“But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth” (Acts 1:8, NKJV).
Recently, as I was being driven by taxi to church by a Muslim gentleman, the Lord impressed a word of knowledge on my heart for the man’s wife. After much hesitation and a few nudges from the Holy Spirit, I shared the word, and it was graciously confirmed. This led to a great opportunity to share the Good News. The journey ended in us praying together as the gentleman experienced the love of Jesus. In another instance, while on a flight, my wife and I prayed for a Muslim lady whom the Lord miraculously healed within a matter of minutes.
God is calling His church to be bold in partnering with the Holy Spirit and to step out of its comfort zone. Listening to Him and hearing His voice on behalf of others prompts us to move in the gifts and power of the Holy Spirit—for example, by touching and encouraging those who do not know Him—which helps many experience God’s love and power. In Acts, when the church was empowered with the Holy Spirit, they did not just gather together and have a great prayer meeting. They also went out and allowed themselves to be used mightily in the newly received power.
“For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God” (Rom. 8:14).
We fear getting it wrong, or we may think, “This is not for me.” A bold step of faith is what it takes. A friend said, “Practice makes permanent.” Jesus said, “My sheep hear My voice” (John 10:27). We don’t realize how often we hear Him yet dismiss it as our imagination. The best method of practice is to pray silently for someone by asking the Lord for His heart and anything specific the person may need. The Holy Spirit will drop a thought into you, which He then leads you to share. New Testament prophecy is always about encouragement, edification and exhortation.
The Holy Spirit is calling us to function in the gifts of the Spirit beyond the walls of the local church and our gatherings. Jesus and the apostles demonstrated this in their ministries. The gifts were seldom used in the synagogues, but on the streets and wherever the need arose. Our comfort zone would be in our gatherings, yet there is a greater call from the Lord to use the gifts of the Spirit in the marketplace, schools and neighborhoods.
To be full of the Spirit is to be the transforming presence in a dark and broken world (Jude 1:17-22). Talking about it or having intellectual discussions, although great, is not adequate. We are called into a daily lifestyle that becomes the norm, as Jesus and the apostles demonstrated. They touched people and transformed a world—not because of philosophies, arguments or being meeting-focused—but by living a lifestyle in the power of the Holy Spirit.
Be encouraged; be bold to live out the lifestyle God has called His church to, being a person full of the Holy Spirit. “For the kingdom of God is not in word but in power” (1 Cor. 4:20).
- Pray that the Lord increases your sensitivity in hearing Him on a regular basis for others, especially those you do not know personally.
Pray for someone you meet outside of the church context, receive a word, share it, and watch what the Lord will do.