In this unusual time in history, our generation is beginning to see things take place we have not seen in our lifetimes. To navigate through those developing scenarios with faith, not fear, will require a fresh encounter with the power of God’s Spirit. Those encounters will be necessary to keep us from deserting the foundations of our faith.
A remarkable contrast is seen in the faith of the apostles before and after Jesus breathed the Spirit into them in John 20. For the three years the apostles followed Jesus, they were not indwelled by the Spirit. When Jesus breathed the Spirit into the apostles it changed everything. On the Day of Pentecost, the Lord took it a step further. He poured the Spirit upon His assembled followers revealing to them the power they carried as they ventured out to demonstrate the Kingdom of God among the nations of the world.
When Jesus was arrested Scripture tells us “Then all the disciples deserted Him and ran away” (Mark 14:50). The word “all” stands out as a stark reminder that anyone could desert the Lord if they relied solely on human courage and strength. The love of Jesus would call back His deserters from their place of fear and reassemble their lives under the power of the Spirit. It would be a personal relationship and a visible manifestation of the Spirit that would inject levels of courage into the young and growing Church unimagined before the presence and reality of the Spirit were encountered.
After the death, resurrection, and enthronement of Jesus, each disciple would go on to suffer death or imprisonment for their faith. Because the Spirit lived within them and they relied on a visible manifestation of the Spirit’s power to lead their lives, they would display great courage in the face of evil, courage not realized without acknowledging the presence and power of the Spirit.
A resurrection of the Spirit’s power to a place of prominence in our personal lives and ministries must be taught and demonstrated or many in this generation will run away when difficulties approach that threatens life and limb. Merely an intellectual ascent of God and His Kingdom will not be enough to carry the day when evil begins to manifest in unprecedented fashion.