I am so sad.
I’ve got to wait over 11 more months until my favorite holiday of the year — the 4th of July — rolls around again. Not because I am especially patriotic, mind you. But because Independence Day is the one day out of the year when I can legally blow things up.
It’s true. I LOVE fireworks. I’m addicted to the pops, bangs, and whistles of the holiday. I stare amazed at the sheer energy released every time a match is applied to a fuse and it burns itself down to the inevitable, earth-shattering, ear-ringing “BOOM!” The dynamic power unleashed in that controlled explosion called a firework is to me irresistible.
But here’s a thought, a thought that makes me smile: We don’t have to wait for the next 4th of July. The next time we want to see dynamic power unleashed in a controlled explosion, all we need to do is to look into a mirror.
Don’t believe me? Then believe Jesus who said,
“But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you” (Acts 1:8).
Power. Dunamis. The Greek word from which we get our English word, Dynamite.
As a Holy Spirit-indwelt Christian, you have the dynamite-like power of the 3rd person of the Trinity dwelling right inside of you, making you a veritable powerhouse of potential.
You — Yes, YOU!!! — have a dynamic personality.
“How dynamic?” you ask. Just look at Peter.
At the very moment when Jesus needed him the most – just after His arrest and just prior to His crucifixion – we find Peter doing and saying the unthinkable. We join the narrative in Matthew 26 where we read,
“Now Peter was sitting out in the courtyard (with Jesus’ executioners, no less), and a servant girl came to him. ‘You also were with Jesus of Galilee,’ she said. But he denied it before them all. ‘I don’t know what you’re talking about,’ he said. Then he went out to the gateway, where another girl saw him and said to the people there, ‘This fellow was with Jesus of Nazareth.’ He denied it again, with an oath: ‘I don’t know the man!’ After a little while, those standing there went up to Peter and said, ‘Surely you are one of them, for your accent gives you away.’ Then he began to call down curses on himself and he swore to them, ‘I don’t know the man!’ Immediately a rooster crowed. Then Peter remembered the word Jesus had spoken: ‘Before the rooster crows, you will disown me three times.’ And he went outside and wept bitterly.”
Peter was the guy, remember, who swore in front of the other disciples that he would gladly die for Jesus. Yet, when the moment of truth arrived, Peter folded like a house of cards. Not very heroic by anyone’s measure. Hardly a controlled explosion of dynamic power.
That was then. Some seven weeks later, on the day of Pentecost, before an assembled crowd of thousands, guess who stood before the masses, and heroically and explosively and dynamically declared,
“Jesus of Nazareth, a Man attested by God to you by miracles, wonders, and signs which God did through Him in your midst… you have taken by lawless hands, have crucified, and put to death.”
That’s right. Peter.
Whoa. What in the world happened to Peter? Something utterly not of this world. Peter was indwelt by the Holy Spirit. (You can read all about it in the opening verses of Acts 2.)
The Holy Spirit transformed Peter from a weepy, self-confessed coward into an oratorical dynamo whose fearless preaching (at the risk of his life, I might add) resulted in the birth of the Church as three thousand people answered his call to place their faith in Jesus.
Similar stories abound. Examples…
Stephen was empowered by the Holy Spirit.
The Apostle Paul was empowered by the Holy Spirit.
Barnabas was empowered by the Holy Spirit.
Paul prayed that the Christ-followers in Rome would be empowered by the Holy Spirit.
The Christ-followers in Corinth were empowered by the Holy Spirit.
The Christ-followers in Ephesus were empowered by the Holy Spirit.
The Christ-followers in Thessalonica were empowered by the Holy Spirit.
Pastors Timothy and Titus were empowered by the Holy Spirit.
Oh, and by the way, YOU are empowered by the Holy Spirit. Yes, little ole you!
The 3rd person of the Triune Godhead resides within you. You have the power of Almighty God right at your fingertips: The power to say “No” to temptation. The power to live a victorious Christian life. The power to overcome the trials that beset you. The power to be a blessing in the lives of the people around you. Power, power, power. You possess power – the dynamic power of the Holy Spirit.
Let there be no doubt. When you received Jesus into your life, you got a Heavenly bonus. The Holy Spirit took up His residence right inside of you, along with His promise that He will never ever leave you. He lives in you forever, along with His power, giving you one dynamic personality.