What Great Power and Responsibility Have You Been Given?
Since we are marrying power and responsibility together at the altar of stewardship it makes sense to understand what power and responsibility you have as Christians. What has God equipped you with that you are now responsible for? Here are three to consider:
1. Power to Witness
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 1:8
Every Christian (yes, that means you) is empowered with the responsibility of sharing the gospel and being a witness for Jesus. The reason you're able to do this is because God has given you the Holy Spirit...so you can do this effectively. Does this mean you're going to stand before thousands like Peter did on the day of Pentecost and preach the gospel? Maybe, but most likely that's not the case.
However, you do live in a community, have a job, and have friends or family members who don’t know Jesus. These are all places you can be a witness. God has given you the power—now it is your responsibility to do what he requires.
2. Power to Live Holy
But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; for it is written: “Be holy, because I am holy.” – 1 Peter 1:15-16
For if you live according to the flesh, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live. – Romans 8:13
So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. – Galatians 5:16
Back in the old days when I was growing up (for those younger than me, I'm talking about the 1980s) holiness was still important in the church. I'm not sure how often this gets talked about anymore. Can you remember the last time your pastor preached about holiness? Do let me know, because I'm curious to find out. God has given us the responsibility to live holy. The word simply means to be set apart for God’s specific use.
For God to use you, there needs to be a separation from intentionally living a sinful lifestyle.
The good news, again (and I hope you see the trend here) is that God doesn’t just say live holy, he empowers you to do it by the Holy Spirit.
As Christians, great power and responsibility come with the Holy Spirit's ability to carry out what God expects through you. This is why there is no excuse. How amazing God is that he doesn’t just ask or tell you to do something—he makes sure you have everything you need to do what he asks. He makes sure you have the power to carry out the responsibility.
3. Power to Pray
In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans. – Romans 8:26
One of the most fundamental disciplines we have is prayer. Prayer is when we give God access to interrupt and intervene in our earthly situations. Prayer by itself comes with great power and great responsibility.
For Christians, this is the greatest weapon you have. Yet prayer is not just a weapon, prayer is also the place of surrender. And, of greatest importance, it is the place of communion. Prayer is the place you can sit at the feet of Jesus. Where you can enjoy his presence and where you can commune with your Heavenly Father. It is a place of great power but also a place of great responsibility.
Prayer is the place that allows you to impact things in the heavens through spiritual warfare and things on the earth by seeking Godly intervention. Once again God gives you his Spirit to help you even in prayer. If you sum it up, great power does come with great responsibility. But for Christians (that’s you and me) it also comes with the power to carry out the responsibility.
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