Recently I had the opportunity to attend an Empowered21 conference in Bogotá, Colombia. It was hosted by Billy Wilson, president of Oral Roberts University, and George O. Wood, leader of the Assemblies of God denomination. Over 15,000 leaders from 41 nations participated from Latin America and around the world. The focus of the conference was to talk about the power of the Holy Spirit.
I was invited to attend as part of the Global Evangelists Alliance, a group of thirty of the world’s top evangelists. We discussed strategy for taking entire nations for the cause of Christ. The goal of Empowered21 is to impact each person on earth with the power of the Holy Spirit before 2033, the two-thousand-year anniversary of the day of Pentecost. I am excited to be part of this group of leaders because together we can accomplish something great for the kingdom of God.
The highlight of the conference was on the final night when a minister preached about the Holy Spirit and began to pray for people. Thousands of people were touched by the power of God.
We Need the Power of the Holy Spirit
The Holy Spirit is not a thing. The Holy Spirit is not a white cloud. He is not an impersonal force like gravity or magnetism, nor is He a mystical “Force” like in the movie Star Wars. The Holy Spirit is not an “it” but a “He.” He is a Person, a distinct entity in the Triune Godhead. The Holy Spirit is not fire, but He appears like a tongue of fire. He is not a dove, but He did descend like a dove. The Holy Spirit is a Person with a personality. He has intellect, emotions, and a will.
The Holy Spirit was intimately involved in every detail of the early church and we need the same move of the Holy Spirit in the church today. Unfortunately, in many of our modern church activities we have forgotten to include the Holy Spirit. A.W. Tozer wrote, “If the Holy Spirit was withdrawn from the church today, 95% of what we do would go on and no one would know the difference. If the Holy Spirit had been withdrawn from the New Testament church, 95% of what they did would stop, and everybody would know the difference.”
Look at what happens in the Book of Acts:
* In Acts 1, the Holy Spirit is promised.
* In Acts 2, the Holy Spirit spontaneously comes upon the disciples as they pray in the upper room and they all begin to speak in tongues. This miracle is accompanied by a mighty rushing wind and tongues of fire that hovered above the heads of the disciples.
* In Acts 4, the Holy Spirit comes upon the disciples again and refills them.
* In Acts 8, the Samaritans were filled with the Holy Spirit when apostles Peter and John laid hands on them.
* In Acts 9, Saul is filled with the Spirit when Ananias laid hands on him.
* In Acts 10, the Gentile Cornelius and his entire household are spontaneously filled with the Spirit and begin to speak in tongues while Peter is still speaking.
* In Acts 19, the believers in Ephesus are filled with the Holy Spirit when Paul lays hands on them.
No one can put God in a box. There is no set formula for how God moves. Each time someone is filled with the Holy Spirit in the Book of Acts, the sequence of events is different. The Holy Spirit is always doing the same things, but He is always doing them differently. Some people are filled with the Spirit when a minister lays hands on them. Other people are filled with the Spirit when an anointed preacher is preaching. Other times the Holy Spirit falls on a roomful of people praying. The Holy Spirit comes in many different ways and at many different times. The Holy Spirit is not a commodity to be bottled up; He is a living entity with a will. He moves as He wants to move.
Everything the Holy Spirit did in the Book of Acts, He is still doing today. David duPlessis (known as Mr. Pentecost) said, “The New Testament is not a record of what happened in one generation; it is a blueprint for what should happen in every generation until Jesus comes.”
Be Filled with the Holy Spirit!
I pray you would experience a new infilling of the Holy Spirit in your life. The Holy Spirit will teach you, guide you, comfort you, and help you every day of your life. If you want more of the Holy Spirit’s power in your life, take a moment right now and pray, “Holy Spirit, fill me now!”
In Cartagena, Colombia I had the opportunity to preach the Gospel in the Bull Fighting ring. We also did a pastor’s conference for hundreds of local leaders.