June 08, 2021

The Power of the Holy Spirit

Acts 1:7-8

“You will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses.”

—  Acts 1:8

My testimony depends on the power of the Spirit, not on my own abilities or strength of will. When two friends in college invited me to spend six weeks traveling in the Rocky Mountains and sharing our faith, I thought I was prepared because I had been trained in evangelism.

We practiced some songs that we planned to share around a campfire along with our personal stories about our faith. But when I tried to testify about my faith, nothing happened. The harder I tried, the more frustrated I became.

As we traveled, we heard about a coffeehouse where people were being saved every week. The head of the coffeehouse said something that I have not forgotten: “The only person who can live the Christian life is Jesus Christ.”

I realized I would have to give up trying to live the Christian life on my own and to ask the Holy Spirit to live through me. As I did that, the power of the Spirit filled me. My mouth overflowed with praise, and I saw a heavenly vision of thousands of people on their knees worshiping a lamb on a distant throne.

The trip totally changed ­after that. I would begin talking with people, and they would become convicted of a need in their life. I would pray for them, and the Spirit would transform their lives. When I got back to college, I began sharing with old friends, and their lives began to change.

It is true. There is a power to witness that comes only from the Holy Spirit.

Spirit, lead us to surrender our lives to you, and please empower us to be your witnesses. Amen.

About the author — Dean Deppe

Dean Deppe has been a pastor in inner-city, suburban, and rural ­churches. Currently he teaches New Testament theology at Calvin Theological Seminary. His courses include one on the parables of Jesus. He and his wife have four grown children.

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