Summary: There seems to be a critical shortage of power in the lives of people regarding Christ’s great commission. When we read about terrorists threats around the world, many seem to grow hesitant to be involved with missions. However, the Lord Jesus said, "You
Ending Your Power Shortage (Acts 1:8)
Right before Jesus acended into heaven He gave us a promise:
"But you shall receive power (ability, efficiency, enablement and might) when the Holy Spirit has come upon you and you shall be My witnesses in Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria and to the ends of the earth (the very bounds of the planet)." (Acts 1:8) (Amplified)
We hear about problems of power shortages everyday during these hot summer days. Utility company strain to supply sufficient electricity to all of their customers who are sweltering in the heat and humidity of record setting temperatures. Yet, there seems to be an even more critical shortage of power in the lives of people regarding Christ’s great commission. When we read about terrorists threats around the world, many seem to grow hesitant to be involved with missions. However, the Lord Jesus did not shrink in the face of opposition but rose above it. Let us do the same with the following principles from His famous promise.
Illustration: One New Year’s Day, in the Tournament of Roses parade, a beautiful float suddenly sputtered and quit. It was out of gas. The whole parade was held up until someone could get a can of gas.
The amusing thing was this float represented the Standard Oil Company. With its vast oil resources, its truck was out of gas.
Often, Christians neglect their spiritual maintenance, and though they are “clothed with power” (Luke 24:49) find themselves out of gas.
Steve Blankenship, Source unknown
Illustration: In his book Sit, Walk, Stand, Watchman Nee describes a preaching mission to an island off the South China coast. There were seven in the ministering group, including a sixteen-year-old new convert whom he calls Brother Wu.
The island was fairly large, containing about 6,000 homes. Nee had a contact there, an old schoolmate of his who was headmaster of the village school, but he refused to house the group when he discovered they had come to preach the Gospel. Finally, they found lodging with a Chinese herbalist, who became their first convert.
Preaching seemed quite fruitless on the island, and Nee discovered it was because of the dedication of the people there to an idol they called Ta-wang. They were convinced of his power because on the day of his festival and parade each year the weather was always near perfect.
“When is the procession this year?” young Wu asked a group that had gathered to hear them preach.
“It is fixed for January 11th at 8 in the morning,” was the reply.
“Then,” said the new convert, “I promise you that it will certainly rain on the 11th.”
At that there was an outburst of cries from the crowd:
“That is enough! We don’t want to hear any more preaching. If there is rain on the 11th, then your God is God!”
Watchman Nee had been elsewhere in the village when this confrontation had taken place. Upon being informed about it, he saw that the situation was serious and called the group to prayer.
On the morning of the 11th, there was not a cloud in the sky, but during grace for breakfast, sprinkles began to fall and these were followed by heavy rain.
Worshipers of the idol Ta-wang were so upset that they placed it in a sedan chair and carried it outdoors, hoping this would stop the rain. Then the rain increased. After only a short distance, the carriers of the idol stumbled and fell, dropping the idol and fracturing its jaw and left arm.
A number of young people turned to Christ as a result of the rain coming in answer to prayer, but the elders of the village made divination and said that the wrong day had been chosen. The proper day of the procession, they said, should have been the 14th.
When Nee and his friends heard this, they again went to prayer, asking for rain on the 14th and for clear days for preaching until then. That afternoon the sky cleared and on the good days that followed there were thirty converts. Of the crucial test day, Nee says: The 14th broke, another perfect day, and we had good meetings. As the evening approached we met again at the appointed hour. We quietly brought the matter to the Lord’s remembrance. Not a minute late, His answer came with torrential rain and floods as before.
The power of the idol over the islanders was broken; the enemy was defeated. Believing prayer had brought a great victory. Conversions followed. And the impact upon the servants of God who had witnessed His power would continue to enrich their Christian service from that time on.
You Can Win!, Roger F. Campbell, 1985, SP Publications, pp. 35-36
1. POWER AND PROPER PERSPECTIVE - Jesus assured us that He would supply us with the dunamos (power) and the authority (exusia) to accomplish the preaching, teaching and discipling of all 18,800 people groups of the world. Surely, in ourselves we are indequate for such a great task, but with the Lord’s enabling, equipping and empowering He makes us completely competent to complete all that He has commanded. Christ’s commands carry the full force of His abilities to complete everything He requires. We can be confident that we will not lack one good thing even we may encounter opposition. Greater is He who is in us than He who is in the world.