Posted by: Tamara Harrison | June 7, 2011

Power from the Source

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“But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you. And you will be my witnesses, telling people about me everywhere—in Jerusalem, throughout Judea, in Samaria, and to the ends of the earth” {Acts 1:8}

The other day as we sat down for a bite at the JFK airport we encountered a group of about 10 teens all wearing those sticky name tags saying “Hello my name is __________”. The curiosity rose up within me until I blurted out, “So how come you guys are all wearing name tags?” One guy answered “to help our memory”, and laughed. “Huh?” I answered, confused. Another across from him said “We are a group of Jewish people who are going on a tour of Jerusalem and some of us have only just met each other today”. I wasn’t prepared for that. “You guys are Jews?” I asked, not knowing what else to say. “Yep” was the answer. “So…you guys don’t believe in Jesus?” I asked. “Nope” they said. My mind went blank. What do I say to that? I told them that I am a Christian and one guy said “So you’re one of those New Testament type people…” I said “uhhh…I’m both; I believe in the New and the Old Testament”. It was kind of silent after that and so I asked them some pointless questions about their trip, said “God bless you guys” and left. Of course, as soon as Jack and I left, all these amazing, intelligent things I could have said came to me. I replayed our conversation over and over again in my mind. I should have told them that Jesus fulfilled the Old Testament. I should have told them about the Old Testament Prophecy class I just took. I should have asked them what they make of the claims of Jesus. I should have told them about the amazing books I’ve read on how Jews became Christians or on how Christ was more than just a man who did cool things. UGGGHHH!!! I can’t tell you how grieved I was for these teens. I mean, without Christ we live in vain. Without Christ we have no hope. Without Christ we have no salvation. But more than that, I was grieved that I didn’t say more. I beat myself up all the way back to Greenville. But beating yourself up doesn’t get you anywhere, does it? In fact, that’s exactly what Satan wants-to turn proactivity into destructivity (yes those are real words; I looked them up!)

I decided that I must take this as a growth opportunity instead of sulking about “what coulda been”. I learned a couple lessons. #1: I can’t do anything of heavenly value without the Holy Spirit’s help. 3 years of Bible school is utterly useless without divine empowerment from God. I have to pray as I go about my daily business: “God, are you working in this person’s life? Please give me the words to say”. As the verse above implies, the Holy Spirit is a prerequisite to witnessing, for He is the source of power. #2: I may think that my encounter with the Jewish group was a disaster, but thinking this way is putting God in a box. He can use anything for His purposes. Now He will use my prayers. I have been praying for these teens constantly; they have been on my heart like nothing else these past few days.

The Holy Spirit already indwells a child of God, but refusing to rely on Him will leave you floundering about in our own self-effort. Rely on His power and you will be His witness.


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