Thursday, April 15, 2010

What does the power of God feel like?

Wait to be endued with power from on high.

You shall receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you, and you shall be my witnesses in Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria, and the uttermost parts of the earth.

God's power is with those who believe in Jesus. Believers are taught to wait and receive this power. Presumably they would know when they had received it. But how would they know? The answer is in the rest of what Jesus said before he ascended: they would be his worldwide witnesses, or witnesses wherever they were on earth. So, the key to how the power of the Holy Spirit "feels" is in how a powerful witness feels.

To be powerful, or to have power, is to be effective and successful in achieving a desired goal.

To be a witness is to be one who has seen, heard, or experienced a specific event, and has the character to be believed.

So a powerful witnesses has the character and ability to communicate effectively and successfully what he or she has seen, heard, and known.

How do you feel when you know what you are talking about; when you know what you have seen, heard, and known? How do you feel when you have acted in such a way as to be trustworthy? I believe I can describe your feeling in one word: confidence. So the power of God, given for believers to be his witnesses, feels like confidence. But it is a "supernatural" confidence. This means that the feeling comes from the inside out, without any "tangible" cause. It is given to you directly by God as God give you the experience of himself; the very experience you bear witness to.

For example, on the night when I came face to face with God, ready to die, I confessed that Jesus is God's Son and that he died for my sins, the very sins for which I wanted to die because of my guilt. After this confession, I felt peace cover me like a blanket, a literal invisible blanket, and I know longer wanted to die. This is an experience that I bear witness to. The Spirit in me, who came upon me in that day, also gives me the ability and character to continue to tell this testimony at the right time, the right way, to the right person. This is another aspect of the confidence. Not only do I feel confident in my character and ability, but I feel confident in relation to the timing of the testimony. I have a supernatural certainty of when, where, and to whom I share this testimony.

Certainty. Clarity. Authority. These three words give a tangible standard by which you can know how the power of God feels when you have the desire to use it for his purposes. This is the only time you will experience it and know it.

Another measure of the power is how it effects others. There are two possible effects: edification or conviction. Edification means that one who already believes in Christ will be strengthened in their faith; they will feel encouraged, comforted, and urged in obedience to God. One who does not already belong to Christ will feel convicted, proven guilty of rebellion against God and urged to cease rebellion and to yield to God in submission.

The power of God has an effect, positive or negative, depending upon who listens. It effects both speaker and listener.


Effectiveness in convincing by character and ability

Joy to the one speaking and the one listening

Conviction to the one speaking and the one listening

This is how God's power feels when it is used for God's purpose: to be his witness.

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