There Is More in You Than You Know
If you are a Christian, the Holy Spirit lives in you, and you possess everything you need to change the world. You may feel unequipped, but the Holy Spirit dwells in you whether you realize it or not. The Apostle Paul reminded the church in Corinth, “…do you not realize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you? (2 Corinthians 13:5) Like the Corinthians, the church today is smitten with spiritual amnesia.
We forget who we are and that Jesus Christ dwells inside of us. In Paul’s admonition, the word “realize” indicates that the Corinthians possessed a capability or value that they did not fully comprehend. Many believers spend their lives in an under-realized relationship with God, not knowing that they already have the power to change the world. They are seeking something while neglecting what they already possess. We cannot see God moving when we look for what we already possess.
In John 16:7, one of the most challenging verses in the Bible, Jesus declared, “Nevertheless, I tell you the truth: it is to your advantage that I go away, for if I do not go away, the Helper (Holy Spirit) will not come to you. But if I go, I will send him to you.”
Can you imagine how the disciples felt to hear Jesus say this to them after they spent more than three years following him? They built their entire livelihood on following their rabbi, and in one moment, he tells them that he is leaving. No wonder the disciples were filled with grief when Jesus spoke these words. How could this be for their good? One reason is that Jesus knew what his disciples could accomplish once they were empowered by the Holy Spirit.
In two previous chapters and part of this same dialogue, Jesus explains what this power looks like. “Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever believes in me will also do the works that I do; and greater works than these will he do because I am going to the Father.” (John 14:12)
Jesus tells them the reason for his leaving is for their good because the Father will send the Holy Spirit to live inside of them. After reading these words, would you still rather have Jesus with you in the flesh? If so, then you are limiting the Holy Spirit’s power within you. This text tells us that because Jesus returned to the Father, the church is capable of doing more than Jesus could do in his single physical body!
The church is not doing more in the sense of quality but in quantity. The presence of the Holy Spirit is no longer limited to the twenty-four-hour confines of one single body. Now, the church functions as the body of Christ, and God can minister through any member, at any moment of any day, to represent Jesus to this world. Every believer has an extraordinary capacity to be used by God. No one receives a junior Holy Spirit and then graduates to a more mature version. We all possess the same Holy Spirit that raised Jesus from the dead (see Romans 8:9-11). We do, however, have the ability and the responsibility to grow in our understanding of what God has already put inside of us.
This truth became real to me during a powerful dream that I had a few years ago. I was on the top of a large mountain with the moonlight illuminating green grass around me. As the cold air touched my face, I looked up to the sky and saw what looked like two falling stars or meteors coming down to earth. The force with which they traveled scared me. When they hit the ground, I saw they were not falling stars but two angels who came to bring me a message. I could not see their faces because of the immense light, but one of the angels said to me, “There is more inside of you than you know.” After the angel said this to me, I immediately woke from the dream and knew that God wanted me to realize the power of the Holy Spirit inside of me. God desires that you will recognize this truth as well.
The Apostle Paul tried to communicate this truth to the church in Ephesus when he wrote, “Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us,” (Ephesians 3:20).
Stop and meditate on these words, which are a remarkable declaration! Note that Paul does not add any qualifying statements to this truth. He does not tell them that they must crack a spiritual code to access the power to change the world. He simply says that God is able to do more in you and through you than you can possibly imagine. Unfortunately, a lot of the popular Christian literature of our day does not communicate the same message found in the Scriptures. Instead of telling people that the Holy Spirit who lives in them has the power to change the world, we brand whole conferences and book series telling people that they must take a course or read a book to be qualified. Sadly, people invest their time and money to convince themselves that they are not ready for God to use them, and they look for a hidden key.
Fortunately, the Bible does not talk about hidden keys, cracking codes, or doors to open for the Holy Spirit to use us. The Bible tells us that God will use and shine through us from the moment we place our faith in him as our Savior.
