Monday, September 20, 2010

God's Empowering Touch

Dear Friends,

I have lived 50 years now since the Holy Spirit came into my heart. It’s been nearly two thousand years since He came at Pentecost. And yet so much of our world still seems to be running on empty – waiting for the wind.

As in the days of Pentecost, half the world has never yet heard of Jesus, and the half that has heard often seems powerless to take the message out into the increasingly hostile streets of Jerusalem, Judea, and the uttermost parts of the earth.

Today, in our frightening new millennium, people’s hearts are failing them for fear. Who of us doesn’t wonder if our world is running out of peace? In the privileged parts of the world, people are running out of meaningful relationships. Love is in short supply. Nothing seems to last. Folks are running out of purpose and meaning. Many people are depressed, overeating, and desperately searching for comfort and intimacy. And even those in the church are running out of energy and ideas about how to fulfill the great commission and reach our generation with the gospel.

Surely it is time for a personal Pentecost in all our lives, time for the breath of God to come and bring life into deadness, joy into sorrow, peace into pain, power into weakness. Now more than ever, we need the Holy Spirit in our lives and in our running-on-empty world.

People often ask me, “What do you do on all your travels to faraway places?” I answer, “I just try to make sure I am available to God and to the people on a moment-by-moment basis.” That applies to what I do at home as well. In every part of my life, my job is to be ready to obey, ready to pour out.

First Peter puts it this way: “Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have…” (3:15). Always means always – not just some days, not just Sundays. Not just when the jet lag is past or my back isn’t hurting. My job is to be ready to be a blessing even when I could do with someone being a blessing to me.

The answer I am called to give may be to a grandchild as we fish on our little lake or to a thousand adults at a Sunday school convention. It could be to a neighbor who has lost a job. I may even be called to be an Elisha to someone who is running on empty, gently turning his or her attention away from me and toward the replenishing power of the Holy Spirit in his or her life. It is pouring out to others.

But once again, the pouring comes from the Spirit within us. It is God Himself who makes our hearts smile with confidence and hope. The Holy Spirit scatters His love all over the place, starting inside the believer, and then we find the love of God spilling out into the world. If you’re feeling empty, depleted, or out of steam, if you’re waiting for the wind, first cry to Him for help.

Fill all my empty spaces,

Heal all the hurts I’ve borne.

Give me the power to change my life;

I need to be reborn.

So take my life, Lord Jesus;

know all my days I’ll spend

Investing in Your kingdom work

till life itself shall end.

Send all the power I ask for;

Give all the grace and peace,

All Your present presence,

The Spirit’s sweet release.

give all Your grand dynamic You want me to impart,

All this sweet enabling, please pour into my heart.

Where does the Holy Spirit want to pour out of you? May you find the Spirit’s wind again and have a personal Pentecost in your life – a fresh, empowering touch of God.

In His Joy,

Jill Briscoe
Executive Editor
Just Between Us Magazine

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