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Where’s your power source?

By Cindy Pyo

I like to do projects around the house. For a long time I had a regular screwdriver. With my own strength I could screw in screws. But it was hard. Then one day I bought a battery-powered drill. Wow, what a difference. I’d charge it for six hours, then drill holes and drive screws at Mach speeds.

The toughest wood was defenseless. But after a few hours of use, I noticed a change. The screws that had once been driven effortlessly drove in slower and slower. Soon my drill just emitted a tortured groan and did nothing. That’s when I knew it was time to recharge the drill.

As Christians, our spiritual experience is a lot like my experience with the drill. God is our spiritual power source. We are like the drill. God made us wonderfully intricate with the potential to do great things for His kingdom. But without His empowering, we are useless spiritually.

God gave clear instructions in Acts 1 on how to be charged with His power. As Jesus was getting ready to go back to heaven, He instructed the Christians, “Wait for the gift my Father promised, which you have heard me speak about. For John baptized with water, but in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit” (Acts 1:4,5, NIV). Then He continued, “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” (Acts 1:8).

God wants to fill us to overflowing with His Spirit. To receive the fullness of His Spirit, we need to consciously seek Him. “You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart” (Jeremiah 29:13). Truly seeking God includes repenting of any sin and making things right in our relationships with others. (See Matthew 5:23,24.) We come to God with an attitude of complete submission to do His will. “Your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven” (Matthew 6:10). We come humbly with a desire to be just and merciful. (See Micah 6:8.) And as we seek Him, God comes and fills us with His Holy Spirit.

When we are full of His Spirit, we have a supernatural strength to do the will of God. We overcome our natural fear of persecution. We are given the right words and attitudes to draw others to God. We are given the ability to pray and see miracles performed.

Peter is an excellent example of a Christian whose faith-walk was transformed when he was filled with the Holy Spirit. During Jesus’ trial and crucifixion, Peter loved Jesus and longed to stay loyal to Him. But the human terror of being crucified with Jesus overcame Peter’s loyalty and love; in the moment of testing, he failed repeatedly. (See Matthew 26:69-75.) But in Acts we see Peter charged with the Holy Spirit. He and the other disciples obeyed Jesus’ instruction to set aside the time to focus on God until they received the fullness of His Spirit into their own spirits. After about 10 days, Acts 2:4 records that they were “filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them.”

Spiritually charged, Peter was unstoppable. Under the power of the Holy Spirit, he preached a public sermon that drew 3,000 to salvation. He faced mockery (Acts 2:13), threats (Acts 4:21), and jail (Acts 4:3; 12:1-18). But this time we see no running and denying of Jesus. Peter stood strong. This is the difference that the Holy Spirit makes in our lives.

There’s more to the story, however. We see from Acts 4:23-31 that Peter and the others didn’t just get a one-time charge from the Holy Spirit. After imprisonment and threats of further violence against him, Peter went back to the group of Christians and they all “raised their voices together in prayer to God” (Acts 4:24). “And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke the word of God boldly” (Acts 4:31).

Ephesians 5:18-20 confirms the need for our refilling with God’s Spirit. Paul instructs, “Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit. Speak to one another with psalms, hymns and spiritual songs. Sing and make music in your heart to the Lord, always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.” In the original Greek, the verb tense for “be filled” is continuous. Therefore, a more accurate reading might be “keep on being filled.” In other words, we should be frequently recharging our spiritual batteries.

The Holy Spirit baptism really involves our daily intimate relationship with God. That relationship is nurtured through spiritual fellowship with other Christians. Listening to Christian music can encourage consistent worship and focus on God and help us stay open to His Spirit. Cultivating a thankful heart keeps us plugged in.

Once I was working on a tall bookshelf when my drill battery ran down. I was anxious to finish the shelf. I charged the drill, but after only a couple of hours I grabbed it out of the charger and started using it again. It only worked a short time, and using the undercharged drill strained and overheated the motor.

We can make the same mistake spiritually. When we sense that we are depleted spiritually it is extremely important to make time to seek God until He refreshes and recharges us. We err when we rush through our spiritual tasks because we think we’re too busy to seek God privately or corporately. Working in our own power, we are ineffective and risk the very real danger of spiritual burnout. A separate daily time set aside just to seek God in prayer, Bible reading and worship will do much to keep us spiritually charged. But special times are also needed periodically. A weekend alone or at a Christian retreat or conference can give us the extended recharge time we need.

My most recent acquisition is an electric drill. It never needs recharging. I guess that’s how we’ll be in heaven — plugged in all the time. But until then, let’s keep recharging our spiritual batteries.

Cindy Pyo lives in Universal City, Texas. She is married to Assemblies of God Chaplain Kwon Pyo.

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