What’s a Life Empowered by the Spirit Look Like?
Summary: A life empowered by the Spirit of God can take the world by storm. But what does this Spirit-empowered life look like? I describe this life and what it can do for Jesus in this world.
In my last post, I continued to talk about a disciple formed by the Spirit as we discussed how to operate in the gifts of the Spirit. In this post, we continue to view the Spirit-empowered life.
Some people say, “A stranger is just a friend you haven’t met yet.” Sadly, for some Christians this rings all too true. The Holy Spirit shows up in their doctrine, but to have a personal relationship with Him, they don’t know where to start.
Pastors and Bible teachers talk about the Holy Spirit in church, but Christians don’t know what His indwelling presence is, other than a doctrinal statement. There’s a whole world of possibilities from the Spirit they will not tap into until they build that relationship with Him.
That’s what this blog post is about, to tell you about the blessings disciples of Jesus have when they build that relationship with the Holy Spirit dwelling in them. These blessings to every believer in Jesus, like what we read about the disciples and apostles in Acts experiencing. Let’s get started.
What a Spirit-Empowered Life Is Not
Some groups that believe in and practice a Spirit-empowered life claim things that are not true. I want to be out front about how I as a Pentecostal feel about such claims. Many Pentecostals believe that baptism in the Spirit is the gateway to the rest of the Spirit-empowered life. We see this as the open door to the gifts of the Spirit.
But that does not mean that the Holy Spirit is not working in the life of every Christian. For example, the Fruit of the Spirit happens in the life of believers whether they are baptized in the Spirit or not. The Holy Spirit is not held back in working in your life if you do not follow specific steps laid out by other Christians.
Next, some Christians believe that the baptism in the Spirit is a salvation experience, and anyone who does not experience baptism in the Spirit with the physical evidence of speaking in tongues is not saved.
Nowhere in Acts is this stated or practiced. In fact, just the opposite happens. In Acts 10, Peter is still giving the message of the gospel to the Gentiles at Cornelius’ house when some of them begin speaking in tongues (Acts. 10:44-48). Peter actually presumes they are saved because they are speaking in tongues. Acts views the baptism in the Spirit has happened after salvation.
It sometimes happens at the same time, or right after, a disciple in Jesus already saved gets water baptized as an example and witness to those in their life and family of the work Jesus has done in saving them. Scripture is clear that the baptism in the Spirit happens after salvation. Therefore, no one can claim that a person is not saved if they do not experience the baptism in the Spirit yet.
Other Christians act like a person who has not received the baptism in the SPIRIT is a second-class Christian citizen. They look down on people who have not had this experience yet. They think of themselves as more spiritual. It’s almost used as a passcode or separator of groups into categories.
This also is a wrong-headed approach to the life empowered by the Spirit. The Holy Spirit teaches us to love one another.. This kind of attitude and behavior is against the unconditional love Jesus and the entire New Testament teaches. Just because a person has not baptized in the Spirit does not mean they are the less a Christian than another Christian.
A fourth wrong-headed approach to the Spirit-empowered life is that being baptized in Spirit and living out such a life is a notch on one’s spiritual growth. This is closely related to the previous approach. Growing in Christ and in spiritual growth is not about achieving different steps. We could not be saved by our works, and we don’t advance in our relationship with Jesus by achieving anything in the Christian life.
In fact, just as Jesus saves us by His grace through the faith He gives us, so also Spirit baptism and everything else that happens in the Spirit-empowered life happened. God does the work in us. The Holy Spirit ministers through us. Jesus baptizes us in the Spirit. None of this is our doing. We only need to listen and obey, as we will talk about in our next post.
What a Spirit-Empowered Life Is
The Spirit-empowered life is desirable for every disciple of Jesus. Having a close relationship with the Holy Spirit and experiencing His power working and ministering through you is unlike any other experience. It is a boost from the Holy Spirit into every area of your life.
Experiencing the Spirit’s power and ministry in your life gives you a deep relationship with Him. He reveals much to you about the spiritual realm, and helps you live a life pleasing to Jesus. The apostles all enjoyed a life guided by the Holy Spirit, and they ministered in profound ways.
The Holy Spirit is behind the rapid spread of the gospel and Christianity through their ministry. They saw miracles, healings, deliverance of demons, and so much more. You also can be a Spirit-empowered disciple of Jesus and see these things happen in your life.
At the end of Mark, he outlines some of the marks of a Christian, the things that follow those that believe (Mark 16:17-18). All of them must be done by the power of the Spirit. We cannot do them on our own. When people see the Holy Spirit ministering through you, they see Jesus, not you. This is why we need Holy Spirit power infused in our life.).
