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Michael Edwards

The word “empowered” is such a great word, immediately invoking anticipation. A simple expression of the idea or concept of empowerment could be, “I believe I can do that,” and then, “I believe I will do that.” Next would be, “Thank God, by His grace and power, I did that.”

Empowerment should be encouraged at every level of leadership and service. I’d like for you to think with me for a moment about terms such as “invest in,” “arm,” “authorize,” “assign,” “delegate,” “equip,” “prepare,” “enable,” and “enlightened,” “capable,” “competent,” “confident,” “trusted,” “bold” and “courageous.”

These words are clearly seen in Jesus’ ministry and development of the disciples. He made a huge investment in them, enlightening, preparing, equipping and enabling them. He built their confidence, competence and courage.

We are presented with a great opportunity to learn, and model our ministry and developmental strategies after, the practices of Jesus. If ever there is a time for the clear demonstration of the power of the gospel, it’s now. We who have believed and have been empowered by the indwelling presence and power of the Holy Spirit are being given opportunities to begin operating in that empowerment.

I’m reminded of the scripture that says “that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might through His Spirit in the inner man” (Eph. 3:16, NKJV). Ephesians 3:20 says, “Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us.”

Jesus is our ultimate example of one who modeled the practice of empowerment. We are told in Luke 10:1-9, “After these things the Lord appointed 70 others also, and sent them two by two before His face into every city and place where He Himself was about to go.” In verse 2, Jesus empowered and gave them instructions beginning with this challenge: “The harvest truly is great, but the laborers are few; therefore pray …” In verse 3, Jesus was “sending”—empowering, arming, equipping and investing in them. I believe Jesus was saying to them: “I am giving you, assigning you and authorizing you. I have modeled for you and prepared you, and believe that you are capable and competent to carry out the assignment. Now, go!”

In just these verses, we begin to see the pattern and practice of Jesus and His commitment to the concept of empowerment. There is so much we can learn from the patterns and practices of Jesus regarding empowerment. In addition, the disciples were given instructions to make them aware of potential distractions or encumbrances, in verse 4. Jesus instructed them on how to respond to hospitality received or denied, in verses 5-7.

What impacted and challenged me most were verses 8-9: “Whatever city you enter, and they receive you, eat such things as are set before you. And heal the sick there …” Jesus empowered them to go somewhere, to be open to hospitality and to heal the sick. No limitations, no restrictions as to which sicknesses or illnesses to heal!

I truly believe that, as we embrace the biblical truths taught by Jesus and are able to overcome our hesitations, we will certainly begin to demonstrate this wonderful grace of empowerment in our society, which so desperately needs more than just another philosophy lesson, another presentation of the “four spiritual laws” or “Jesus loves you.”

I believe Jesus wants us today to take and use the things we’ve seen, heard and become convinced of, to go into our neighborhoods, communities, cities and beyond, to minister the presence and power of Jesus.

Because we are among those who say we believe in the person of Jesus, the authority of His word and the power of the “greater One” on the inside of us, we should “go” and “remember” that Jesus is sending—empowering and authorizing—us to minister on His behalf, that is, to do what He would do if He were present.

There is an old phrase in some Christian circles where believers encourage one another with these words: “Let the Lord use you.” My prayer for us as Foursquare leaders and servants, as we engage the challenges and opportunities, is that we will let the Lord empower us.

Prayer Points

  1. Please pray for leaders and servants, that we will experience a greater revelation of who Jesus is, and that we will come to know the exceeding greatness of His power toward us who believe.
  2. Please pray for churches, that there will be greater evidence of the presence of Jesus and the Holy Spirit.
  3. Pray for more workers/laborers in the vineyard.

Share your thoughts. See comments below, and add your own.

is the senior pastor of Wind of the Spirit Worship Center (Riverside Foursquare Church) in Riverside, Calif.