As Christians, the Holy Spirit lives in us. In the Old Testament, we see that the Holy Spirit filled people momentarily to accomplish a particular purpose. For example, in the book of Judges about Samson, we read, “Then the Spirit of the Lord rushed upon him…” (Judges 14:6). This same phrase appears again a few verses later, indicating that the Holy Spirit did not reside in or on a person but came and went periodically (see Judges 14:19).
The Holy Spirit also came and went in the lives of Elijah and Elisha (see 1 Kings 18:46) and in the life of King Saul. In 1 Samuel 19:23-24, the Spirit of the Lord came upon Saul, and he began to prophesy. In each situation, the Holy Spirit descended upon a person, and they underwent a temporary change for a specific purpose. Afterward, the Holy Spirit left them, and they returned to their normal lives.
In the New Testament, we see something drastically different. Listen to Luke’s description of the day of Pentecost. “When the day of Pentecost arrived, they were all together in one place. And suddenly there came from heaven a sound like a mighty rushing wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting. And divided tongues as of fire appeared to them and rested on each one of them.” (Acts 2:1-3)
What separates this account from the Old Testament passages we just considered is not the dramatic fashion in which the Holy Spirit descended on people. Even in the Old Testament, it was not uncommon for unusual manifestations to take place when God’s Spirit came upon a person. What distinguishes the Holy Spirit’s presence in the New Testament is that the Holy Spirit came and rested on each of them.
Unlike in Old Testament examples, the Holy Spirit never leaves these individuals but instead comes and takes up residence within them. In the same way, Jesus told the disciples to go to Jerusalem and wait for the promise of the Father, “And behold, I am sending the promise of my Father upon you. But stay in the city until you are clothed with power from on high.” (Luke 24:49)
In this text, we see the clear contrast between how the Holy Spirit moved in the Old and New Testament. The promise was not that the Holy Spirit came upon them but that the Holy Spirit remained with them. Jesus tells them that they will be “clothed with power.” Instead of the Holy Spirit coming upon you temporarily like a mantle, the spirit will clothe you and remain with you until you choose to take it off. In summary, in the Old Testament, the Holy Spirit came upon people and temporarily changed them, but in the New Testament, the Holy Spirit comes to reside within a person permanently.
We need this powerful shift in perspective. Instead of waiting for the Holy Spirit to descend from heaven, we need to realize that he already resides in us. Even though this truth in Scripture is plain to see, many people live with an Old Testament understanding of the Holy Spirit. Unless they feel a strong presence or spiritual urge, they will not witness, pray for the sick, or cast out demons. We never see the Holy Spirit come upon a person in the Book of Acts before performing a miracle. What we do see is that the disciples preach the gospel wherever they go, lay hands on the sick, and cast out demons from the oppressed. So, instead of praying for the Holy Spirit to come down from heaven again, we need to move forward in advancing the kingdom of God as the Spirit empowers us and confirms the gospel by the signs that followed (see Mark 16:20 and Acts 14:3).
A few verses after Paul exhorts the Ephesians telling them that they possess the Spirit of God inside them, he encourages them to be filled with the Holy Spirit. “Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is. And do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery, but be filled with the Spirit” (Ephesians 5:17-18).
This verse’s construction is interesting in Greek because it indicates that being filled with the Spirit is not a one-time event but a continual filling. The literal translation of this verse can be, “Be being filled with the Spirit.” Paul does not issue this command because he is afraid that the Holy Spirit will suddenly leave them, for, in this same letter, he tells the believers that they were “sealed” with the Holy Spirit (see Ephesians 1:13).
Instead, Paul encouraged the believers to live a spirit-led life. The Ephesians were not to allow wine or any other thing outside of their bodies to be the primary influence in their lives.
Instead, Paul asked them to allow the Holy Spirit to continually fill, influence, and lead them.
We should have the same perspective as we pursue a fresh touch from God. We should not ask God for something we do not have, nor should we seek him out of fear that he will leave us. Instead, we should continually live out what God places inside of us. Friend, the Holy Spirit lives inside of you. You possess more inside of you than you know.
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