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By John Belt
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Luke 24:49 "And look, I am sending the promise of My Father upon you. But wait in the city of Jerusalem until you are clothed with power from on high."
God has called us to be a people who carry the substance of His Presence and have a live connection to the power of His Holy Spirit. Just as Jesus told His disciples to wait in Jerusalem until they receive "power" from on high. Jesus knew the essentiality of that power to our lives and for the gospel to be fully demonstrated. If the disciples would have gone out without following the words Jesus had spoken to them, not waiting to be clothed with the power of the Spirit in Jerusalem, it would have been a flop – no Holy Spirit, no power.
When we look at the life of Jesus we see He was totally connected to the power of the Holy Spirit. Jesus fasted for 40 days. (Mark 1:13) After that time He was anointed with power to heal all who were oppressed of the devil. The power of God breaks all oppression. As Jesus sought the face of God for 40 days sacrificially He was clothed with power for the task God had called Him to.
Luke 4:14 "Jesus returned in the power of the Spirit to Galilee. And His fame went throughout the surrounding region."
Our Example Jesus
With Jesus as our example we can expect results, including changed lives, people set free from oppression, healing and miracles apart from a life of sacrifice. It was a sacrifice for the disciples to go and wait for that extended period of time in the upper room. We don't know all the details of what transpired there but can only imagine that they followed the best example that they knew – Jesus, since they were with Him for 3 years. The price they would have to pay was not a mystery. They knew what had to be done because they had seen it demonstrated before them over and over again. There was reason Jesus did not just have ministry on earth for just 3 months. He had to set the example for His disciples in such a way that it would be embedded in their hearts and minds so that when He was gone they would remember the dynamic keys they saw in His life.
Matthew 17:14-21 "And when they had come to the multitude, a man came to Him, kneeling down to Him and saying, "Lord, have mercy on my son, for he is an epileptic and suffers severely; for he often falls into the fire and often into the water. So I brought him to Your disciples, but they could not cure him."
Then Jesus answered and said, "O faithless and perverse generation, how long shall I be with you? How long shall I bear with you? Bring him here to Me." And Jesus rebuked the demon, and it came out of him; and the child was cured from that very hour. Then the disciples came to Jesus privately and said, "Why could we not cast it out?"
So Jesus said to them, "Because of your unbelief; for assuredly, I say to you, if you have faith as a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, 'Move from here to there,' and it will move; and nothing will be impossible for you. However, this kind does not go out except by prayer and fasting."
What is the implication of what Jesus is saying here? The picture is that the disciples were not able to cast out the demon – not able to set the person free. Why was that? Jesus makes it clear here that this person could not be freed except through fasting and prayer – also connecting this activity to that activation of faith in the heart. A price had to be paid for faith to be activated in their hearts. There is another clue. Jesus was able to cast out the demon. The implications of what Jesus said are that He Himself was living a lifestyle of fasting and prayer – therefore He was able to deliver the person.
A Better Plan
Salvation is a free gift but to activate faith – accessing God's power is not. There is sacrifice. There is a price that has to be paid to walk in His power. Jesus laid out the price very clearly here. It is not a popular price. Food is glorified in our society – especially in the days we live in. It is pushed on billboards, commercials, your mailbox and every where you can think of.
God has a better plan. God wants you free and He wants you to be able to set others free – by His power. When we talk about the goodness of God our best example is Jesus who went everywhere setting people free through the power of the Holy Spirit.
Acts 10:38 "How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power, who went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with Him."
Jesus went about doing "good," demonstrating the power of the Kingdom of God. What this means is that a powerless life will have a very hard time demonstrating God's goodness. Religion has done a good job of associating God's goodness with mere words. But mere words do not demonstrate the fullness of God's goodness.
1 Cor. 4:20 "For the kingdom of God is not in word but in power."
We must be a people who live by the power of God, not by impressive words, intellectualism and man-made systems that try to help people.
2 Cor. 13:4 "For though He was crucified in weakness, yet He lives by the power of God. For we also are weak in Him, but we shall live with Him by the power of God toward you."
A Super Charge
As we seek the face of God, the Presence, God's glory should be manifested in our lives. When His glory is manifested, there is the potential of His power to be released through us. It is the power of God that brings a person to salvation, that sets someone free, brings healing and causes miracles to happen. Do you lean on what you know or do you lean upon God's power? What do you depend on? Where does your trust lie? We are to be dependent upon Him – knowing that His power is able to deliver. The gap that needs bridged is where what we know is not an experience. God wants you to experience His power, know that it has no limits and to be able to bring it to others.
God has a super charge for your life when you tap into His power. He wants to fully equip you to demonstrate His Kingdom to others.
Romans 15:13 "Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost."