man of sorrows!”).
Behind the confession with our mouth – “Jesus is Lord” – and the faith in our heart – “God has raised Jesus from the dead” (Romans 10:9) – there is the power of the Holy Spirit.
Let’s never forget the Holy Spirit. Our faith is never something that comes from ourselves. It comes to us from above – from the Holy Spirit, working in us.
May God help us, more and more, to live in the power of the Holy Spirit. This is the way of living that brings glory to God.