In the early years of my ministry, I spoke according to my own ability and cleverness. Though people were impressed, inside I was drying up. I struggled without any overcoming life in me. I carried a lot of information in my head, but I was like a chandelier with the switch turned off. It looks nice, the bulbs are brand-new, the electrical cord intact, but the power needed to light it is missing.
One evening, before I was to speak in a meeting, I sat alone in my room and cried out in desperation to God. “Lord, I know my outline and I know my stories, but my heart is empty. I have no power. You promised to give me power. Please fill me with Your Holy Spirit and give me power to minister tonight.”
The Lord heard my prayers and did a mighty work that night. I don’t even remember the message I spoke, but afterward many people were weeping and crying out to God for Him to work in their lives. Did I do it? No. The Holy Spirit did it!
In your life, as you are filled with the Holy Spirit, you will know without any shadow of doubt (whether the result is quiet or loud) that you are empowered by the Holy Spirit.
What will be the evidence of this? Whether the evidence is speaking in tongues, jumping up and down or doing absolutely nothing, I cannot tell you. But I can tell you one thing: The empowering of the Holy Spirit will make a tremendous difference in your service to the Lord. You cannot effectively minister without it.
We Need to Be Filled Daily
Perhaps you can recall a time when you were filled with the power of the Holy Spirit. If you say, “I had that wonderful experience 20 years ago,”
The past is past. The Bible exhorts us to be continually filled with the Holy Spirit. Yesterday’s experience is not enough; it is the daily walking in the Spirit that makes the difference.
This is why Paul urges Timothy to “fan into flame the gift of God” that he received when Paul laid his hands upon him (2 Timothy 1:6, NIV). Paul is telling him not to rely on that one time but to be continually filled. It must be a daily, ongoing experience in his life and ministry.
My brothers and sisters, may we understand the seriousness of the call Christ has given to each of us. Let us not rely on our own ability or be kept at bay and hindered by our lack of ability or experience in the ministry.
The Spirit of God within us is enough to do all our Lord has asked us.
Dr. KP Yohannan, founder and director of Gospel for Asia, has written more than 200 books, including Revolution in World Missions, an international bestseller with more than 4 million copies in print. He and his wife, Gisela, have two grown children, Daniel and Sarah, who both serve the Lord with their families.
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