I've often heard talk of the “Resurrection power” we have as people who have received the Holy Spirit. I have been in awe of the Holy Spirit's works at Pentecost and throughout the book of the Acts of the Apostles. What amazing power! The sick are healed, Jesus' followers speak in tongues, the gospel is preached, and the Church grows in number, despite persecution. I've always looked for the Holy Spirit's work after the Resurrection because, before His death, Jesus promises the Spirit after He goes away. He tells His disciples it is actually better for them that He go away so the Advocate would come to them (John 16:7.) What?! There is something better than living face-to-face every day with Jesus?!
Jesus tells them the many things the Advocate, the Spirit, would do: “He will convict the world of its sin, and of God’s righteousness, and of the coming judgment” (Jn 16:8,) and “He will guide you into all truth. He will not speak on his own but will tell you what he has heard. He will tell you about the future. He will bring Me glory by telling you whatever he receives from me” (Jn 16:13-14.) Until the time of the Pentecost, Jesus' disciples had not yet experienced God in these unique ways. Therefore, we know there is actually something better for us than Jesus walking next to us on earth: being filled with the Holy Spirit.
When I think of learning about the Spirit, I usually focus my study on the books of the Bible that document the time after Jesus’ promise to the disciples in John 16 is fulfilled-- once the disciples have received the Holy Spirit at Pentecost. This might seem logical at first. However, just like Jesus, the Holy Spirit has always existed, since before there was time (Genesis 1:1.) We could say: “In the beginning the Spirit already existed. The Spirit was with God, and the Spirit was God. The Spirit existed in the beginning with God” (John 1:1-3, emphasis mine.) Just like Jesus, the entire Bible is the story of the Holy Spirit. The Spirit works in different roles than the Father and the Son, but has always been one with them.
And so today, I find the Holy Spirit quietly waiting to teach me in the first chapter of Matthew. I wasn’t looking for the Spirit here; God surprised me. I opened my Bible to the book of Matthew to meditate on Jesus' coming for the time of Advent. And there was the Holy Spirit, doing a work no human mind has ever fully understood:
“This is how Jesus the Messiah was born. His mother, Mary, was engaged to be married to Joseph. But before the marriage took place, while she was still a virgin, she became pregnant through the power of the Holy Spirit” (Matthew 1:18.)
The Holy Spirit, who possesses the power to raise Jesus up from the dead, also holds the capability to bring Jesus down from Heaven to earth. To bring Jesus from the spiritual realm into our physical, earthly realm. To bring the uncreated into the created, and somehow fuse the two together in some unfathomable mystery. To bring the holy, perfect God into our sinful, broken world. To bring God Himself to live with the people He made in His image-- as Isaiah foretold, “Immanuel, God with us” (Matthew 1:23, Isaiah 7:14.) There is so much power in the Incarnation that I have never had eyes to see before today.
When we walk into the workplace, we bring the true Light; when we enter into a disagreement between our children, we bring the Peacemaker…
What does this mean for us? This means, if we have believed on Jesus in faith and received the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 1:13-14,) then we have Incarnation power living inside of us. It means we are able to bring God into any situation or place we go. We bring Jesus from our own homes out into this broken world. When we walk into the workplace, we bring the true Light; when we enter into a disagreement between our children, we bring the Peacemaker; when we walk into a sick friend's home, we bring the Healer; to the hopeless, we bring true Hope; to the overwhelmed, we bring the Prince of Peace. Even into the lies we believe in our own hearts, we have the ability to bring the true Teacher. Wherever we go, we have the power of God living in us, carrying Christ with us into any and every broken place.
Have you considered the great power of the Holy Spirit who lives inside of you? Have you experienced bringing Jesus into an empty or broken situation? If you could bring Jesus into any sphere of your life, where would it be? Know that you have the power to call Him into that place. If the Spirit was able to bring Jesus, the God of all creation (Colossians 1:15-17,) into the womb of a woman as a human baby, surely you can bring Immanuel with you everywhere you go. Praise God for our Holy Spirit!
Teresa Beach, born and raised in Dayton, is a Christ follower who has experienced much physical pain and medical difficulty in her life, yet has seen the beauty of God's Spirit and His Church in the midst of suffering. After many years of darkness, God has drawn her to Himself again, and she is excited to share what He speaks to her through His Word with other women. She loves living life with her Apex house church family in West Dayton, and desires to equip the Church to better serve and reach chronically suffering people.