By: Dianne Davis
Right before Jesus ascended into Heaven, he told the disciples to wait in the city because He was going to send the Holy Spirit just as His father promised and that they would receive power from Heaven. (Luke 24:49).
In the Book of Acts, what Jesus said is expanded. "But you will receive power when the holy Spirit comes upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, throughout Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth" (Acts 1:8). The power that is spoken about here is one of boldness, courage, confidence, and authority. The eleven disciples who grew to one hundred and twenty would need all that and more in order to transform the world!
So they waited for ten days in the upper room, praying and trusting Jesus at His word. I often wonder if they got discouraged. I mean, how long do you wait before you lose patience or give up? They encouraged one another and kept praying.
And then suddenly it happened! The scripture says there was a sound from Heaven like a windstorm and it filled the house where they were meeting and what looked like tongues of fire appeared on each them. Everyone present was filled with the Holy Spirit. Everyone. As I read these passages again I realized that the Holy Spirit came to all who asked. No one was left empty.
I remember my first experience being filled with the Holy Spirit. I was filled with joy and enthusiasm and I wanted to tell everyone about Jesus, but, quite honestly, sometimes those feelings simmer down in my life. The weight of the outside world creeps into me and I feel like the Holy Spirit is pushed down with all that weight.
Earlier this year I went away to a retreat and prayed to be filled again with the Holy Spirit.
The next morning as I was waking up, words came out of my mouth without me even thinking. I said "Holy Spirit, what are we going to do today?"
After that, I started saying it every day and really meaning it. The Lord takes that prayer seriously! This has opened up so many more opportunities to share Christ with others. I'll share one special story with you.
Right before Easter, I went shopping for flowers to plant in front of my house. I looked around the store for a liner I needed, but couldn’t find it. As I was checking out, the cashier asked me if I found everything I was looking for. I told her I hadn’t and explained what I needed. As I was explaining, the store manager walked by and told us the liners had not been delivered to the store yet. I left and started putting my purchases in my car. Within minutes, both the manager and cashier walked outside and called out to me. They found what I was looking for in a box in the back!
As I was walking back to the store, I said "Lord, thank you for loving me so much. You blessed me with big things this week and you even care about the little things like flowers for the planter in the front of my house."
I felt in my heart that the Lord was asking me to go back in the store and share His blessing with the store manager and cashier. As I walked back in, I said, "I don’t know if you believe in God, but I do and He has been blessing me all week. I believe He wants to bless you, too. Do either of you need prayer?" They both said yes, but the young female cashier started crying. Her ten-month-old daughter was having surgery the next morning and she was worried.
I pulled her aside. I told her about Jesus and how much He loves her and her daughter. After I shared, we prayed together. It was that simple.
When I evangelize, it is not by my own strength or courage. It is all through the power of the Holy Spirit! Ask the Lord to guide your steps and be open to how the Holy Spirit can use you to bless others today.
If you want to evangelize, ask the Holy Spirit to help you and expect Him to use you!