Summary: When you feel powerless, remember the Holy Spirit and get ready for a power surge.
“Getting Into Shape: When you Feel Powerless”
When have you felt powerless? When the doctor said “There’s nothing more we can do?” When the boss said, “We have no choice but to let you go?” When the Counselor stated, “I can’t help her?” When you said, “It’s impossible! I can’t handle this?” When your personal battery was drained and you said, “I just can’t go on; I can’t do it anymore?” To feel powerless is to feel helpless – and it’s not a good feeling. Imagine, for example, how the disciples and other followers of Jesus felt. After Jesus died, they were powerless, hopeless, and helpless – then Jesus rose from the dead! But then He left them again as He ascended into Heaven, leaving them with the words (Luke 24:49) “I am going to send you what my Father has promised; but stay in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high.” Just what does this ‘power clothing’ look like? How do we put this ‘power clothing’ on? Let’s look at the activity of Peter for an answer.
First, we are to RELEASE UNQUESTIONABLE POWER. Think about what had been happening since the arrival of the Holy Spirit: (2:41) “Those who accepted (Peter’s) message were baptized, and about three thousand were added to their number that day.” (2:47): “And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.” Then (Acts 3) Peter and John healed a middle aged man, crippled from birth, and gave Jesus Christ all the credit. Verse 4 of chapter 4 then states, “But many who heard the message believed, and the number of men grew to about five thousand.” Society was experiencing, as Paul would later put it (Rom. 1:16), “…the gospel...is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes...” The word Paul used for Power, by the way, is dunamis, from which we get our word dynamite! It is an explosive power!
The take home for us is that this POWER IS RELEASED WHENEVER WE GIVE WITNESS TO JESUS. The religious leaders were frustrated. They were the learned, the powerful, the molders of society. There was no way this band of common men should be able to take the crowd away from them. Peter and John had no diploma from the school of Gamaliel, no letter of recommendation from the High Priest, no preaching license from the Sanhedrin. This was really David versus Goliath, the plain man versus the theological “Who’s Who.” But as Peter and John preached, these power brokers could not deny the resurrection of Christ, they could not refute the miracle; all they could do was try to put the brakes on Peter and John’s preaching. They knew it was the preaching that was doing the harm and causing the ruckus.
And it still does! THE OUTPOURING OF GOD’S SPIRIT IS FOR THE OUTGOING OF GOD’S PEOPLE! Wherever, whenever the Gospel is preached, wherever and whenever a witness is given, an explosive power for salvation is released.