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Seeds of the Kingdom

You Shall Receive Power

by Bernard Kariuki

You shall receive power.
Acts 1:8a, NIV

Super heroes receive their power after doing something. Popeye, for example, needs a can of spinach, and Clark needs to change into his superman suit. Then they receive power to go and save the world, whereas, before that, they’re just normal, frail people. For us believers we don’t need all that, because we have the power of the Holy Spirit, once we’ve received this godly, promised gift.

Jesus didn’t request, but commanded, His disciples not to leave Jerusalem till they received a gift. It was the Holy Spirit, who was to give them power for what they were about to encounter. They wouldn’t have endured, or accomplished the task commissioned to them by Jesus, without the power of the Holy Spirit. To do all this, they needed power beyond human ability. As Paul puts it in 2 Corinthians 1:8 ‘We were crushed and overwhelmed beyond our ability to endure’.

Jesus said ‘But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you, and you will be My witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth’. How did the believers get to those places? It was through a great wave of persecution that began sweeping over the Church in Jerusalem. If they hadn’t received the power, I believe they would have caved in, and the Church wouldn’t have spread as it did during the persecution.

When it was time for the Holy Spirit to come with the power promised by Jesus, things on earth and in heaven were changed. Something powerful was about to happen, something out of this world, recorded in Acts Chapter 2. It was just a normal day, and 9 o’clock in the morning, but suddenly, there was a sound from heaven like the roaring of a mighty wind, and it filled the house where disciples were. Then there were flames of fire that looked like tongues, and all of them were filled with this Holy Spirit, and received the ability to speak in other languages.

At that time, everyone who was in Jerusalem heard the loud noise as the Holy Spirit was coming to earth, and everyone was bewildered. Then, having received the power, Peter preached, and about three thousand people got saved. That was just the beginning of the power they received, because they continued performing miracles and wonders, and each day people were getting saved.

The apostles became fearless and bold. The council threatened them not to speak or teach in the name of Jesus (Acts 4:18). They were even put in prisons, and chained up, but prisons doors opened, and chains fell off (Acts 4:29).

With so many threats, the believers prayed to God for great boldness in preaching His word. They also prayed for healing power and miraculous signs and wonders to be done (Acts 4:29). The amazing thing is that, instead of God directly giving them what they prayed for, He did things differently. He filled them with the Holy Spirit again.

For God to answer what they were praying for, they needed extraordinary power to fall on them. After the prayers, the meeting place shook, and all of them were filled with the Holy Spirit. Then they preached the word of God with boldness (Acts 4:31).

By the power of the Holy Spirit, the apostles didn’t leave the world alone, they turned it upside down. People brought the sick, and the demonised. Miracles and wonders followed, and, even through Peter’s shadow falling on them, they got healed. This was the power which had been promised to them. Simon even offered money to get the power they had.

Brothers and sisters, we’ve got this power in us. We need to ignite it. This is the power which will enable us to believe in things which are beyond our normal human ability to believe. This is the power which will enable us to stay true to the calling. This is the power of the Holy Spirit in us, which will continue making the ordinary extraordinary. This is the power which will enable us not to quit, even under extreme and great pressure. This is the same power the apostles ministered in, the power that makes us fearless and bold. It’s in us to turn the world upside-down for His kingdom’s sake.

Prayer: Thank You, Lord for Your promised gift of the Holy Spirit. Let me walk in this power, and help me believe. in Jesus’ name, Amen.

Bernard Kariuki is from Kenya, and married to Yulia from Russia. They met in Ellel Ministries and served together for many years at both Ellel Scotland and Ellel Grange. Bernard has the desire to share the Word of God with young people, for he desires to see young people walking in holy fear of the Lord.


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