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The Spirit-empowered Life

I’m writing this seed immediately following Pentecost Sunday. In the evening, churches across my city gathered together (via zoom), to pray and worship. My heart was stirred with longing as we called on the Holy Spirit to come with power into each individual life, into each church and into our city. Singers from fifty nations of the world demonstrated the unity which only the Spirit of God can bring, as they sang ‘Amazing Grace’.

The risen Lord Jesus told His disciples that they must wait in Jerusalem until they had been clothed with power from on high (Luke 24:49) and baptised in the Holy Spirit (Acts 1:4-5). About 120 believers obeyed Jesus. They gathered in an upper room, constantly praying and waiting for the promise of Jesus to be fulfilled. Without warning, on the day of Pentecost, it happened. There was the sound of a violent wind, tongues of fire came to rest on each of them and they all spoke in other tongues (languages) as the Spirit enabled them (Acts 2:2-4). When they left the upper room, they were accused of turning the world upside down. They were flogged, imprisoned and persecuted, but when their persecutors saw their courage, they recognised that this bunch of unschooled, ordinary men had been with Jesus.

After the power of the Holy Spirit fell upon the first disciples, they were radically changed. They expected and experienced miracles. Despite constant threats on their lives, not once did they compromise their faith. They were sold out for Jesus and were content to live or die for Him. Yet, in reality, they were not unlike us. They were not chosen for their greatness, ability or gifting. In their own strength they were weak, fearful and utterly unqualified for the task they were given. That is until the Holy Spirit came upon them in an audible and visible way.

Wind and fire are symbols of the Holy Spirit, expressions of His nature and His ways. Continual surrender to the Holy Spirit is the way to a Spirit-empowered life. A mighty wind is extremely powerful. You hear its sound, but you cannot trace where it comes from or where it is going (John 3:8). It is impossible to control the wind. We must lean into the wind and go the way it takes us, by letting go of our desire to control, or our fear of being out of control. This may seem unsafe for those who are used to being in control, but obedience and trust bring deep security into our lives, even in difficult situations when anxiety and insecurity abound around us.

The Holy Spirit, who is pure and holy, works in us to sanctify us and make us more and more like Jesus. Fire is a symbol of His refining process in our lives purging away sin and dross and continually purifying our hearts. So we can ask for this and pray for the refiner’s fire to purify our hearts and then set them on fire with a passionate love for Jesus.

Truths that we’ve known for a long time and experienced in the past often need renewing in our hearts. Lockdown is new. We’ve never been this way before. For many people, the old roots of anxiety and depression have re-surfaced, making life difficult. But could this be a time for us to spend time alone with God and to be honest before Him? Anything less than the Spirit-empowered life is insufficient to complete the task entrusted to us as fearless witnesses to Jesus.

Prayer: ‘Thank You, O my Father, for giving us Your Son, for leaving Your spirit ‘till the work on earth is done’. Please speak to my heart and change me. Fill me anew with the Holy Spirit and with passion to spread the good news of Jesus to those around me who are hopeless without Him. I pray in the name of Jesus, for His glory and the extension of Your kingdom. Amen.
 

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Scripture

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, NIV

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Today's Writer

Margaret Silvester had a career as a teacher prior to being called into full time Christian Ministry with her husband, David, in 1986. They were involved in establishing a Healing Ministry in the local church and Margaret has a passion to see lost and wounded people found and restored. She and her husband joined the Ellel Ministries teaching and ministry team in 2000 after a clear call from God. Margaret`s book "Stepping Stones to the Father Heart of God" has recently been published.

Margaret Silvester


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