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Sunday, June 10, 2012

Obtaining Courage and Power

We all know how Peter denied his Lord and how all the disciples fled and forsook Him. Their hearts were really attached to the Lord, and they were sincerely willing to do what they had promised and go to die with Him. But when it came to the crisis, they had neither the courage nor the power. After the blessing of the Spirit at Pentecost, it was no longer a matter of willing apart from performing. By Christ dwelling in us, God works both the willing and the doing.

On the day of Pentecost, Peter preached about Jesus to thousands of hostile Jews. With boldness and in opposition to the leaders of the people, he was able to say: "We ought to obey God rather than men" (Acts 5:29). With courage and joy, Stephen, Paul, and many others were enabled to encounter threatening, suffering, and death. They did this triumphantly because the Spirit of Christ, the victor - Christ Himself, had been glorified and now dwelt within them. The joy of the blessing of Pentecost gives courage and power to speak for Jesus because it fills the whole heart with Him.

The blessing of Pentecost makes the Word of God new. We see this fact distinctly in the case of the disciples. As with all the Jews of that age, their ideas of the Messiah and the Kingdom of God were external and carnal. All the instruction of the Lord Jesus throughout three long years could not change their way of thinking. They were unable to comprehend the doctrine of a suffering and dying Messiah or the hope of His invisible spiritual dominion. Even after His resurrection, He had to rebuke them for their unbelieving spirit and their inability to understand the Scriptures.

With the coming of the day of Pentecost, an entire change took place. Their ancient Scriptures opened up before them. The light of the Holy Spirit in them illumined the Word. In the preaching of Peter and Stephen and in the addresses of Paul and James, we see how a divine light had shone on the Old Testament. They saw everything through the Spirit of this Jesus who had made His abode within them.

So it will be with us. It is necessary to meditate on the Scriptures and keep the Word of God in our thoughts, heart, and daily walk. Let us, however, constantly remember that it is only when we are filled with the Spirit that we can fully experience the spiritual power and truth of the Word. He is "the Spirit of truth". He alone guides us into all truth when He dwells in us.

~Andrew Murray~

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