Have you ever felt frustrated as a Christian, as if something was missing? It seems as if you try and try to be an effective witness in your workplace or community, but you keep coming up short! You want to regularly pray, and read God’s Word, but if you were to be honest, you have a hard time being truly dedicated to these disciplines. Actually, you are in good company. As a matter of fact, all twelve of Jesus’ disciples and Mary the mother of Jesus had similar problems until something very profound happened in their lives.
Is a furnace that has no fuel still considered a furnace? Is an automobile without any gasoline still considered an automobile? Is a light bulb that is not plugged into a power source still a light bulb. Of course the answer to all three of these questions is yes! However, these things are little or no good until they all have theneeded fuel or power to function properly. So it is with any New Testament believer that has no fuel or power source in their Christian walk.
Jesus taught many things to the disciples that they just were not ready to comprehend at the time that they heard them. However, it is obvious that Jesus knew that certain things would take place in the future that would cause them to understand. In John 16:7 Jesus said to His disciples, “Nevertheless I tell you the truth. It is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if I depart, I will send Him to you.” Jesus had started the discussion by telling the disciples that they would be persecuted for the gospel and why that would be. He knew that they all had a great misconception about why He had come as the Messiah. They were just waiting for Him to become an earthly king. The Roman government was severely oppressing the Jewish people. Jesus knew that His mission was not to destroy any earthly enemy but to pay a price so that they could have power over all of the power of the enemy behind the enemy.
Although the disciples were just ordinary guys, as time went on, they came to realize that Jesus was the true Messiah. With this progressive revelation they must have had a very deep desire to get it right. However, they messed up, as they did often, even up until the very end when Jesus was praying in the Garden of Gethsemane. He had admonished them to pray also but He found them sleeping. Meanwhile Judas was betraying Jesus and then Peter, in his zeal, used his sword to chop off one of the ears of the high priest’s servants. Hours later Peter went on to deny three times that he knew Christ!
We have some of the largest churches in America that the world has ever seen, some having thousands of members. Yet in the time of a major pandemic, and extreme political and social unrest, shouldn’t we be the modern-day believers who are making a difference? Shouldn’t we be so empowered and equipped that we have become the major peacemaking and life-transforming proponents in our world? Or are we instead all like those furnaces, automobiles and light bulbs that are without a fuel supply? We are all professing Christians by faith, but if Jesus came today, would He find that His church was filled with the power that He died to release to them?
The Father’s plan all along was to gift Christ’s followers with a similar infilling of the Holy Spirit, which He gave to select Old Testament individuals. Peter quoted Joel’s prophecy, “Poured out on all flesh” by grace on the day of Pentecost. Then in 2:39b (NKJV)to their children’s children and beyond, even as many as the Lord our God shall call! Acts Thesin price had to be paid by Jesus so that promise of Ephesians 3:20 could be received! “Now to Him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us.”
Rev Nolan J Harkness is the President and CEO of Nolan Harkness Evangelistic Ministries Inc. since 1985. He spent most of his adult life working in youth ministry. He also felt the calling of Evangelist/Revivalist and traveled as the door was open holding evangelistic meetings in churches throughout the Northeast. His website is www.verticalsound.org.