6 So when they had come together, they were asking Him, saying, “Lord, is it at this time You are restoring the kingdom to Israel?” 7 He said to them, “It is not for you to know times or epochs which the Father has fixed by His own authority; 8 but you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth.” Acts 1:6–8
Just like the apostles, we must operate in the world not knowing when Jesus will return. He, in fact, does not know his return date either. Only the Father knows. But we know this, that the day and time is fixed, and it will come about.
32 “But of that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but the Father alone. 33 “Take heed, keep on the alert; for you do not know when the appointed time will come. Mark 13:32-33
In the meantime, the same power (dynamin, from which we get dynamite) that Jesus possessed would be given to the witnesses he left behind, to carry on his work to the “remotest part of the earth.” This power would come in the form of the Holy Spirit, the “comforter,” the “helper,” the “teacher,” who leads us, who guides us into all truth.
We read about Jesus retreating to a secluded place by himself (Mark 1:35) or sending his men to row on the high seas without him (Matthew 14:22). Not any more. They’d possess his power and presence internally, at the ready, in some cases described as “great power.”
They’d stare down leaders, withstand the stones hurled at them, gladly receive stripes on their backs, even death, sing songs in prison, and sleep while chained between two guards. Most of all, they’d mightily share Jesus.
And with great power the apostles were giving testimony to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and abundant grace was upon them. Acts 4:33
It is important to understand that this spirit can be quenched (1 Thessalonians 5:19) and grieved (Ephesians 4:30) by its holder, but it cannot be lost or removed, and it will not be taken from us even under the most grievous of circumstances. In reality, Jesus resides permanently within each believer, empowering him or her to do his work, share his gospel, and live victoriously. We are urged then to “walk in the spirit.” We’ve got the power, but it is released by getting “in step with it,” (i.e., Jesus) just like the disciples would physically do in their many sojourns with him.
But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh. Galatians 5:16
Ironically, living a simple “holy life” you’d think would not require “great power,” but perhaps consistently through thick and thin it does!
Jesus encouraged the disciples with the promise of receiving this resident power in a few short days. The same spirit of power Jesus possessed and promised is installed in all of us at salvation. But many of us simply haven’t used it to its fullest extent! But it has not lost its potency in its latency. The powder is still dry. Allow him to light the fuse.
Let this be your constant prayer, to keep the fire burning.