Empowered to Witness
The first thing the Holy Spirit did after the apostles and other disciples in the Upper Room were baptized into Him was make them bold witnesses about Jesus (Acts 1:8). We see this on the Day of Pentecost, when they spoke in other tongues to choose from across the room and Empire (Acts 2:8-12).
Jesus told us the Holy Spirit will give us the words to speak (Matthew 10:19-20). We will always proclaim Jesus because the Spirit always witnesses about Him (John 15:6.-17). It’s no surprise that the Spirit helps us to witness and tell the truth about Christ to others. Even if you are timid or don’t know how to talk to others about Him, the Spirit will do the talking.
Empowered to Live for Christ
When we tune in to the Spirit, we live a life that glorifies Jesus every day. The Holy Spirit is cultivating His fruit in us (Galatians 5:22-23). These nine attributes of the one working of the Spirit, in our lives makes us more like Jesus and ministers to those around us.
Before the gifts, and as their foundation, and the foundation of everything else the Spirit does in and through us, the Fruit of the Spirit prepares the way for everything else He does in our lives. The Fruit of the Spirit combats our fleshly desires and is the opposite of those desires. Through our obedience to the Spirit, we show this fruit to the world. It is one of the best witnesses about Jesus to others around us. I have written on the Fruit of the Spirit in four posts.
- Cultivating the Fruit of the Spirit Part 1
- Cultivating the Fruit of the Spirit Part 2
- Cultivating the Fruit of the Spirit Part 3
- Cultivating the Fruit of the Spirit Part 4
Empowered to Worship
The Spirit also gives us power in worship. He opens the gifts of the Spirit and uses them through us to minister to other Christians. I have extensive posts about “Seek the Gift s” that go through the gifts and how to use them.
Paul has a discussion in 1 Corinthians 14 about how the gifts magnify Jesus, follow the Spirit’s leading, and minister to others. We are not the focus of the gifts. We are members of one body, Jesus’s body, and Jesus is always the focus of the gifts
Empowered to Pray
Paul talks about the Spirit’s ability to deepen our relationship with Jesus through our prayer language (1 Corinthians 14:1-25). This prayer language is speaking in tongues without interpretation. It is not meant for the body, as is the gift of speaking in tongues. It does not need to be interpreted.
It is a way for our spirits to soar with the Holy Spirit, to speak to God in ways we don’t understand with our minds. That’s why Paul distinguishes the prayer language of speaking in tongues with the gift of speaking in tongues that must be followed by the gift of interpretation.
hhis letters. I believe this is speaking about our prayer language if we have it. In Romans, Paul describes the Spirit’s intercession on our behalf, so that our prayers line up with God’s will as “groanings” (Romans 8:26-27).
There are different interpretations of what Paul means here, but it is clear that he speaks of the Spirit’s intercession during our prayers. The Spirit helps our request to be within God’s will, which we do not always know. No matter your interpretation of these passages, Paul, and the Bible, makes sure we realize what an asset the Holy Spirit is in our prayers.
Empowered to Victory
The Spirit is also integral to how we fight spiritual battles. The sword of the Spirit, the Word of God, inspired by and illuminated by the Spirit as we read, is the sword we wield against the a enemy on the spiritual battlefield. Jesus used the Word when the devil tempted Him in the wilderness three times (Matthew 4:1-11).
The Spirit gives us the spiritual power to stand against the enemy. When we are weak, God is strong in us. The Spirit gives us insight on how to fight the battle and see victory. He gives us power to discern the spirits and understand the battlefield and the spirits we face.
Disciples on Fire for Jesus
What would the world look like if every Christian, every disciple of Jesus, was on fire for the Lord? If the Spirit who dwells in every believer was intimately connected with that believer, and every disciple of Jesus was fully dedicated and empowered by the Spirit to carry out the Great Commission, the world would be converted to Christ quickly.
How many people would be ministered to by you and other committed disciples? We would change the world for Christ, and the gates of Hell would never be able to prevail against the Church (Matthew 16:18). We would not back down from every spiritual fight. Get empowered by the Spirit and take your world by storm for Christ.
Every disciple of Jesus needs to be empowered by the Spirit and to demonstrate the Spirit-filled life to experience the greater effectiveness of God’s power in their lives. Are you empowered by the Spirit? Do you live the life I have described in this post? Pray and ask the Spirit to empower you in greater ways.
We have talked about some blessings of the Spirit in this post, but none of this happens without a heart, mind, and body yielded to the Spirit through listening to and obeying Him.
What’s a Life Empowered by
The Spirit Look Like?