Nobody Likes A Dead Cell Phone

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By now I am sure you have heard all about the Holy Spirit. Last week, my fellow sister in Christ, Jenny Gallion, shared about waiting on the Lord to receive the power of the Holy Spirit and how that empowers us to be Christ’s witnesses. But what exactly does that mean? What kind of power are we talking about here? What kind of witness? If we’ve been waiting so long to become spiritually alive when we receive the Spirit at Salvation, how do we know what to do with this new life?

First, let’s tackle the concept of “power”. When you read that word, what do you think of? I immediately think of higher authority, maybe my mind wonders to a scene of kings and queens having the ruling power over a whole kingdom. Power, in my own minute definition, is something that comes from a higher being… no, THE higher being. Power gives us the ability to do things that we cannot do with our human selves because we simply are not God. Power is what opens the door to being used by the Spirit.

Now, let’s look at the word “witness”. What do you think of when you read that word? If you’re anything like me you’ve watched too many investigator type shows like Law & Order or Dateline and think immediately of someone that watched something happen- in these cases it is typically bad. The “witness” knows the story, believes what they say is true, and is willing to confess it to others to “prove their point” or “share their perspective of the account”. In essence, this is how we are supposed to witness to the world for Jesus. We are witnesses of the Gospel – we know the “story” and we believe it to be true because of first-hand experiences of what we’ve “seen and heard”. The next step is to share it with the world who often put Jesus and Christianity on trial. They want “proof” from Christ’s witnesses that this good news is indeed GOOD NEWS. In Acts 1.8 when do we become witnesses? “You will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes to you and you will be my witnesses in all of Judea, Samaria, and to the ends of the earth”. We become witnesses when we receive the power of the Holy Spirit who enables us for this task.

Think of it this way, when there is a big storm outside with 60mph winds, lightening, thunder, hail, the works, you might come home from work and realize that you have no electricity. Sometimes we would then say: “the power is out”. In other words, you are lacking what you need to use items like the microwave, television, washer/dryer, and heaven forbid, your cell phone charger. If you have no power, you cannot do certain things. Simply put, if we do not have the power of the Holy Spirit, how can we do what Christ has called us to do? How can we be a witness to the nations and those that have not yet heard the Good News of Jesus? Just like your home in the middle of a big storm when the power is out and not operating at full capacity, we are not functioning at full capacity.

That, dear Church, is why it is so important to stay charged up with the power that our Heavenly Father has promised us. Staying connected to the power-line of Christ through the Holy Spirit is like the charger to our souls – it gives us life and power. It gives us the power to function and do what we’ve been called to do. When we receive the Holy Spirit, it is an everlasting battery of power that runs through us. The more we abide in the Spirit, the more we will operate in His gifts so we can minister to others. Think of it this way, when your cell phone is at 99% are you more likely to use it than when you get that little notification that it is at 20%? How can the Spirit use us to perform miracles and powerful acts when we are operating at only 20%?

To continue my infamous cell phone analogy… when you got your cell phone, the gift of communication, how excited were you to use it? Didn’t you want to test it out? Play games, call, text, download apps, take pictures, listen to music, the list goes on and on and on of the things you can do with a fully charged cell phone. When we receive the gift of the Holy Spirit, we should be just as excited and ready to communicate with others the greatest news on the planet!

Church, have you received the gift of the Holy Spirit? If you have not, I encourage you to ask the Lord for this wonderful gift! If you have, what are you waiting for? Go and let the Holy Spirit within you be a witness to the world! Pastor Aaron, in his sermon series, “Power for Life,” shares some incredible truths that can happen through us when we allow the gift of the Holy Spirit to operate in our lives. You can check out his podcast here: http://painesvilleag.com/power-for-life  Never forget this amazing gift the Lord has made available to us. Why? Because we can’t live and function without it!

Jenny Bushnell,
Writer/Blogger/College Student

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WE ARE ALL WITNESSES

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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!

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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?

Jenny Gallion
Blogger, Writer