Here is the last recorded words of Jesus to his disciples before his ascension. We read in Acts 1:7-8:
[Jesus] said to them: “It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by his own authority. But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”
We who, by faith, follow Jesus are all recipients of this promise. We are recipients in the fact that by the power of the Holy Spirit, another Jesus witness or witnesses taught us about Jesus. We are also all recipients of this promise because the gift of the Holy Spirit will eventually be promised along with the forgiveness of sins to all people (Acts 2:38-39).
This, of course, is good news because it means we do not need to rely on our own strength and ingenuity as we bear witness to the story of Jesus. It also tells us something more specific about our calling that I need to remind myself of routinely. So this is what I have written in my Bible at the beginning of the book of Acts: Our calling as followers of Jesus is to be animated by the Holy Spirit so that we embody the gospel in all we do and say.
But how do we rely on this Holy Spirit power or what does it look like to be animated by the power of the Holy Spirit? Well in one sense the answer to that is to read the rest of the book of Acts. It also means that our churches must be pursuing a gospel vision that is bigger than us, seeming impossible without God’s blessing. It also means that we learn to recognize the work of the Holy Spirit through its mysterious promptings and follow (obedience) its leading.
Yet this all still seems to general, so here are some questions I am interested…
- What are some examples of big kingdom dreams and what about it makes them big?
- How do we know when the Holy Spirit is prompting us to a certain action?