The Empowerment for our Mission
Read Acts 1:1-11
"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 parts of the earth."
It must have been overwhelming for the disciples. When Christ rose from the dead, the disciples were overjoyed. Their teacher, mentor, and leader reappeared and walked and talked with them. With the resurrection, they gained a new understanding of Christ's purpose for coming. But then Christ turns their world upside down. But even as his resurrection was a powerful testimony, some still struggled with doubts, trying to comprehend all the events that had just transpired (see Matthew 28:17). Sometimes, life events happen with such rapid-fire succession that we cannot wrap our minds around the circumstances, and so we are left in a state of mental and emotional paralysis and confusion. Such must have been the case during the days after the resurrection.
When Christ announced to the disciples that he was leaving them, he gave them a daunting task. This handful of believers, he gave the responsibility to take the gospel to all nations. How could a handful of followers transform the world? It was not the assignment to be his witnesses that would have been overwhelming; it was the scope of their ministry. It was not just to Israel that they were to take the gospel message; it was to every individual walking upon the face of this earth. It is not surprising then that after Jesus ascended into heaven, the disciples remained frozen in time, looking up into heaven (Acts 1:9-11). We can only imagine the myriad of questions flowing through their minds.
As overwhelming as this task must have seemed, Christ did not leave them to flounder in their strength. Instead, he promised that he would send the Holy Spirit upon them to empower them to the task. They were given the empowerment of God to accomplish what they could never accomplish on their own.
As we go forth to proclaim the gospel, we do so, recognizing that the same empowerment given to the disciples in Acts 1 is the same empowerment given to each one of us. When we accept Christ, we are given the Holy Spirit at the moment of salvation to empower and equip us for ministry (1 Corinthians 12:13). The Holy Spirit then comes to confirm our salvation and place God's seal of ownership upon us (Ephesians 4:30). He empowers and uniquely equips each of us to use our spiritual gifts to advance His kingdom (1 Corinthians 12:7). There are times in our service and witness for Christ that it seems overwhelming, and we are reminded of our weakness. However, being a witness for Christ is not based upon our strength, wisdom, and abilities. It is based upon the Holy Spirit's empowerment. Does being a witness for Christ seem overwhelming? Do you feel inadequate? Remember, when we share our faith with others, we do not do so by our strength but by the power of the Holy Spirit.