Ten years ago today, Nike announced the introduction of their new “Witness” integrated marketing campaign celebrating Lebron James as he made his first NBA Finals appearance of his career. The NBA.com website stated, “The Witness campaign pays tribute to James and acknowledges the legions of fans worldwide who are ‘witnessing’ his greatness, power, athleticism and beautiful style of play.” Now 10 years later, many are still enamored with this man who’s making basketball history.
This past Sunday, the message “Power for Life”, highlighted our call to be “witnesses” of Someone far greater than Lebron James. The very last words Jesus spoke to His disciples before He ascended to Heaven were “… But 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) This is just as true for us today as it was for the disciples in Jerusalem on the day of Pentecost! Now over 2,000 years later, we, as Christ followers are still called to be His witnesses! Jesus promised to empower us, not with a lesser spirit, but with HIMSELF!
As believers, it is our hearts’ desire to be a witness to the greatness and power of our Savior, yet how often do we walk through our days powerless because we have not cultivated an ongoing experience of His presence within. I am so often distracted by the circumstances of life… the things I see in the natural. I have become discouraged, anxious, overwhelmed, even paralyzed by fear by what I see and what I don’t know. Can you relate? Like the disciples, we want to know the specifics about what our futures hold, imagining that “knowing” would make things easier, but in all reality, it wouldn’t. “It’s not for you to know…” Jesus says.
“Confidence comes not from knowing the specifics, but rather the Source.” (Pastor Aaron Taylor)
Jesus is the Source of our lives! It is vital that we remain connected to Him, the True Vine, receiving the life-giving sap of the Spirit, waiting on Him to speak to us moment by moment… to bring clarity and direction, to overflow us with hope, and to refresh us and renew our strength. He calls us to depend on Him alone.
But those who wait for the Lord [who expect, look for, and hope in Him] will gain new strength and renew their power; They will lift up their wings [and rise up close to God] like eagles [rising toward the sun]; They will run and not become weary, They will walk and not grow tired. (Isaiah 40:31 AMP)
Our lives are so full… okay, my life is so full. I have sensed Jesus inviting me time and time again to receive His invitation to “Come to me all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest…” (Matthew 11:28), but I so often ignore the invitation and continue doing life in this frantic pace, operating out of the flesh… empty and exhausted.
He calls us to “BE” with Him before He ever calls us to “DO” for Him. The doing is a natural overflow of our time spent waiting on Him and receiving His power. It’s about resting and waiting not striving and straining!
I sense a message from the Holy Spirit… “It’s time to stop ignoring My voice! My sheep listen to My voice. Stop disobeying what you know I am asking you to do! I am calling you to COME…REST… WAIT… and RECEIVE POWER! I have called you to be my witnesses, and you cannot do that in your own strength! You need Me to equip you! You need to stay connected to me, the Source of your life!”
So I have repented… I have asked Him to forgive me for resisting and rebelling against resting in Him and waiting on Him. He knows what I need most! He knew that I would eventually come to the end of myself and my vain efforts and find Him there waiting for me! Thank you, Jesus!
His presence is everything! We will NEVER be content just knowing about Jesus! We will NEVER be content just hearing about the power of the Holy Spirit or someone else’s experience. We must have a personal encounter with the Spirit, and unless we are OBEDIENT and INTENTIONAL about making the time to rest and wait for Him to minister to our souls, that will not happen. When we rest in Him, and let Him live in us by His Spirit, fruitfulness happens!
… WAIT for the gift my Father promised, which you have heard me speak about…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”…
I’m ready to receive power to be His witness! How about you?