Yielding to the Holy Spirit to Accomplish Great Things
(Gaining a Boldness Like Peter's, Part 3 of 3)

 

A panoramic view of a highway along rural greenery heading into the horizon with a blue sky and clouds above


Why are we still here on earth? Wouldn’t it be nice to have a grand get-together in Heaven with our God? Yes, but wouldn’t it be better if it were grander, with more of our friends and family present, and others we may meet? Well, that’s why we haven’t had our grand gathering yet. God wants more people to enjoy it with Him (2 Peter 3:9 and 15).

This really speaks to our purpose on earth: As a unified body, preach and teach the gospel, and help people follow Jesus well, so they in turn will do the same (Matthew 28:19-20, Acts 1:8).


The Disciples wanted to head straight to the grand get-together, too. They’d been waiting for God’s kingdom for far too long. They were ready for the resurrected Jesus to begin His great reign and free them from their uncomfortable lives after generations of war and oppression. “Yes, Jesus. Let it be now,” they yearned. But it wasn’t now. This is what Jesus told them:

“It is not for you to know the times or dates
the Father has set by his own authority.
But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you;
and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria,
and to the ends of the earth.”

Acts 1:7-8


Jesus reminded them about His Great Commission (Matthew 28:19-20). He redirected them. It wasn’t time to enjoy the kingdom. It’s not time for us to go to Heaven. It’s time to tell the world about Jesus. It’s time to evangelize. That's a mission for us while we're here on earth. We can't do it in Heaven. It would be too late. But Jesus didn’t leave us on our own. We have the help of the Holy Spirit, just like the Disciples did, so we can be successful in inviting the world to meet the living Savior.


We have the help of the Holy Spirit,
just like the Disciples did,
so we can be successful in inviting
the world to meet the living Savior.

***


We now wrap up this 3-part series on gaining a boldness like Peter’s. Be sure to read Parts 1 and 2 if you missed them. We explored factors that contributed to Peter’s boldness. I wrote this series for myself as well as you all, because I tend to shrink in silence when it comes to speaking up for Jesus.


We can accomplish great things when we let the Holy Spirit do His work in and through us. Sharing the gospel, or even just commenting on God’s behalf, is less unnerving and more productive when we let Him work.

Does the Holy Spirit really make a difference?

It did for Peter and the Disciples. After receiving the Holy Spirit, the gruff, abrasive, foot-in-his-mouth Peter preached like a scholar with astounding knowledge, wisdom, and eloquence (Acts 4:13). He did this over and over again. The Disciples accompanied Peter and supported the work. I imagine they took full advantage of the way they were gifted by the Holy Spirit. And thousands upon thousands heard and believed in the life-giving truth of the gospel.

When opposition came, they carried on. It didn’t faze them. They leaned on God and prayed. They asked God to enable them to speak His Word with boldness. And God responded with a hearty, earth-shaking, “Yes!” (Acts 4:29-31). They seemed like superheroes, but they were just as human as you and I. Just as human, yielding to and relying on the Holy Spirit living inside them to accomplish “greater things” for Jesus. (See Part 2 for a discussion on accomplishing greater things.)

Jews, Gentiles, common people, government leaders: they believed. And many disciples, with the help of the Apostle Paul, introduced Jesus to people throughout the lands of the eastern Mediterranean Sea, from Jerusalem to Rome.

Wow!

Did they have special gifting. Well, sure. We’re not all Peters and Pauls. But we have our own special giftings and we have the same Holy Spirit, the same authority, and the same charge: to tell the world about Jesus, to see that believers get connected in Christian community, to teach them good doctrine, and to encourage them to carry on this mission. And when we can be so bold as to live and speak up for Jesus, for the sake of those who will hear, the Holy Spirit will follow through with great power, and we can carry on with confidence.


We're not all Peters and Pauls.
But we have our own special giftings
and we have the same Holy Spirit,
the same authority,
and the same charge.

***

Do we believe it? Are we leaning on God and letting the Spirit lead? One New Year I committed to doing and saying whatever the Spirit put in my heart. The idea was terrifying at first, but as the year progressed, I discovered that most people didn’t resist or attack me for speaking or doing what the Spirit prompted. No, the muscle-bound stud I know at the gym didn’t brush me off or laugh at me when I mentioned God. He carried on in conversation.

