LOST. That’s where we would be if the gospel was not preached to us— if not for the Holy Spirit opening our hearts and making us understand the significance of Jesus’ birth, death, burial, resurrection, and ascension. That is why as a movement, we value evangelism. To put it simply, we value the lost because God values them.

We go. We preach the gospel. We obey the Great Commission. But often times we become so gung-ho and passionate that we forget to rely on the power of the Holy Spirit.

As a new Christian, I thought that the Holy Spirit was only meant for that one session of Victory Weekend or specific preachings about Him, but as Pastor Jojo Henson said, we rely on the Holy Spirit in everything we do—from praying to preaching the Gospel, from relating to God to witnessing to the world, from forgiving others to loving them—everything in the Christian life is empowered by the Holy Spirit.

So while some of the things we’ll be reading here are just reminders, my prayer is that the Holy Spirit will grant you fresh eyes in seeing this truth. (For a deeper knowledge of who the Holy Spirit is and what He does for, in, and through us, you can look at the blog of Pastor Joseph Bonifacio).

When talking about the power of the Holy Spirit, we give reference to Acts 1:8. We know the power, we have been educated about it, but we are not often informed of the importance of the verses before that. It says in Acts 1:4:

And while staying with them he (Jesus) ordered them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the promise of the Father. 

WAITING

Waiting here means to remain in a place and/or state with expectancy concerning a future event. These are the disciples who, before Christ’s resurrection, hid and locked themselves inside the room for fear of the Jews (John 20:19).

True enough, they prayed while waiting and after a few days, got baptized in the Holy Spirit (Acts 2)— AS PROMISED. Why is waiting important? Why is it necessary?

It is in waiting that we get to walk in step with the Spirit of God, we hear His leading and receive specific instructions both for the present and the future. It is in waiting that He refreshes us with new revelations of His character. It is in waiting that He imparts to us His heartbeat for the lost.

Waiting on God can be expressed differently, sometimes according to our personalities (which only shows how personal God is):

  • For some it is through worship, when you encounter God through songs that sing of His love and mission.
  • For some it is through nature. You feel and encounter God when you look at the sky or the moon or the sun. (But please wear shades and put on sunblock when you do!)
  • For some it is through spending time to think, reflect, and have that avenue for God to speak to you through His Word.
  • For me, it is through speaking in the Spirit while walking back and forth in the room. I just empty my mind to interface with the Spirit so as to hear what He wants to say to me. I go through my schedules of the day and ask Him what He wants to do with them. This time is for Him to impart anything He wants to tell me, anyone He wants me to meet, or anyone who I need to lift up in prayer.

The most effective form of waiting on God is through the Word, when we set aside our agenda just to zoom in on who He is, and respond to Him in worship.

The goal of waiting is to be filled anew. We can’t go with yesterday’s provision for today’s battle. There’s always a new thing that God wants to reveal and impart. There’s always fresh strength, fresh vision, and fresh passion that He wants to impart to His children daily! His mercies are new every morning (Lamentations 3:22-23).

These are the things that we’ll miss if we fail to wait. But note also that Jesus did not just call us to wait. Waiting is the first part, but it has an expiry date. Waiting has a purpose!

WITNESSING

Acts 1:8 – The waiting is necessary for the witnessing! After waiting and receiving the power of God, the power must be poured out to the world waiting for the display of God’s power and love.

If we get filled but don’t step out in faith, we miss out on the purpose of why the power was given. This also makes us run the risk of becoming weird, because we begin to focus on the experience of receiving the power rather than the purpose why the power was given.

According to Pastor Jojo, the antidote to becoming weird is to connect with the people that God is leading us to love. When we know their language, we get to minister the gospel more effectively to them.

When the Holy Spirit came in Acts 2, they were empowered to speak in different languages. Galileans before were like people from the province; they found it hard to pronounce the languages of the cities and this was why the Jews despised them. But when the Holy Spirit filled them, they began to worship and speak about God’s marvellous acts in these languages fluently.

The Holy Spirit ushers in the gifts of a new language, a language that speaks and connects to the people whom He wants us to minister to. There are universal languages that the Holy Spirit empowers God’s children to walk into: language of love, acceptance, and hope. The Holy Spirit empowers us to discern their language and to speak it.

For example, as I listened to one of the students from the school I’m reaching out to, I heard that he was abandoned by his father and never got the chance to meet him. Automatically I just felt like God wanted me to tell him that He wants to Father him—to show him his purpose and identity. As I told him that, I felt it connect and minister to him. He thanked me and wanted to meet with our group again the following week.

As we begin to be sensitive to the “language” of the people we are reaching out to, the Holy Spirit will grant us the wisdom on making the Gospel relevant to them.

Some need to hear the language of forgiveness. For others, it is the language of acceptance. Then there are those who need to hear affirmation. All these languages flow out from the universal language of unconditional love—the love that was given to us firsthand by God.

Preaching the Gospel is just one part of witnessing. There should also be an actual demonstration of the gospel we’re preaching. The early disciples didn’t just preach the gospel, they also witnessed by devoting themselves to fellowship and prayers (Acts 2:42). They became sensitive to the needs of those around them. They began selling their possessions and belongings and distributing to those who needed it (Acts 2:45). They ate together like family. They did this to the point that none of them became needy (Acts 4:34).

The Holy Spirit empowers us to see the need of our family, campus, and community. As a church, we need to do something about it. We need to demonstrate the power of God not just through words, but also through actions.

This witnessing attracted the people around them and the Lord added day by day those who are being saved (Acts 2:47)

THE POWER OF BALANCE

Why should waiting and witnessing be a balance? Because if we just wait without witnessing, we risk becoming weird. We use the power for the wrong purpose. On the other hand, if we witness without waiting, we risk burnout. We become tired and spent. So how do we strike a balance?

The way to balance both lies in our relationship with Jesus. The more we grow in our relationship with Jesus, the more that we get His heart for the lost. It is when we are anchored in our relationship with Him that we get reminded that we need to wait on Him—that everything we do is just an overflow of our relationship with Him.

This is where He energizes us, and tells us that whatever labor that we have for Him is not in vain. This is where He reminds us that as we go, He is surely with us to the end of the age. Lastly, this is where He tells us that He has given us the power to witness.

So wait all you can, witness all you can! And as for balancing, we can rely on the Holy Spirit to grant us the power to do just that.