What Does It Mean To Be Empowered By The Holy Spirit?
In Acts 1:8 it talks about receiving power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you.
Many people call this the baptism of the Holy Spirit.
I have chosen to call it the empowerment of the Holy Spirit because it causes less confusion about the difference between receiving the Holy Spirit when you become a born again believer and the secondary work of receiving power when the Holy Spirit comes to dwell not only in you, but upon you.
Let’s look at this passage.
But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you. And you will be my witnesses, telling people about me everywhere – in Jerusalem, throughout Judea, in Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.
The Difference Between Infilling And Empowerment
Now the first thing that you need to understand is that this is a secondary work after you become born again. The disciples had already received the Holy Spirit prior to this event.
In Johns Gospel chapter 20 we have the account of Jesus appearing to the disciples before His ascension into heaven.
That Sunday evening the disciples were meeting behind locked doors because they were afraid of the Jewish leaders. Suddenly, Jesus was standing there among them! “Peace be with you,” he said. 20 As he spoke, he showed them the wounds in his hands and his side. They were filled with joy when they saw the Lord! 21 Again he said, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I am sending you.” 22 Then he breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit.
So as it clearly states in this passage, they received the Holy Spirit. So the infilling of the Holy Spirit happens before the empowerment of the Holy Spirit which is talked about in the book of Acts.
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What is the Empowerment of the Holy Spirit?
The empowerment of the Holy Spirit, which others call the baptism of the Holy Spirit, is when God gives you supernatural ability to be His witnesses to others that do not know Jesus.
Here is where many people go astray concerning this event. They think it is just another spiritual experience to be sought after so they can be more spiritual.
They are seeking experience or validation of their Christian life. They are inward focused.
The empowerment of the Holy Spirit is outward focused.
They have already received the Holy Spirit to enable them to live a victorious Christian life. They have already become spiritual creations. This happened when they were born again.
The empowerment of the Holy Spirit has one purpose. To enable us to walk in supernatural ways so we can use that supernatural power to be a witness of the reality that God is with us.
That God still works in the lives of individuals.
That God truly cares about the people we are witnessing to and will show them with supernatural power.
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How Be Empowered By The Holy Spirit
Realize That This Empowerment Is Something God Wants to Give You!
The first thing that you need to do is realize that this is a gift that God wants to give to you.
Sometimes because of religious tradition or bad teaching, people are worried that if they receive this gift that they may be inadvertently receiving something false or spiritually illegal.
Now remember that Jesus promised that the disciples would receive power when the Holy Spirit came upon them. (Acts 1:8)
In Acts 2 that promise was fulfilled. It was quite a spectacle and they all started speaking in languages that they had never learned before.
The townsfolk that hadn’t experienced this yet, thought they were all drunk with wine. It is then that Peter preaches his first sermon and tells them this very important truth.
This promise is to you, and to your children, and even to the Gentiles – all who have been called by the Lord our God.
Even today, people are being called by God. Every born again believer in Jesus has been called by God, so this same promise that was given by Jesus, is still being fulfilled by Jesus.
He is the one that empowers us with the Holy Spirit.
Realize That This Is A Gift From God
Many people are worried that if they open themselves up to being empowered by the Holy Spirit, that Satan might somehow give them a false experience or gift.
Jesus taught that the Holy Spirit is a gift from God and that He will not give them a bad gift.
So if you sinful people know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him.”
Think about this. If we do not give bad gifts to our children, then why would we think that God would give us something false.
We are not asking Satan for a gift. We are asking God.
Now would you allow a child molester to give a gift to your children in your name? Heck no! Neither will God allow Satan to give you a bad or false gift in His name.
Ask for the Gift By Faith
In the verses preceding Luke 11:13 Jesus says to ask, seek, and knock. All 3 of those things are in context of receiving the Holy Spirit.
So ask, seek, and knock.
Personally I did not have a struggle with receiving. I was such a new Christian with no preconceived ideas that when I found out I needed empowered, I asked and received.
When you ask, be open to God causing the Holy Spirit to rise up from within you and flood your body and soul with His presence.
You may feel the need to speak in a language that you do not know. Go ahead and do it.
You may feel a tingling or electricity on your body. Just relax and let it happen. Let His presence flow over you.
You see, when you were born again, the Spirit of God came and filled your cup. When you are empowered the Spirit of God in that cup, starts bubbling over and floods over all of you.
The cup, becomes immersed in the Holy Spirit. It becomes immersed in the presence of God.
That is what is called the baptism (immersion) of the Holy Spirit.
When this happens, you have been empowered by the Holy Spirit. You are now ready to be a supernatural witness to people about God still being alive and well on planet earth.