Summary: We Don't need to wait around. We are not powerless. With the Help of the Holy Spirit, we can still Make Disciples of all Nations!
We have the Power
Batteries, without them, cars don’t move. Cell phones remain silent. Flashlights remain dark. Hearing aids are useless. When we flip the switch we expect something to turn on. How that happens, we really don’t care. That is unless we flip the switch and nothing happens.
Few things are more frustrating than when there is a power outage. All of us can remember those less than wonderful times when we flounder around in the dark and finally locate the flashlight only for the batteries to be dead.
Power tools are wonderful things. How much easier is it to use a power screwdriver than to manually turn the old one by hand? From pounding nails to digging ditches, power tools can make all the difference in the world. With them jobs that would take hours can be completed in minutes. But without power they are no help at all.
Ok, so here are the Disciples, They have learned from and listened to Jesus. They know for a fact that HE is the son of God. He personally showed them His power. He has healed the sick, Raised Lazarus from the dead, walked on water, calmed the storm, cased out demons, He has conjured death. And now, Just last week they personally witnessed Jesus ascending into Heaven. But before He went, He “By the Wayfully” mentions, Oh, Now it is your turn! Take over for me! And He gives them the Great Commission.
I know the first thing that would come to my mind. Is He Nutz!? There is a big difference between Jesus and me. He has Charisma. He has Healing Powers! My gosh, even death couldn’t hold Him! Who am I? I just watched him do that stuff. I ‘m a lackey! I’m a nobody! I’m just a fisherman. Jesus had to explain things over and over again and I still don’t get all of it! Take over??? Me???
Sensing this Jesus instructs them to do nothing until they receive the Holy Spirit. Jesus knew that the task was just too much for them to imagine. Much less attempt alone. He knew that they did not have the power needed to accomplish the task ahead alone. So before he went he tells them that the Holy Spirit would come to them before they would start.
2 Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. 3 They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. 4 All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues[a] as the Spirit enabled them. I think it is important to mention that the tongues that are mentioned here is not the same thing as speaking in tongues, which is a spiritual gift requiring another person with the gift of interpretation to translate so normal people can understand. Instead they begin to speak in other established languages.
This is important because this was a personal example of the spirit empowering them to do something that they absolutely could not do before. 6 When they heard this sound, a crowd came together in bewilderment, because each one heard their own language being spoken. 7 Utterly amazed, they asked: “Aren’t all these who are speaking Galileans? 8 Then how is it that each of us hears them in our native language?
In a very dynamic way the Holy Spirit is using them as messengers to spread the Gospel in ways that were totally impossible only moments before. From that moment they were no longer Disciples they were Apostles. And the Christian Church was born with them as it’s first leadership team. Christ promised them power and the Holy Spirit delivered it.
But what does that mean to us over 2000 years later? Well there are a lot of similarities. First off is that many of us have studied Christ and we know the bible basics. We too can look back in our past and remember the Glory days. When the church was full of friends and family. But now things have changed. People are too busy for faith. The world denies Christ. They deny God. Somehow even some who are church members have confused the mission, personal responsibility and commitment of the Great Commission with a ”make me feel good it’s all about Me consumer mentality”. How can we possibly make disciples? People are so busy working, sports and running around we barely have time for Family. The best we can do with old friends and extended family is stay in touch via Facebook.
Most days we barely have the power to make meals, do laundry and keep the house clean let alone get to church or actually do ministry. We are too exhausted and there are just not enough days is the week or hours in the day for anything else.