Thursday – March 29, 2018 – Empowerment.
Acts 1:4-8 (NIV) On one occasion, while he was eating with them, he gave them this command: “Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift my Father promised, which you have heard me speak about. 5 For John baptized with water, but in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.” 6 Then they gathered around him and asked him, “Lord, are you at this time going to restore the kingdom to Israel?”
7 He said to them: “It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by his own authority. 8 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.”
In a world that has fallen and given way to sin and is ruled by an evil entity known as Satan, we need power. We are aliens in this world, and in many ways are not welcome here. Time after time, Satan has attempted to annihilate the Church as is evident in church history. However, his tactic of persecution has worked against him.
In Acts 16, (Read Acts 16:16-34) there is a story that illustrates this reality. Paul and Silas were ministering in Philippi and had a power encounter with a demon. A slave woman who had the ability to tell the future followed them and drew attention to them. She rightly proclaimed their mission, but had not herself submitted to salvation. If Paul had not addressed her proclamation, she would have been considered to be in line with Paul and what he was preaching and after Paul left town, people would have looked to her for the way to salvation. Paul cast the demon out of her and she lost the ability to predict the future costing her worldly masters the income she was producing for them. These owners had Paul and Silas beaten with rods and thrown in jail.
Then another power encounter took place. Rather than murmuring and complaining against God, they began to praise Him and the earth quaked and they were freed from their bonds. The jailer was about to commit suicide because he was certain they had escaped, and he would be held responsible. Paul stopped him, and the jailer received the gift of salvation. He along with his whole household. None of what happened took place because of personal power, it occurred because of Holy Spirit power.
Prayer: Holy Spirit, thank You for the power that You give to those who surrender to Your will. Continue to empower us to confront the devil and gain victory over him.