"You have made know to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore." ~Psalm 16:11
Monday, June 23, 2008
The Spirit comes in power.....
My post on Saturday, led me to go dig up some Scriptures about God's power and I was so compelled by Don's wonderful comment I decided to share them in this post. I remember as a child and a youth being well versed in the stories of the Bible, especially the old testament. Now as an adult I can't ever remember thinking as a child that the same spirit that came in power on many in the Bible was for today or for me to experience as a believer. It's interesting though to me that those God used to accomplish his purpose had the "spirit of the Lord come on them in power." You can go dig through the Bible and find many accounts where this was the case. Samson, even Saul in, 1 Samuel 10:6..."the Spirit of the Lord will come upon you and you will be a different person," and David, 1 Samuel 13:16, then Elijah, Daniel, Micah. Those are some of the ones I found that said specifically, "the Spirit of the Lord came on them with power." You will find John the Baptist in Matthew 3:11 saying, "I baptize you with water for repentance. But after me will come one who is more powerful than I, whose sandals I am not fit to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire." Many believers get baptized in water, but why not in the Holy Spirit? Why accept one and not the other? We also see that the Holy Spirit came on Mary in power. Acts 1:8....Jesus tells the disciples that they will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon them....Phillip was taken away by the Spirit from one location to another location entirely!! (Acts 8)I didn't include all the many Scriptures that simply talk about God's power. I think most Christians are quick to believe and agree on His power. It's just that there is not a wide spread belief in the power of the Holy Spirit for the believer today. I never knew him personally, I simply lived in naivety due to the environment I grew up in, not just my home church but I also went to a Christian school and never heard about the Holy Spirit. Which to me is interesting, I now think it's a package deal...salvation, baptism of the Holy Spirit and like Don said, signs, wonders and miracles. Again, why is it that we accept salvation, and then get baptized in water, but not baptized in the Holy Spirit? Hebrews 6, says baptisms, plural, meaning more than one kind of baptism. Salvation is for us, for our eternal redemption, which is a wonderful gift. But it's by the power of God's Spirit that we will be more transformed into His likeness and it's by the power of His Spirit that we will go forth and preach the gospel, and see the sick healed, and the oppressed set free, demons cast out. (Demons were not just for Bible times. Many people need to be set free from demonic oppression.) About a year ago my mom and I were talking about whether or not believers could have demons oppressing them. (She mentioned Mary Magdelene) So over the course of this year, I have been exploring this question, can Christians be oppressed by demonic influence? Absolutely! Anyway, I am getting off topic a bit, I do think is important to understand this though. I mean it is obvious people are sick and people need to get saved, but it is not obvious to many believers that they can be oppressed by evil spirits. All of which we have authority and power given to us to overcome, so we shouldn't fear this fact, just simply be aware of it so we can learn to deal with it, or that it may be a reason someone seems to be in bondage to "sin". What I really want to do in this post is raise questions for people. For me, since coming to a full revelation of God's grace, His pure gospel, I have found myself searching and seeking to know God more and it has been kind of a natural progression for me to find out more about the Holy Spirit, who He is, His job in the life of a believer and to find out what baptism in the Holy Spirit means, then asking to be baptized in the Spirit, getting baptized speaking in tongues, learning to get set free from demonic oppression and now longing to walk in His kingdom authority healing the sick, seeing signs and wonders in my life and getting people saved.