In the Charismatic Renewal we have experienced, through Baptism in the Holy Spirit, what it means to be ‘clothed with power from on high’
Clothed with Power
Ann Marie Gatenby
ISAO Intercessory Coordinator
The disciples were told by Jesus to go to Jerusalem and wait there because He was sending what His Father promised, that was to clothe them with power from on high (Lk 24:49). I wonder if they really understood what Jesus was talking about when he said this to them. They all listened and obeyed him because they all knew that He had been raised from the dead and they had no more reason to doubt Him. As they waited for what Jesus called “power from on high”, I personally don’t think they were ready for what was going to happen. scripture says, “a sound like rushing wind came and tongues of fire rested upon each of them, and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit” (Acts 2: 2-4). Their waiting was over! Their lives were totally transformed! They now experienced what Jesus meant when he said they would be “clothed with power from on high”.
In the Charismatic Renewal we have experienced, through Baptism in the Holy Spirit, what it means to be ‘clothed with power from on high’. Each of us didn’t know what to expect but through the power of the Spirit we have experienced the transformation of our lives. All of us have a testimony of what has happened to us when we experienced His power from on high.
For some of us it has been many years since this happened. It is good to reflect again on who the Holy Spirit is, and what are some of the actions of the Spirit in our lives, so we can come to a deeper understanding of the Spirit working within us; so we can become more attentive to the movement of the Spirit and to come in line with what He is doing.
As we know the Holy Spirit is the third person of the Trinity and He is known by many names such as Advocate, Counsellor, Comforter and Helper. Scripture describes Him as having a mind – “And God who searches the heart, knows what is the mind of the Spirit …” (Rm 8:28), and feelings – “do not grieve the Holy Spirit” (Eph 4:30). These descriptions about Him show that He has the characteristics of a person. Knowing this makes Him more real to us, and helps us relate to Him as a person rather than just a Spirit, so we can talk to Him and communicate with Him in that way.
Another view of how the Spirit works in us is described by Jesus in this way: “And I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Advocate, to be with you forever. This is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows Him. You know him, because He abides with you and will be in you” (Jn14:16-17). This tells us He is the truth. He teaches us truth. He is the one who showed us the truth of who God is and what Jesus did for us on the cross. He is the one who shows us the truth that we are God’s children (Rm 8:15) and that we are made in His image and likeness. He leads us into choosing what is right. John 16: 5-11 says that the Holy Spirit shows the truth about sin and righteousness and judgment. It is His action in us that reveals to us when we have sinned, and helps us to understand this truth, and it is He who leads us into righteousness (Right living with Jesus). It is good to often pray that the Holy Spirit will guide our lives in truth because Jesus said he abides in us, waiting to do just that.
Scripture also describes the Holy Spirit as pouring out the love of God into our Hearts (Rm 5:5). The reason why we can love the Lord and others is because the Holy Spirit gives us the enabling to do this, and it never stops. This amazing gift is from Him! When we are finding it difficult to love a person, we can ask the Holy Spirit to pour more of the love of God into our hearts, so we can love more. When we feel like our love for God maybe lukewarm, we can ask the Holy Spirit to pour more of His love into our heart, so we can love Him with all our heart, mind and strength. It is He who moves us to love.
The reason why we can love the Lord and others is because the Holy Spirit gives us the enabling to do this, and it never stops. This amazing gift is from Him!
As charismatic’s we love to praise and worship the Lord, and to glorify him in all we do. The reason why we love to do this (and are able to do this) is because the Holy Spirit is the one who compels us and moves our heart to want to Glorify Him! In Jn 16:14 it says the Spirit will glorify Jesus. So next time you say out loud “Praise the Lord” know that we can only do this because the Holy Spirit enables us to do so.
There is so much the Holy Spirit does for us. He is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance (Eph 1:13-14). He gives us the understanding to know scripture, because all scripture is ‘God – breathed’ (2 Tim 3:16). He comes with the fruits of the Spirit (Gal 5:22), to help us in our daily lives. There are many more references to what He does. Take some time and look them up.
Lastly, at Pentecost the Holy Spirit empowered the disciples to go out and proclaim the good news to fulfill the commissioning Jesus gave them in Matt 28: 16-20. Acts chapter 2 tells how Peter, now filled with power from on high, shared the good news to all who were gathered, and scripture says they were ‘cut to the heart’, repented and believed. We too have the Holy Spirit empowering us to share the good news about Jesus Christ. The Holy Spirit also comes with gifts (1 Cor 12:7-10) to equip us in bringing the good news to those around us, through the working of these gifts. Each time we share the goodness of God with others or we pray for healing for someone, or speak in tongues or give a prophetic word, it is because the Holy Spirit empowers us to do so. We cannot do this in ourselves. It is all accomplished by the action of His Spirit within us, moving us to step out and be a witness.
Jesus told His disciples “But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you everything and remind you all that I have said to you.” He sent us the Holy Spirit, who is with us every step of the way as we follow the Lord. Each time you pour out your Love to the Lord, or recognize you have sinned, or choose to walk in the truth, or you have a deeper understanding that you are His child, or you share a testimony about the Lord, know that the Holy Spirit is the one who gives you the ability to do all these things! It is good to ponder on these things, so we never take Him for granted; so we grow in understanding of what He does; so we go deeper in learning to walk in His leading. My heart is so grateful for the gift of the Holy Spirit, and I cannot stop thanking the Lord for sending what the Father promised on the day of Pentecost, and clothing all of us with power from on high.