USE THE POWER OF GOD!
is the greatest POWER SOURCE in the universe. And it is His power — the
power of the Holy Spirit — which moves His great Work forward. Each
member has the responsibility of DRAWING ON THAT POWER for the good of
the entire Work. ARE YOU DOING YOUR PART?
This era of
God's Church has both witnessed and experienced many miracles! Doors
have been opened in an unusual way to preach the gospel. Lives have
been changed. People have been healed of major illnesses and demons
have been cast out. God has led His ministers into a much deeper
understanding of important spiritual truths.
And it has all been done by the power of God's Holy Spirit!
the greatest work is yet ahead! God has evidently given us more time
and is therefore opening even greater doors to preach the Gospel of the
Kingdom of God to this end-time generation. The Work must now
accelerate and we must plunge ahead with even greater zeal and
dedication as this age draws to a climactic close!
God has raised up this era of His Church to do His Work. That's one of the principal reasons each of us is a part of it.
the Church as a whole will only be as strong as the sum of its
individual members. If we, as a church, are to be strong and "do
exploits" as the Bible indicates we will (Dan. 11:32; John 14:12), then
we must each evaluate our individual spiritual condition. Examine
yourself on these points:
fruits or products of God's Holy Spirit are listed in Galatians
5:22-23-They are love (outgoing concern), joy, peace (of mind and
general state of being), longsuffering (patient endurance), gentleness,
goodness, faith, humility and
- How strong in the faith are you personally ?
- Do you have love and empathy for this sick, expiring society?
- How filled are you with zeal to accomplish your part in God's Work?
- How deeply do you grasp the meaning of God's Word?
- Are you controlling and ruling your physical appetites and your desires for material things?
- Do you really maintain a peaceful and tranquil mind or are you racked with insecurity and fears?
If a person lacks
these fruits, it indicates a shortage of the Spirit itself. By
comparison, an apple tree that fails to produce apples, likely lacks a
sufficient supply of the flowing, nourishing sap that produces them!
we lack these Godly characteristics in our lives, we are likely
producing a harvest of the opposite fruits — called "the works of the
flesh." These undesirable works are described in Galatians 5:19-21.
They include strife, divisions, and various objectionable states of
mind. All the works of the flesh, from hate and envy to feelings of
competition and lust, contribute to the general misery and unhappiness
of the individual. They are unsatisfying and unfulfilling. And most
important — they hurt the Work of God!
You Must USE God's Spirit
"spiritual mind" is a mind that is exercising and using God's Holy
Spirit and is therefore producing its fruits. Merely having received
the Spirit as a begettal will not make you spiritually minded unless
you draw on and USE that Spirit continually, every day!
ARE SPIRITUALLY MINDED TO
THE DEGREE THAT YOU
FRUITS of God's Spirit in your DAILY LIFE.'
it possible to be considered part of the body of Christ and still not
be spiritually minded? The Apostle Paul believed it was. Notice what he
wrote in I Corinthians 3:1-4:
"And I, brethren, could not speak
unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal, even as unto babes in
Christ.... For ye are yet carnal, for whereas there is among you
envying, and strife, and divisions, are ye not carnal, and walk as men?"
were "yet carnal." But notice that Paul was addressing the "Church of
God" (I Cor. 1:1-2). They were converted! They were part of the body of
Christ, brethren with Paul! But they were acting as the average man on
the street would act. They were conducting themselves in an unspiritual
manner. They were producing the works of the flesh! They had strifes
and arguing, debating and contentions. There were divisions and
party-spirit among them — the very same things listed as the "works of
the flesh" in Galatians 5:19-21!
What was the problem? Since
they had been converted and had received God's Spirit as a begettal,
which is what makes one a member of the Church (I Cor. 12:13), then why
were they continuing to produce these unspiritual and fleshly works?
isolated the difficulty of many in I Corinthians 3:16. He wrote to the
Corinthian Church. "Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that
the spirit of God dwelleth in you?" Some of these members seemed to
have lost sight of the fact that they had received the
Holy Spirit as a
hegettal and that they must now use and
<^raw upon the Holy Spirit to produce its fruit! They were producing
carnal or fleshly works instead because they were not stirring up the
Holy Spirit and drawing on its resources to produce the results of a
Do you have personal problems? Could the same lack of perception be at the root of them?
you have been begotten by the Holy Spirit following baptism, yet are
not producing many of its fruits, then something is seriously wrong!
then, can you use the Holy Spirit to produce the good fruits of a
spiritual mind? You must be "plugged in" to God's power, be "charged
up," then exercise the power! Let's understand.
The POWER of God!
a scripture many have puzzled over. It is Mark 5:29-30. A woman who had
been sick for a long time touched merely the hem of Christ's garment
and was instantly healed! And the account tells us that immediately
Jesus was aware that "virtue had gone out of him."
How did ]Jesus know someone had touched his clothing? There certainly are no nerve endings in clothes!
word "virtue" here is actually translated from the Greek word dunamis.
It means power, might, strength or force (Arndt-Gingrich Greek-English
Lexicon). It is from the same Greek root from which we derive our
English words "dynamite" and "dynamo." In other words, when Christ was
touched by the woman who was healed, He expended force or power!
Dynamic power from Christ produced this tremendous miracle of healing!
And so when the woman touched Christ, He immediately sensed a drain of
healing energy or force from His person. That is how He knew someone
had touched Him.
