Once a month, a little green package arrives in the mailbox for my daughter full of crafts teaching around a science theme. July’s theme was hydropower and she constructed her own miniature water wheel. As she poured a small amount of water over the wheel, it spun and pulled on a string attached to a boat. She was able to witness moving water acting as a power source to accomplish a task. Without moving water a life size water wheel accomplishes nothing, and with moving water it has great power. As I watched the wheel effortlessly pull along the little boat, it served as a reminder of how the Holy Spirit operates in a believer’s life, offering His power and energy to live like Christ.
Jesus spoke about the Holy Spirit as living water coming from the innermost being of a person who believes in Him. Those who have believed upon the Lord Jesus Christ from the day of Pentecost until today have received the privilege of a permanent indwelling of the God’s Holy Spirit. Paul writes in the second letter to the Corinthians that God “sealed us and gave us the Spirit in our hearts as a pledge.” A believer can have confidence in their salvation because the Holy Spirit is their guarantee!
While our eternal salvation is secure and the Spirit does take up permanent residence in a believer, our free will permits us the choice to obey or disobey His leading. As Paul wrote in Galatians, “For you were called to freedom, brethren; only do not turn your freedom into an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another.” I would suggest that we are like the water wheel mentioned earlier, designed and created to accomplish works of great power of Christ-like proportions. Yet those works can only be accomplished when the catalyst, the Holy Spirit, is being poured into and through us. Any unconfessed sin in our lives jams up the wheel, preventing it to move as intended. Scripture describes this as a grieving or quenching of the Holy Spirit. Thankfully, getting the wheel to spin again only requires a confession of our sin because we have Jesus Christ in heaven living to make intercession for us.
The freedom we have in Christ, empowered by the Holy Spirit, frees us to serve one another in love. The Spirit gives varieties of gifts and ministries for the common good and for the building up of Christ’s body. The early church we read of in Acts did not claim anything as their own, but all things were common property to them. When a group of believers are living by the leading of the Holy Spirit, each person’s gifts, resources, and talents are offered up joyfully for others. What a sweet aroma of the knowledge of God to a person who has not known Christ as Lord.
What the Church and individual believers need most today to reach an unbelieving world is the power of the Holy Spirit. We do not need to conjure up good work in our flesh, but employ the dynamic power of the Holy Spirit working through us as we continually submit to the will of the Father. Whatever task that the Lord has assigned to you for this season, this month, this moment – allow the Holy Spirit to pour out His power to energize you to be a witness for Him to the world.
“As each one has received a special gift, employ it in serving one another as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.” 1 Peter 4:10