Jesus told His disciples to wait in Jerusalem for the Holy Spirit to come. He said this even after He breathed on a few of them and commanded them to receive the Holy Spirit (Jn. 20:22). This is another proof of the two-fold experience, measure, and purpose of the Holy Spirit; one in salvation, that is as a well of living water (Jn. 4:14), and one for power, which is likened to rivers of living water (Jn. 7:37-38).
Jesus told the disciples to wait for the power of the Holy Spirit implying that they were in no condition to minister as He did without this power (Jn. 20:21)(Acts 1:8). Much of the Church has missed that basic truth. All ministry starts and ends with the Holy Spirit. Jesus Himself said He could do nothing without him. It was unthinkable for Jesus to attempt to minister without the anointing of the Spirit and without hearing instructions and counsel from His Father. The Holy Spirit is the one who endues us with power, anoints us with fresh oil, moves in us in worship, in prayer, in preaching, and in demonstration.
It was the Holy Spirit who moved on Peter giving him utterance at Pentecost that caused hearts to be pierced with the sword of the Spirit (Acts 2:37). That is how the Church was birthed, and that is how she is to continue – in demonstration of the Spirit and the power of God. Increased activity of the Holy Spirit is the answer to all our problems. Increased activity of the Holy Spirit is God’s divine response to the increasing darkness and gross darkness in America and in the nations.
The activity of the Holy Spirit continued throughout the book of Acts. Thus the reason for the much fruit and results they witnessed and the revival they experienced. We need to be reminded of this simple but powerful truth so that we can begin putting our complete trust in God and not in man.
We come against the direct commandment of God when we don’t move with the Holy Spirit. Let that statement sink in.
Do you understand how powerful the Holy Spirit is? Do you understand that He can do one thing that would catapult us into revival and awakening that we could not do in 1,000 years in our strength? Do you understand that it was He who transformed one of the greatest opposers of the early Church and turned him into one the greatest apostles and proponents of the Church there has ever been? And it all happened through the prayers of the saints – in Saul’s case it was the prayer of forgiveness that Stephen prayed at his stoning (Acts 7:57-60) that was instrumental in releasing the power of the Holy Spirit to transform Saul.
When great persecution came against the early Church and James was killed by Herod (Acts 12:1-3), then Peter was arrested and taken to prison, the Church prayed constantly (v. 12). In James’ case, the Church had failed to pray, but they prevailed in their prayers for Peter. And what happened? An angel was sent to deliver Peter from prison. Not only that, but I believe it was also the same angel that smote Herod (v. 23), another great opposer of the Church and he died an awful death. God knows how to deal with those who oppose His Church and His people if we would only pray and trust in His dealings and in His power.
This is what the Church needs to be reminded of today. Times are tough. Our nation and the world are in desperate need of God. No matter what things look like, nothing is too difficult for the Lord, and if we will only pray effectually, fervently and constantly the Lord will move. He will respond, and we will see His mighty hand moving upon our land.