It doesn’t take long for new Christians to realize that salvation means more than personal blessings. They learn that they have been called to partner with God in the work of the ministry. Then their prayers begin to shift from, “Help me Lord.” to “Use me Lord.” In fact, if a Christian is not used by God, they miss His plan and soon become dissatisfied with their Christian walk. Ministering is about loving God and loving people. Loving people involves two basic dynamics, extending human kindness, and releasing spiritual power. God does not want us just to be nice, He also wants us to be powerful. Many believers are loving and kind, but not many function with throne room authority and supernatural power. This study is directed toward God’s Holy Spirit power in our lives. How are we empowered? How is God’s empowerment given and why should we expect it?
Good Intentions or Heavenly Impartation
There is nothing wrong with good intentions initiated by nice people, but it will not be enough to accomplish the task before us. Lives need to be changed and that requires supernatural authority to break chains and evil strongholds. Even non-believers are often kind and helpful, but without the Holy Spirit there will be no miracles.
Once a person commits to Jesus, serving can rise to a more powerful level. Christians become the sons of God (See John 1:11). As sons, they have the right to rise beyond mere human kindness and natural ability. They have the opportunity to receive the impartation of the Holy Spirit that leads to supernatural ministry. Only the impartation of the Holy Spirit releases God’s character and power. The scriptures outline a vast array of paths that God uses to empower His people. Although all empowerment originates from God’s throne room, it is distributed in a variety of different ways.
Jesus said that all authority in heaven and earth was given to Him, so He is the one who distributes authority at every level (See Mt. 28:18).
In the Bible we read of God’s power being given to people after God Almighty speaks directly to them, but power does not always come that way. Sometimes, it is Jesus, Himself, who releases the authority. On many occasions angels come as God’s representatives. They may come in dreams, visions, or as physical beings. They may come to commission and empower God’s people.
In the New Testament the agents of empowerment are often those with five-fold ministry gifting. Apostles, Prophets, Evangelists, Pastors, and Teachers have a responsibility to equip and lead God’s people to a place of spiritual strength and purpose. I am sure that many ministers do not understand their role or they lack the confidence to do it. It seems that many do not realize that they have the potential to empower people for supernatural ministry. Many have not stepped out in faith to live a life of miracles themselves, so it is difficult for them to reach even further to be a viaduct of heaven’s anointing for others to exercise supernatural power. Some ministers may feel it is arrogant to think that ministers can release miraculous authority. The scriptures make it clear, however, that miracles are expected in the life of those who believe.
Jesus said, “And these signs will accompany those who believe: In my name they will drive out demons; they will speak in new tongues; they will pick up snakes with their hands; and they will drink deadly poison, it will not hurt them at all; they will place their hands on sick people, and they will get well.” Mk. 16:17-18
Empowerment will not flow simply because one Christian prays for another; this requires apostolic authority. There are different levels of authority. Only a person with God-ordained kingdom government can commission and release authority to others. All may prophesy but not all are prophets. When a believer prophesies, others are encouraged; but when a prophet speaks, people may receive more than encouragement, they may be empowered for service. Certainly, when an apostle lays their hands on someone for the work of the ministry, empowerment is released.
The Exercise of Power
Jesus chose many disciples, but twelve He specifically chose to be the apostles of the Lamb. Among those twelve, Peter, James and John became more prominent. There are different levels of anointed ministers. As the church grew, many other apostles were commissioned by the Lord and also by other apostles. Paul empowered Timothy and Titus.
He said, “I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands. For God did not give us the spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, love and of self-discipline.” 2Ti. 1:6-7
Once we begin to interact with the Holy Spirit, we will grow and be empowered according to our faith. Faith is not just an idea or an ideology, it is an action in response to the prompting of the Holy Spirit. When we are prompted in the smallest way, we obey and step forward with action. As we exercise our faith, God rewards us by increasing our opportunities, anointing, and our governmental role. He determines what we will be and what we can do, but He is always giving more to those who press forward in faith.
Fear of Failure
Fear of failure, fear of being wrong, and fear of man will keep us from the empowerment that God has for us. Only Peter walked on the Sea of Galilee with Christ. He was also chosen to preach the famous sermon at Pentecost where three thousand became followers of Christ. Later he was chosen to go to the house of Cornelius to release the Gospel to the Gentile world. Peter had to face fear; he stumbled while walking on the sea because of fear, and he was overtaken by the fear of man when he denied Christ just before the crucifixion. The rooster crowed and Peter was reminded of his fears, and his failure, and he was ashamed of himself. Everyone is faced with fear, but after failing, Peter repented, pressed forward, and rose above his fears. God continually promoted and empowered Peter because he continued to exercise his faith. Sometimes one person is empowered like when David was anointed by Samuel the priest. On other occasions an entire group of people were empowered. We read of this in Acts chapter eight when the entire church went everywhere preaching the Gospel. Empowerment is for all of God’s children.
The Empowerment Calling
You have been saved to serve the Lord and to be used by Him. He wants to empower you for service. Ask the Lord and then step out in faith and He will promote you. He may send an angel, or a prophet, or He may come to you directly. Be humble, walk in unity with God’s people and be empowered.