“The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor” (Luke 4:18–19).
So what is the practical benefit of all the theology of the Holy Spirit? It is the enabling power that makes it possible for ordinary human beings to be transformed and live differently. Jesus’ call to repent and change our lives, to replace our agendas with his agenda, to literally become a new creation, is only made possible when the Holy Spirit comes into our hearts with power. It is only possible when God dwells in us. When that happens, we have access to abilities and insights previously unavailable.
It would take an entire book to unpack this idea fully, but let me list a few of the gifts made available to us by the Spirit:
The Holy Spirit is a game changer. How much of what we cherish today in terms of human rights, freedom, compassion for others, justice systems, and moral codes were derived from followers of Christ, filled with the Holy Spirit? And what would the world be like had the Holy Spirit not been given? Would it be darker, meaner, and more brutish? I have no doubt it would. Because you and I have never lived in a world devoid of God’s Spirit, we don’t see the shocking contrast as the first disciples must have. No wonder they were on fire; both reality and possibility had changed before their very eyes.
The presence of the Holy Spirit in our lives is a remarkable gift. The Spirit is a lamp unto our feet; we no longer have to wander in the darkness.
Can you see a difference in your capabilities before and after you chose to follow Christ? Can you testify to the Spirit’s work in your life?
Lord, thank you for making me able to follow you, able to resist temptation, able to love through the power of your Spirit.