What was the source of His power?
1:8 provides the answer: ". . . ye shall receive power "dunamis" after
that the Holy Spirit is come upon you . . . ." Here the identical Greek
word is translated "power" instead of "virtue." The source of Christ's
working and healing power was the Holy Spirit, which the disciples were to receive later!
the apostolic age, even deacons such as Philip and Stephen performed
mighty miracles. "And Stephen, full of faith and power \_dunamis~] did
great wonders and miracles among the people" (Acts 6:8). Notice that
Stephen was filled with the same kind of dynamic miracle-working power
What was the source of Stephen's power? Acts 7:55
tells us: "But he [Stephen], being full of the Holy Spirit, looked
steadfastly into heaven, and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing
on the right hand of God." It was God's Holy Spirit which filled
Stephen, a lay member, with the power which enabled him to perform
If we are to have more of the power and force necessary to
do the Work of God (and if God grants even to perform mighty miracles),
then it is evident we must individually ask God to increase our supply
of His Holy Spirit!
How to Receive More of God's Power
Spirit can't be bottled up, hoarded, stored. It must be continually
flowing into you or it cannot flow out of you in "good works." It must
be renewed and replenished daily (II Cor. 4:16). To put it another way
— our "spiritual battery" must continually be on "charge." We must be
continually "plugged in" to the real power source which is GOD!
Now how shall we receive more of that Holy Spirit? Again we learn from the example of Jesus Christ.
after Jesus had performed the outstanding miracle of feeding multiple
thousands of people with only five loaves and two fishes, what did He
do ? "And when he had sent the multitude away, he went up into a
mountain apart to pray: and when evening was come, he was there alone"
Christ had just expended dynamic
miracle-working power. As in the miracle of the healing of the woman,
there must have been a heavy drain on his "spiritual battery." So He
went immediately to the source of all power in
prayer to be spiritually "recharged" !
wanted to continue operating at peak power. He could not afford to
allow that force to diminish or dissipate. Immediately after this, He
once again performed another mighty miracle by faith and the power of
God's Spirit — that of actually walking on the sea!
often — and at length. Notice just one more example. Jesus faced the
mind-boggling ordeal of the crucifixion. He knew He would need a
tremendous amount of spiritual power to carry Him through it. And so He
went to His Father and prayed earnestly, receiving spiritual strength
from a long and intimate contact with Him. Read about it in Matthew
Notice that Jesus prayed three successive times. In
the first instance He asked the Father to ". . . let this cup pass from
me." However, He added, completely surrendered to God, "nevertheless
not as I will, but as thou wilt." Overall, this first prayer lasted an
hour. Then after a brief interlude, He prayed again.
time He prayed essentially the same prayer, drawing even closer to God,
strengthened by God's Spirit to totally accept the fact that He must go
through with the ordeal. Finally, after a third prayer, He was ready !
When He returned to the sleeping disciples He was not only resolved,
but able to go through the most critical, trying ordeal ever
experienced by man. He had now increased His spiritual power by praying
persistently to God and tapping the source of that dynamic, powerful
force. He now fully reflected the mind of God as He said, "rise, LET US
BE GOING . . ."!
It was the Holy Spirit of the living God that
gave your Savior and mine the power and mind capacity to carry out the
commission that makes it possible for all mankind to be saved from the
penalty of sin.
It was the spiritual mind of Christ that made a
way for us to be saved from the ultimate product of our weak, fleshly,
sensual minds — death ! (Rom. 6:23.)
If we, as individual
members of the Body of Christ, are to have the same mind and power of
God and produce the same fruits of the Holy Spirit, overcoming
the pulls of the flesh and of the world, then
we must likewise "connect"
ourselves with the source of that power. We must be "charged up" with
spiritual energy — the Holy Spirit — from the great "dynamo" of power.
How can we do this ? Through prayer and Bible study EVERY DAY! This is
the only way we can operate at, and maintain, a level of peak spiritual
power at all times!
Activate the Holy Spirit
must never allow worldly pulls or influences to "quench" the effect of
God's Spirit in our lives (I Thes. 5:19). Rather, as the Apostle Paul
wrote Timothy, we must "STIR UP the gift of God" that is within us (II
Tim. 1:6) — that is, to rekindle it, add fuel through Bible study and
prayer so it will blaze up like a spiritual fire! Then we must use it
so it can continually flow out of us and produce its good fruits.
is imperative that true Christians regularly study and drink in of the
examples of faith and power from the Bible. The spiritual words of
instruction from God's Word will inspire renewed dedication and
forceful action which will accelerate the flow of the Holy Spirit into
and through our persons.
Each time we act on God's instruction
we activate the Holy Spirit. The more we activate it in our lives, the
more it will increase in us! And the more dynamically effective and
useful we will become as instruments in the hands of the living God,
thus moving the Work of God ahead with greater and greater impetus and
Remember God's admonition to Zerubbabel: "... not by
might, nor by [human] power, but by my spirit, saith the Lord of hosts"
(Zech. 4:6). This Work which we arc called to do can only be completed
and accomplished through the agency of that Spirit. Human reserves and
abilities are not enough.
Let's never forget that fact. And let us individually say with the Prophet Micah: "But truly I am full of power
by the spirit of the Lord, and of judgment, and of might..." (Micah 3:8). We will then have more faith, deeper
greater love, and increased resources with which to do the
by Brian Knowles The Good News May June 1972