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Dynamos for Jesus

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‘But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth’” (Acts 1:8).

Have you received this power? Whether, like Dr. A. B. Simpson, you call it the sanctifying baptism in the Spirit or use A. W. Tozer’s phrase, “the filling of the Spirit”—the experience is vital to the Christian life.

The words “dynamic,” “dynamo” and “dynamite” are derived from dunamis, the Greek word for power. When the Holy Spirit fills us, we receive supernatural power to be His witnesses in three dimensions of our lives.

‘To Live . . .’

First, we receive power to live a holy, righteous life. It is an intensification of the sanctifying process begun when we were regenerated. Sanctification enables us to become more like Christ in what some people call “lifestyle evangelism.” When the Holy Spirit comes upon us, we have the power to be free from sin and to overcome temptation. Christ-likeness is apparent in us as never before. There is no more powerful witness than that of the fruit of the Spirit.

To live a sanctified life, that is, to be like Jesus, also involves a thorough cleansing. John the Baptist said that Jesus would “baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.” We tend to leave off the “fire” part, but the original Greek language indicates it is a part of being filled with the Spirit. John goes on to say that it involves sweeping out the chaff in our lives, burning away the impurities that taint our witness for Christ.

‘To Speak . . .’

Second, we receive power to speak in what is called “proclamation evangelism.” When the Holy Spirit comes upon us, we receive power to proclaim the good news of Jesus Christ with wisdom and spontaneity under His leading or anointing. Luke calls Stephen “a man full of God’s grace and power,” saying his opponents “could not stand up against his wisdom or the Spirit by whom he spoke” (Acts 6:10).

When you cannot find the right words, “the Holy Spirit will teach you at that time what you should say” (Luke 12:12). We receive power to speak with confidence and authority. Acts 4:31 asserts that “they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke the word of God boldly.” When we are empowered by the Holy Spirit, He overcomes our fears and doubts; we do not have to feel intimidated.

The power to speak is extended to the songs we sing. Paul commands, “Be filled with the Spirit. Speak to one another with psalms, hymns and spiritual songs. Sing and make music in your heart to the Lord” (Eph. 5:18–19). Worship music can be a powerful witness. When we are empowered with the Spirit, He puts a new song in our heart. People are touched by the Lord when our joy overflows.

‘To Demonstrate . . .”

Finally, we receive power to demonstrate our witness supernaturally. Paul says in 1 Corinthians 2:4–5: “My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit’s power, so that your faith might not rest on men’s wisdom, but on God’s power.” Sometimes our words and actions need to be supplemented by a “power encounter,” something Simpson was teaching more than 100 years ago:

. . . we may expect as the end approaches that the Holy Ghost will work in the healing of sickness, in the casting out of demons, in remarkable answers to prayer, in special and wonderful providences and in such forms as may please His sovereign will—to prove to an unbelieving world that the power of Jesus’ Name is still unchanged.

We may anticipate signs and gifts of the Spirit to affirm the Spirit’s power, resulting in people responding to Christ and the Body of Christ being built up. We are not to follow after signs, but we may expect signs to follow us (Mark 16:16–20). We should not shun God’s supernatural gifts in our lives. But neither should we put undue emphasis on them; hence our Alliance motto, “Expectation without agenda.”

Holiness churches preach “lifestyle evangelism,” evangelical churches stress “proclamation evangelism” and charismatic and Pentecostal churches emphasize “power evangelism.” The Christian and Missionary Alliance believes in all three dimensions, recognizing the primacy of Christ-like living. If we proclaim the gospel or demonstrate supernatural power but fail to live a holy life, our witness is nullified (1 Cor. 13:1–4). But a truly Spirit-filled, Christ-like lifestyle will result in a powerful witness.

Let us be empowered with the Holy Spirit, spontaneously sharing our faith with boldness, wisdom and joyful singing. Let us anticipate demonstrations of God’s power through our lives in signs and wonders. And most of all, let us be cleansed of all that would hinder us in our walk with God and our work for God so that others may see Jesus in us.

How Can I Be Filled with the Spirit?

Admit that you are empty and need to be filled. Dr. A. B. Simpson advised, “No one is fitted for the humblest service in the church of God until he receives the divine baptism in the Holy Spirit.” Pray: “Lord, I need your power. I cannot do this on my own.”

Hunger and thirst after God with all your heart. A. W. Tozer wrote, “Before you can be filled, you must desire to be filled.”

Repent of anything that might grieve the Holy Spirit and hinder His work in your life—unconfessed sin, bitterness, unforgiveness, pride, fear, doubt.

Surrender all to God. Hold nothing back—and raise your hands high to God in the universal sign of surrender.

Ask Jesus to fill you with the Holy Spirit (Luke 11:9–11). Extend your hands in front of you, symbolically receiving. Sing a song of surrender and worship.

Expect some manifestation of the overwhelming power of the Spirit—whether bold witness or overflowing joy, peace or love.

Be willing to receive any gift God may want to bestow. You are seeking after Jesus, not gifts, but He desires to give you His gifts. Don’t put limits on what you are willing to receive.

Believe that God is filling you. Raise your hands in praise and thank Him. Speak and act in faith that you have been filled with the Spirit.

Continue to be filled (Eph. 5:18). Pray for a deeper and fuller experience of the Spirit.

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