Summary: As a whole, we as Pentecostals believe that the gift of the Holy Spirit is a way to bring us closer to God, but what does the Bible tell us?
(Read Acts 1:3-8) Jesus says that the power of the Holy Spirit would come upon them. We all know that, and we all know that he tells them to witness to the world. But when do we associate the two together? Many of us can quote, "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." Let's break that down.
-"But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you;" Power is only good if you use it. God gives us the greatest power of all time, and what do we do with it? We give money to charity, we take care of families at Christmas with money, we give gifts to people for holidays and birthdays, and many other selfless things with money, the power of the world. So what do we do with the power God gives us? We use it in Church to pray aloud, praying for miracles in the comfort of the company of people just like us, and some of us don't even use it then. If you want the Holy Spirit to do miracles, go out and use the gifts of the Spirit among people who need our help now more than ever.
-(Read Acts 2:14-41) If you were worried I was trying to tell you to go out and pray in tongues on the street corner, you can relax (sort of). The first instance of power that comes through the Holy Spirit is almost immediately after the gift was bestowed upon the apostles. Peter stands up in front of thousands and preaches the good news. "So what, Matthew?" Let's flash back just a little while to John chapter 18. Peter could not even admit to having been in the company of Jesus to a small crowd. He was afraid, just like believers today. But after the Holy Spirit came upon him, he got up and delivered one of the greatest sermons of all time to a crowd of people who mocked him and the apostles, calling them drunks. You think one person who doesn't know you in the middle of the store is scary, trying thousands of people in the middle of a city.
-Tying this all together, I would like to say that I, like most believers, am guilty of the following: using the Holy Spirit as a way to get closer to God. That's okay, of course, but what's not okay is to use this gift for nothing else. We as Christians, need to follow the command of Jesus that we see in Acts 1:8. We need to use this gift, this power, that God gives us to witness, not to go to Church and hope that what we are saying is enough for God to heal someone.