“But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be [c]witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” Acts 1:8 (NKJV)
Somewhere in my midthirties I ran out of fuel.
While serving churches in Miami, Rio de Janeiro, and San Antonio I resolved to study hard, counsel wisely, solve problems, organize committees, and satisfy each cranky member. But after three or four years, I lost my energy. Suddenly I could not sleep. How does a person lose the ability to sleep? When my head hit the pillow my mind would race. I thought of members to be called, decisions to be made. On more than one Sunday morning, I stood before the church having had little, if any, sleep. I was desperate.
In those late-night hours while I was still awake, I would climb out of bed, pad down the stairs, and kneel at our couch and pray. Dejected figure I was. Not Max the pastor. Not Max the church leader. That fellow in the crumpled pajamas was Max the depleted, confused disciple.
My prayers were moans. My faith was a frazzled thread. I couldn’t even summon the energy to fake it. I was honest. Honest to God, I was. Turns out God has a soft spot for an honest prayer.
Little by little I began to sense the Spirit. He led with a kind touch. He wooed with a whisper. Mysterious? By all means. But figment of my imagination? No. Not at all.
I requested strength. He gave it. I asked the Spirit to heal the sick. More than once he did. I prayed for vitality and joy. Both returned.
Why? Because the Holy Spirit comes with power.
Jesus told his disciples, “You shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth” (Acts 1:8 NKJV).
Mark it down. Power. Power to make good choices, keep promises, and silence the inner voices of fear and failure. Power to get out of bed, get on with life, get busy about the right things in the right way. Power to face the unexpected, unwanted passages of time. This is what Jesus promised then, and this is what Jesus promises still.
How is your power level?
Maybe today you find yourself lacking energy, enthusiasm, or strength. Your step has lost its spring; your voice has no song. You want to be a joyful, empowered person, but you are weary from life’s chaos.
Friend, I want to encourage you that the Spirit of God longs to give you His great power. He will guide, teach, and energize you. He will shoulder the burdens you were never intended to carry.
Help is here.
Heavenly Father, Thank you for giving me the precious gift of your Holy Spirit. Teach me how to experience the Spirit’s power so that my life is filled with purpose and strength for Your glory. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Since entering the ministry in 1978, Max Lucado has served churches in Miami, Florida; Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; and San Antonio, Texas. He currently serves as Teaching Minister of Oak Hills Church in San Antonio. He is the recipient of the 2021 ECPA Pinnacle Award for his outstanding contribution to the publishing industry and society at large. He is America’s bestselling inspirational author with more than 145 million products in print. His latest book is Help is Here: Finding Fresh Strength and Purpose in the Holy Spirit. www.MaxLucado.com
Excerpt taken from Help Is Here: Finding Fresh Strength and Purpose in the Power of the Holy Spirit by Max Lucado (Thomas Nelson Publishers: Nashville, Tennessee ©️ 2022).