The Purpose for the Power

Here are a few things that the Holy Spirit gives us power for:

1) To share our Christian faith

Isn’t it cool that after Merlin Carothers received the Holy Spirit, He learned how to let go and open his mouth in faith to speak whatever God impressed on him? He didn’t even have to think about what he should tell people when he was witnessing to them. It just flowed.

In Acts 1:8, Jesus told His disciples that they would receive power from the Holy Spirit which would enable them to be witnesses. This is a major purpose of the infilling of the power of the Holy Spirit—to help us to have the boldness and conviction that we need to share Jesus’ message of salvation with others.

If you feel shy when it comes to talking about Jesus with others, you’ll be happy to know that the Holy Spirit can give you the courage that you need to overcome your shyness so that you won’t even care what others might think of you.

Going back to the disciples, before the power of the Holy Spirit was given to them, these men were a bit clueless. They depended on Jesus’ human presence a whole lot and most likely felt incapable of doing the miracles that He did or of speaking with as much conviction as He spoke with. But after receiving this infilling of the Holy Spirit, they became courageous and filled with conviction, so much so that daily in the temple, and in every house, they did not cease teaching and preaching Jesus as the Christ. [3]

Acts 4:31, 33 They were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and they spoke the word of God with boldness. And with great power the apostles gave witness to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus. And great grace was upon them all.

2) To love and care for those around us

Something else that is significant about Merlin’s story is that after He received the baptism of the Holy Spirit, He felt an incredible love for those around him.

If you have a hard time getting along with your parents, with one of your brothers or sisters, or with one of your peers, remember that the baptism of the Holy Spirit is a baptism of love. God is the very Spirit of love.

1 John 4:7-8, 11 Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. He who does not love does not know God, for God is love. … If God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.

3) To help us be filled with joy

One sign of those who are filled with the Holy Spirit is how joyful, happy, and positive they are. Jesus said:

Galatians 5:22 But the fruit of the Spirit is … joy.

Think of something that makes you very happy. This could be traveling to a place you have always wanted to visit, or acquiring a much-desired gadget, or attending a friend’s party, or seeing your favorite sports team win a game. When fun and good things happen to you, you feel the joy!

This type of joy is like a taste of the joy that you can feel when you are filled with the Holy Spirit. And the difference with a temporary joy (such as the ones described above) and with the joy that the Holy Spirit gives us is that the Holy Spirit’s joy is always available to us, no matter what circumstances we find ourselves in. This joy comes from the assurance that Jesus loves you, and that no matter what you experience in your life, God can bring good out of it.

Romans 15:13 Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

Psalm 5:11 But let all those rejoice who put their trust in You; let them ever shout for joy, because You defend them; let those also who love Your name be joyful in You.

4) To strengthen our prayer life

Have you ever had a hard time expressing what was on your heart to God? You wanted to go before Him and pray for something that was important to you, but you didn’t know where to begin.

In Romans 8:26, Paul says that even though we don’t know what to pray for or how to pray, “the Spirit makes intercession for us.” This means you can ask the Holy Spirit to pray for you and through you!

5) To guide us

It can be so confusing sometimes to know what to believe in or whom to follow. So many people will tell you that they have the truth or know what the truth is. But how do you know if what they say is right?

John 16:13 says, “But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all truth.” So, if you’re really not sure what to do, you can always pray and ask Jesus to send the Holy Spirit to help you know and discern between what’s the truth and what’s a lie.

1 Corinthians 2:10-13 The Spirit searches all things, yes, the deep things of God. For what man knows the things of a man except the spirit of the man which is in him? Even so no one knows the things of God except the Spirit of God.

Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might know the things that have been freely given to us by God. These things we also speak, not in words which man’s wisdom teaches but which the Holy Spirit teaches, comparing spiritual things with spiritual.

The Wild Goose Chase

… I cannot think of a better description of what it’s like to pursue the [Holy] Spirit’s leading through life than Wild Goose chase.

I understand that “wild goose chase” typically refers to a purposeless endeavor without a defined destination. But chasing the Wild Goose is different. The promptings of the Holy Spirit can sometimes seem pretty pointless, but rest assured, God is working His plan. And if you chase the Wild Goose, [the Holy Spirit] will take you places you never could have imagined going by paths you never knew existed.

We try to make God fit within the confines of our cerebral cortex. We try to reduce the will of God to the logical limits of our left brain. But the will of God is neither logical nor linear. It is down-right confusing and complicated. A part of us feels as if something is spiritually wrong with us when we experience circumstantial uncertainty. But that is precisely what Jesus promised us when we are born of the Spirit and start following Him.

Most of us will have no idea where we are going most of the time. And I know that is unsettling. But circumstantial uncertainty also goes by another name: adventure.

Nothing is more unnerving or disorienting than passionately pursuing God. And the sooner we come to terms with that spiritual reality, the more we will enjoy the journey.

The saying in Spanish that we saw on a Sprite can … we adopted it as our mantra: Otro día, otra aventura. Translation: “Another day, another adventure.”

I love those four words inspired by Sprite. I think those words resonate with one of the deepest longings in the human heart—the longing for adventure. And I’m not sure I could come up with a better description of what it’s like to pursue God. Take the Holy Spirit out of the equation of my life, and it would spell b-o-r-i-n-g. Add Him into the equation of your life, and anything can happen!

Excerpted: Wild Goose Chase: Reclaim the Adventure of Pursuing God,
by Mark Batterson (Multnomah, 2008)

Having the Holy Spirit as our guide throughout our lives will no doubt lead us to experience an adventure-filled path!

6) To help us understand the Word

The Holy Spirit also helps us to understand the Word of God. We don’t have to have years of theological education to know what God is telling us through His Word. All we have to do is ask His Spirit to open our eyes to the truths in God’s words.

The Nature of the Holy Spirit

Did you ever read the Bible and had a difficult time understanding it? … I’ll never forget a guy who couldn’t read or write. His name was Brother Maise. Oh, I loved this man. He knew God. He would have people read the Bible to him. And they’d read it to him and he would just ponder it and ponder it and ponder it and ponder it. … Next time I would see him, there would be light on his face. And he would say, “You know, I had trouble with this passage, but I just prayed: ‘Lord, help me to understand this.’ He had no access to the tools we do now. He couldn’t look up other words, because it was all Greek to him. But I was amazed how God honors His Word. The Holy Spirit indeed teaches us all things and he [Brother Maise] would come up with the most incredible understanding of the Word. It wasn’t because he was brilliant at all. It was because the Holy Spirit taught him.

Excerpted: “The Nature of Jesus,” by Gayle Erwin

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