Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Where Do I Get the Power?

Re-Posted from "Meditations of a Charismatic Calvinist Who Does Not Speak in Tongues"

Where do we get the power to do God's work in the world? An interesting example was the story of King Saul. Saul needed God's empowerment for his new role as king. Samuel the prophet told him what he needed to do. He was to go to the oak of Tabor and meet three men, one with three kids, one with three loaves, and one with a jug of wine, and they would give him two loaves of bread. Then he was to go the hill of God, where the Philistine garrison was, and meet a group of prophets playing musical instruments. Saul did so, and the Spirit came upon him mightily (see 1 Samuel 10:1-13). Now no one today, or even in the past, has held that this is the standard way to obtain God's empowerment to serve Him. But the point is that Saul did what God had told him to do, and God gave him the needed power through the Spirit. The way to have God's power is to do what He has you in particular to do; there is no standard procedure.

Also, God gives a new empowerment to face new situations. Peter and John were faced with the need to confess their faith to the very men who had put Jesus to death, and Peter was filled with the Spirit (Acts 4:8). Now Peter had been among those who had been filled at Pentecost (Acts 2:4). I see no reason to believe he had lapsed into some form of carnality since then. But God gave Him a new filling to meet the new situation, and then also gave later a new empowerment for the body as a whole (Acts 4:31). Also Saul, who was to become the Apostle Paul, was filled with the Spirit at conversion (Acts 9:17), but was later filled again to deal with the challenge of an evil magician (Acts 13:9). Therefore, I would conclude that as we obey God, He will give us the empowering to meet the situation we are in.

Now I do believe that the Holy Spirit is at work within all genuine believers (2 Corinthians 3:18; Philippians 2:13) and He will empower them to minister as He wills (2 Corinthians 3:5,6; Ephesians 2:10). So as we obey Him (Galatians 5:16; Colossians 2:6,7) and trust in Him (Proverbs 3:5,6; Psalms 127:1,2), He will provide us with the power we need when we need it. But He will do it according to His plan, not ours.


  1. I agree Mike that "there is no standard procedure" but one common theme throughout the bible is that God uses people of faith to encourage and empower others.

    1. I agree that faith is a key basis for the Christian life. But I would also see it as something we constantly grow in it as we follow Christ and He uses different things and different situations to grow faith in our lives.