You know of Jesus of Nazareth, how God anointed Him with the Holy Spirit and with power, and how He went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with Him.
Acts 10:38 (NASB)
I want to tell you a story of the time my dad asked me to go pray for a baby in a hospital once. This was many years ago. On the way to the hospital my dad told me how he sensed that God was up to something big. I was a teenager at the time, so I just agreed to what my dad said. That day I saw one of the saddest things I had ever seen. A baby, just a few days old, with arms and legs all blue and black with gangrene.
Somehow a bacterial infection invaded this little boy’s body and slowly started killing off each of his limbs. When me and my dad entered the room, the doctor just informed the parents that their little boy would most probably be dead within two or three hours. The gangrene was spreading at such a rapid rate that amputation was no solution. The shock we all felt was something I still remember to this day.
My dad turned to the parents and asked them, “do you believe God can do a miracle for you?” They were honest enough to admit that they didn’t believe that but my dad continued and said that he believes in God and offered to pray for their son.
I remember it so well. I stood on the one side of the hospital crib and my dad on the other. We couldn’t lay our hands on the baby because he was full of wires and tubes. So I just put my two index fingers on him, following my dad’s example. My dad prayed, what felt to me as a very insignificantly, short prayer. We turned to the parents and my dad also prayed a very simple prayer.
We drove home in complete silence.
The next morning at around 5am the phone rang. This was before mobile phones with mute buttons. It was one of those wired home telephones that would wake up the whole house. My dad picked up, had a short conversation with someone and ran into my room to give me the news. The doctors had no idea what happened, but the gangrene simply disappeared an hour or two after we left and the baby was doing fine.
A month or so later the family came to church to dedicate their son the Lord. It was truly a God moment.
This incident taught me so much. It is not the size of the faith or the length of the prayer that made any difference. It is the power of the Holy Spirit. Just like our opening verse states, not even Jesus did anything significant until He was baptised in the Holy Spirit. But when He was Baptised in the Spirit, He did marvelous things.
We need the power of the Holy Spirit more than we need anything else to be able to succeed in God’s Kingdom. Without the Holy Spirit, we are truly like rotten wood floating down a stream going wherever the current takes us.
Without the Holy Spirit our:
Praise and worship songs are just music,
Sermons are simply prideful information shared
Prayers are feel good gestures of false hope
Services are acts of meaningless waste of energy
But when we are empowered by the Holy Spirit, a very simple prayer can turn death around in its tracks. Every song you sing will penetrate a heart, sermon you preach will save a soul and act of kindness will raise a Godly leader.
How much of what you currently do is out of the flesh vs. out of the Spirit of God?
A couple of weeks ago I challenged you to rate yourself based on the fruit of the spirit. Today I want to make a similar challenge: rate your life based on the gifts of the Spirit.
How often, when at work, do you open your heart to receive a word of wisdom to give you a supernatural answer to the problem you are facing?
Do you believe God for a gift of faith to reach your goals and supersede all expectations?
Have you ever trusted God to give you discernment with a client to know where things are going?
Are you involving the Gifts of the Spirit to help you with your PhD research?
Do you believe God can heal, restore and set free?
Do you believe God can use you to do it?
Often times when we fail to answer yes to these questions, it is because we lack the baptism in the Holy Spirit. We think it is through ability of our own we need to be able to pray a good enough prayer with enough faith to get things moving forward.
My dad did not pray a death defying prayer that got rid of gangrene in a baby’s body. He prayed a Holy Spirit empowered prayer that needs only one word of faith to be released.
Are you baptised in the Holy Spirit?