Then they gathered around him and asked him, “Lord, are you at this time going to restore the kingdom to Israel?” He said to 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.”
The scene is set. Christ has gathered His disciples around Him and He is giving His final words before He departs this earth for His heavenly home. The disciples anxiously ask if now is the time that Christ’s Kingdom will be ushered in and Roman rule overturned. They are still imagining a political kingdom. But Christ has something in mind far beyond that.
I love the response of Jesus to their question. Notice how He deflects and pivots to something much more important, that being their urgent need for His power.
Your spiritual needs
Of all the things Jesus could have focused on, the one thing that was upmost in His mind was their need for supernatural power. His death, burial, and resurrection were just the beginning. Now would come the intense spiritual battle to advance the Kingdom of Heaven against the very gates of hell. The war against the spiritual darkness infecting the earth… spiritual authorities of evil, demonic powers, and Satan himself.
Jesus knew full well that as they set out to proclaim the good news of salvation, Satan would seek to thwart their plan at every possible turn. And Jesus knew that they would need His power if they were to be victorious and advance His Kingdom. They were indeed about to step onto a spiritual battlefield against the most powerful forces in the universe, and they would quickly be defeated without His power within them.
Just like the early disciples, you step onto a spiritual battlefield each and every day. Paul declares as much in Ephesians 6:10-12: “Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.”
And again, in 1 Peter 5:8 we are told, “Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.” As C. S. Lewis so rightly observes, “This is a civil war, a rebellion, and… we are living in a part of the universe occupied by the rebel. Enemy-occupied territory – that is what this world is.”
Christ’s spiritual power
It’s immensely instructive that Jesus focuses on giving us His power as a vital and necessary ingredient to living a victorious life. It means you and I should make accessing that power a daily priority. Because there are powerful forces working against you each and every day. And without His power IN you, you don’t stand a chance.
If you want to know more about experiencing God’s power, be sure to check out Rick’s YouVersion Plan Victorious Power.
More Insights from Dunham+Company: “The Hidden Mystery of God”
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