Too many Christians today are living without any power in their lives. Their prayers reap withered crops, their testimonies fall on deaf ears, and their daily lives reflect nothing. This is more than sad, it’s devastating. God has called us to so much more. Why then are so many of us living powerless lives in Christ. The answer is much simpler than some would have you believe. The power of the Christian life is available to every single one of us if we want it. There are three simple keys to experiencing the power that God has in store for His followers -the same sort of power that the Apostles experienced in the book of Acts. I say three keys, but in reality they are all deeply intertwined with one another so I am going to present them together, as one idea.
If we want to live powerful and effective lives for Christ we need to bathe our selves in Spirit filled prayer and Bible study. That’s it. Sounds simple enough, right? You may be thinking that you already do that, but you don’t feel particularly powerful as a Christian. Well, let’s look a bit more closely at this thing.
First, you must be Spirit filled. True, all Christians are given the gift of the Holy Spirit upon their conversion. However, if you look closely into the book of Acts, there are several examples where Christ’s followers prayed and were filled with the power of the Holy Spirit. We are given the gift of the Spirit when we become Christians, but He does not just lay in wait for us to do something that falls into His job description and then pops out like a genie and manifests some power in our life. We need to continually be looking to God to give us a fresh filling of His Spirit. It starts with looking to God and seeking His presence and His power. This key leads to our next key, which is really married to our first. They go hand in hand and you can’t experience one without the other.
Second, we must be calling on the name of the Lord. We must pray! We must pray as individuals and we must pray corporately. However, we must not just be sending up empty prayers to Heaven. For our prayers to be effective and powerful, we must be praying with the power of the Holy Spirit. Do you see how these two concepts are intimately linked? We have no powers in ourselves apart from God. God’s Spirit gives us God’s power here on earth as He sees fit. Without it, we are hopeless. When we seek God’s Spirit in prayer and we cry out to God as a result of that seeking, our prayers have real power in this world. God’s power. We cannot just send up prayers by our own sheer will. We need the power of the Spirit to help us pray as we ought. When we are spirit filled, it causes us to thirst after God. It gives you a longing to hear from Heaven and it manifests itself in a rich and rewarding prayer life. Without a Spirit filled prayer life, our labors on earth will be for nothing. There will no power in our work and no blessing from God.
Last, we must esteem the Word of God above all else. God’s Word is our life. We should hunger for His Word. As Christians, we should be looking to God’s living Word as the blueprint for our lives. Very frequently, it is through God’s Word that we hear from Heaven. Many Christians complain that they pray but never seem to hear from God. I have to ask them if their prayers are spirit filled AND if they are reading their Bibles. God speaks to us through his Word. That is why He gave it to us. He speaks in other ways as well, but He always speaks through His Word. There is power in the LIVING WORD of God. It is not just a book with pages. When you seek God’s presence through prayer and through Bible study, that Word penetrates the darkness of your heart and changes it. It seeks out the hidden things in your life and brings them to light so that you may repent and be changed. That’s power!
Now, this is not a step1, step 2, step 3 lesson in becoming a Christian with power in this world. These three concepts are married to one another. They must go together. Seek God’s Spirit in prayer before you send up your petitions to Him. Bathe your prayers in Bible study. Study the Bible with a Spirit filled heart. Each is an extension of the other. If you seek earnestly after God, He will come to you. Draw near to Him and He WILL draw near to you. If Christians would get back to “a book of Acts Christianity” they would experience a power that would transform them and people around them. That power is not theirs, it comes from God – by seeking God and by being filled with God. Without Him, we are useless.