Pentecost and Mission
The power of the Holy Spirit is central to the ongoing work of mission today. With this short article, I hope to inspire you to deepen your dependence upon the Spirit in your mission work, whether locally or globally.
On the Day of Pentecost, the Lord sent the promise of the Holy Spirit to endow a small group of 120 prayerful men and women with the power to bring the Good News of Jesus to a lost world. They did so powerfully and effectively. The Spirit continues to empower the church to blaze the life-changing message of salvation across the globe.
I want to highlight three major reasons why we need the power of the Spirit to fulfil our God-given mission.
First, the power of the Spirit gives us divine power to tell people about Jesus (Luke 24:49; Acts 1:8). After Pentecost, the power of the Spirit had an immediate and ongoing impact through their Gospel proclamation (Acts 2:37,40; 4:31, 33). It still does. We have been divinely empowered for mission.
Second, the power of the Spirit gives divine enablement to pray. Romans 8:26-27 tells us that, even though we have many incapacities and inadequacies in prayer, the indwelling and empowering of the Spirit divinely enables us to pray with power (see Ephesians 6:18).
Third, the power of the Spirit gives divine equipping for supernatural ministry. The power of the Spirit accompanied Gospel preaching as an arresting, attracting, and authenticating sign of its power (Acts 5:12-16; 8:6; 9:35; 14:3, 8-10; 28:8-10; cf. Mark 16:20). This is what our missionaries are seeing in many parts of the world today.
The power of the Spirit is available, accessible, and inexhaustible. When we feel weak, the Spirit provides power. When we feel inadequate, the Spirit gives us enablement. When we face strongholds, the Spirit brings breakthrough.
We can have our theology, missiology, and methodology correct, but, without the power of the Holy Spirit, we will not be fruitful or effective. May we therefore hunger for more of the Holy Spirit’s presence in our lives and seek for a fresh infilling of his power to enable us to finish the unfinished task.
International Director of World Outreach since January 2017.
Bruce has been married to Fiona since 1983 and lives in Melbourne. They have three grown children and one granddaughter.