It was an interesting year – exciting, at times, and refreshing – but why did I stop? It’s hard to keep on, isn’t it? We stop. We sink into our comfort zones. So, let’s do this experiment together:

Let’s prayerfully do and say everything the Spirit prompts in our hearts. That’s how we let Him lead. It could be sharing the gospel or encouraging a fellow Christian. It could be an extended conversation or even just a few words. That’s really up to the Holy Spirit. And then let’s depend on Him to carry us through as the outcomes unfold in each and every episode.

Let’s go out into the world with the fervor we radiated when we first met our Savior. Fan the flames. Keep it burning. Let others know about God’s kindness. Tell them about Jesus. (See 2 Timothy 1:6-10.)

Borrowing from Part 1, we can be bold because we have great hope (2 Corinthians 3:12). And God promised to make us competent as we share about Him (2 Corinthians 3:4-6). So, as we set out to fulfill the Great Commission and God’s special mission for us as individuals and as a united church, and as we do so with dependence on and submission to the Holy Spirit, remember this:

Jesus prays for us. He prayed for Peter (Luke 22:31-32) and He prays for us (John 17:1-26). He is not ashamed of us, so we should not be ashamed of Him (Hebrews 2:11). He values us, so we should value Him (Hebrews 2:13).


T
ake time now to pray. Ask God to enable you to speak the Word with boldness. Then leave a comment about how God is nudging you to speak up for Him. I’d love to hear about it.

 

 

If the gospel and the Great Commission is new to you and you want to learn more about it, please email me at authordlv@att.net or visit the Good News page on my blog. Jesus is alive and preparing a place for us in Heaven while we serve Him until He comes back for us.

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Comments

  1. I pray I will be ready and alert for the nudges from God. I want to be ready to share the love of Christ with everyone. :-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Amen and likewise. I want to be ready, too. It's what God wants.

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  2. I love this study Stephen. You offer us so much encouragement to allow the Holy Spirit to speak through us. I will be praying for Him to give me boldness

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    Replies
    1. I'm glad this is encouraging to you, Yvonne. The Holy Spirit can be very involved in our lives and we can lean on Him and see Him work when we follow His lead.

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  3. What a wonderful challenge! I'm in! (Nervous, but in!)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yay! Nervous is another way to say full of adrenaline.

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  4. Stephen, excellent piece! I find it incredibly liberating (after the initial fear!) to give my life over to the leading of the Holy Spirit. There's so much freedom and joy to be found in doing or saying what God wants, not me. May we all be bold like Peter, empowered by the Spirit to spread God's word and share God's love far and wide!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Amen, Jessica. Just today I was reminded that it's far too easy to respond in the flesh instead of in the Spirit. Oh, how we need to allow the Spirit to fill us as His vessel to honor our Lord. May people see the fruits of the Spirit and compassion of Jesus in us.

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  5. What great encouragement for us to keep on keeping on! Thanks, Stephen, and God bless!

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    Replies
    1. Thank you, Nancy. We are God's choice for living and sharing the Word with the world.

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  6. Powerfully said, Stephen. What a great series. We are often as the disciples in wanting the kingdom to come and gathering together in our heavenly home. Especially when this world becomes weary and hard. Yet, this boldness from the Holy Spirit and the great commission is to be our focus while on this earth. It's easy to lose sight of our kingdom work. I pray to be guided by the Holy Spirit, gain more boldness from Him, and walk in the Spirit.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Powerfully said, Stephen. What a great series. We are often as the disciples in wanting the kingdom to come and gathering together in our heavenly home. Especially when this world becomes weary and hard. Yet, this boldness from the Holy Spirit and the great commission is to be our focus while on this earth. It's easy to lose sight of our kingdom work. I pray to be guided by the Holy Spirit, gain more boldness from Him, and walk in the Spirit.

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    2. I pray the same, Karen. It would be much easier to go straight to Heaven or even to live for ourselves, but how will they hear if we don't tell them? And we can be examples to others to stay committed to God's work, to be bold with humility and grace.

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  7. Encouragement at the right time. We are currently in Germany visiting and Satan has accomplished a lot in this society. People are tolerant but want to be left alone in what they believe. It's difficult to speak about Christ, you get so many blank stares.
    Thank you for your post. We will pray and follow the nudging of the Holy Spirit. The time is near.

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    Replies
    1. I'm glad this post reached you at the right time, Elfriede. Satan is crafty and at work but our God is greater and the Holy Spirit is at work in hearts. May we see people respond to Him and trust Jesus and Savior and Lord.

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