“And behold, I am sending forth the promise of My Father upon you; but you are to stay in the city until you are clothed with power from on high.” Luke 24:49 NASB
Just before Jesus ascension into heaven He gave these instructions to His disciples. At this same time He instructed them to go into all of the word making disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. (Matthew 28:19,20). Although the disciples spent three years under the teachings of the master teacher, Jesus, prior to His sacrifice, and then another forty days with Him after His resurrection, they were still unqualified and unprepared to proclaim the gospel. Jesus told them to go into Jerusalem and wait. He specifically told them to wait for the promise of the Father, the power from on high, which is the Holy Spirit Himself. Only after they receive the power of the Holy Spirit could they be His witnesses. (Acts 1:8)
Apart from the empowerment of the Holy Spirit, we too are unqualified and unprepared to do anything for the Lord. We may have the greatest education, the most well funded and organized programs, and the highest form of zeal in our heart, but apart from the power of the Holy Spirit these things are utterly useless.
The disciples were obedient to the instructions of Jesus. They went back to Jerusalem and waited. They waited in a constant state of prayer and expectation. On the day of Pentecost the Holy Spirit filled each one powerfully. After receiving the power from on high they went out into the streets of Jerusalem where Peter preached the gospel and three thousand souls were saved.
I believe one of the main reasons we aren’t seeing revival within many of our churches is due to the works of the flesh. We aren’t dependent upon the power from on high-the Holy Spirit. The other reason is unrepentant sin within the church which grieves the Holy Spirit and hinders His power. Both of these abominable acts leave the church self-sufficient making it inefficient.
Today when someone accepts Jesus as their Savior they receive the Holy Spirit. (Romans 8:9-11). However, as Christians, who have the Holy Spirit within us, we can still grieve His power. How then as Christians do we obtain this power from on high? The same way the disciples did. First, we believe and therefore are obedient to the words of Jesus. Second, we then wait in prayerful anticipation, dedicating ourselves to praying for God’s power until the time comes when we are so full of God’s presence and power within our lives it can no longer be contained. Third, we then leave our upper rooms, walk out into the world, and through the power from on high kick down the gates of hell. Fourth, we repeat these steps again, and again, and again.