“And while staying with them he ordered them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the promise of the Father, which, he said ‘you heard from me; for John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.’” Acts 1:4-5
Jesus was speaking with the Apostles. This was after His death and resurrection when He had appeared to the disciples and just before His ascension. His promise was, again, that they would receive the Holy Spirit as their guide and their helper and that He would be with them always. Up until this point they had learned from Jesus in the physical sense but they were about to have the Holy Spirit indwelling in them and they would learn from Him that way. And when they would have the indwelling of the Holy Spirit they would also have power from Him. Power to overcome what was in front of them, the power to witness, the power to live for Him.
“But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” Acts 1:8
Now here is the good news for us. We have the Holy Spirit too. The Holy Spirit was not just a promise for the disciples of Jesus day. If you are in Christ and Christ is in you, then you have the Holy Spirit and that means you have the power of the Holy Spirit living in you.
“You, however, are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if in fact the Spirit of God dwells in you. Anyone who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him. But if Christ is in you, although the body is dead because of sin, the Spirit is life because of righteousness. If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit who dwells in you.” Romans 8:9-11
The best thing about being on this side of the cross, is that the Holy Spirit dwells in us once we give our lives over to Christ. That means that we have the power to overcome those fleshly desires and habits and things that are not for our good. Our bodies may be dead inside because of past sins or even today sins, but the Holy Spirit brings life to us because He gives us the power to overcome those past sins and even our today sins. I say “today sins” because we will all have sin in this fleshly body of ours until the day comes that we go home to glory. But with the Holy Spirit living in us we can recognize those sins, and repent of those sins and turn from them. That does not mean we will start being perfect and never sin again, but that we will always have the power to turn from them. What I mean is this, I can honestly say to you I have sin in my past that I don’t really have to worry about in me anymore. Through the power of the Holy Spirit, I have been able to turn from them and they are not a struggle anymore. That is not to say there are not more sins in my life that rear their ugly head that I may struggle with now. Nope! I am human and I have plenty that I still have to overcome. It just means that as I have grown and matured in my faith and have worked these things out with the Holy Spirit the sins I struggle with today are not the sins I struggled with in the past. It’s always going to be a process, but truthfully what a glorious process it is. As I learn from Him and love Him and know Him more and more, my faith has grown and I can discern His voice in my ear and I can feel His presence.
You know many times I will say when studying Old Testament scripture that I don’t understand how they could not believe. They had things like burning bushes and pillars of fire. But you see one thing they did not have was the guarantee of the Holy Spirit. The Spirit in the Old Testament would sometimes rest on someone but could also be removed from someone. David prayed for God to not “remove” His spirit from him. (Psalm 51:11) The Spirit departed from Saul because of his disobedience. (1 Samuel 16:14) The Israelites could not have time with God themselves, they relied on Moses to communicate with God and to communicate with them. So when we judge them for all of the times they grumbled and complained, well we also need to remember they were following God, but they didn’t have His Spirit indwelling in them to give them the power that we have. I am so grateful to be able to have this relationship that I have with Him, through the Holy Spirit indwelling in me. He is with me always, He goes with me wherever I go, whatever I do. I am sure there have been times in my life where I didn’t necessarily listen for Him, or recognize His presence and I, so to speak, pushed Him into a corner of my heart. But He was there, from the first moment I asked Him into my heart he has always been there. It’s just up to me to listen to Him and to know His power in me.