Acts Part One Dive

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DON'T GO WITHOUT HIM | KATIE HALDANE

Sometimes, when I feel prompted by the Holy Spirit to do something, I feel completely inadequate for the task. Actually, every time. Does anyone else feel like that? It starts at salvation – do you remember your heart skipping a beat when you felt God wanted you to come to Him and be saved? Remember the fear, the jitters? But you felt the power of God over you, you did it and it changed your life.

Imagine the disciples in the beginning of Acts; they are overwhelmed by everything that has happened in the last three years. They found and followed the Messiah, and instead of overrunning the Romans as they thought He would, He died! After he died, He rose and re-appeared amongst them, then ascended in a cloud. This has been a very big couple of years for them.

The two parts of the promise

Today, I want to concentrate on Jesus’ last words to the disciples. Now, if you knew that you were leaving your friends, what would be the last thing you say to them? It’d probably be something critical, it would be the thing that you’d want them to remember for the rest of their lives. So what does Jesus say just before He leaves the disciples?

A 1:7-8, ‘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’.

It is not a coincidence that Luke starts his second book (Acts) recapping this. This is Jesus passing the baton to the disciples saying ‘you have walked with Me and I have taught you. With My death and resurrection, I have given you the authority and paved the way, now it is your turn – go and do what I have done’. From here on, we see the Church in ‘Go’ mode, doing as Jesus did and spreading the good news of salvation to everyone they meet. On a side note, I love that Jesus starts His ministry with the words ‘the Spirit of the Lord is on me’ (Luke 4) and the disciples start their ministry with receiving the same power of the Holy Spirit in Acts 2.

As you read the Bible, you are going to learn that the truth is in the details. I hear people quoting promises from the Bible and wondering why it is not working in their lives. I was prepping for a preach once and I felt a really strong rebuke from God. He said ‘Don’t give them the promises of the Word without giving them the conditions to those promises, you are setting them up for failure’. You can’t have the promises without the whole context. So let’s go through this; when you read God say ‘If you..’ then ‘I will…’, you can’t have the ‘I will’ (the completion of the promise) without the ‘If you..’ (the condition of the promise). Look at 1 Chronicles 7:14 – you can’t have a healed land without humble prayers that seek God. The classic example is James 4:7, and so many people are resisting the devil and wondering why he doesn’t flee. The first part of that section is ‘Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you’. See how the condition and completion work? I can’t claim the promise of ‘resist[ing] the devil and he will flee’ if I don’t first submit myself to God.

wait for the power

In Acts 1:8, the disciples knew that if they wanted to be a witness for Jesus in the areas He mentioned, they had to receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on them. When God asks you to do something, He always empowers you for the mission. Don’t go without the power!

Remember, Luke is giving a logical history of eyewitness accounts. In Acts 1, they are given their commission (Acts 1:4, 1:8) and in Acts 2, are they running ahead of God in their own strength with maps and strategies? No! They waited on empowerment in the upper room, praying and waiting for the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:1).

I wanted to encourage you today, when God gives you something to do for Him, don’t miss the first step. Get into your prayer time with Him, read the Word and get the power on you to do what He is asking you to do. Have the cry of Moses in your heart, ‘If your Presence does not go with us, do not send us up from here’ (Exodus 33:15). In other words, ‘if you don’t go with me, I’m not going!’

Be empowered by the Holy Spirit in prayer for your mission. Get the vision, get filled with the Holy Spirit and be the best mum you can be, the best businessman, the best teacher – whatever it is you are called to do. With Him, you will do above and beyond what you ask, think or imagine (Ephesians 3:20). Happy reading guys!

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paul: a biography

acts part one

acts part two

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