As Christ-followers, we have the joyful responsibility to share the good news of Jesus with everyone God leads us to. But how often do we consider the absolute necessity of the Holy Spirit’s empowerment in leading in the task?
To be honest, we could share Jesus with others without any help from the Holy Spirit. It is possible! But there is a monumental difference when we partner with the Holy Spirit to share Jesus with others. And contrary to what some believe, the empowerment of the Spirit does not always mean that we suddenly speak with the eloquence of a brilliant, British theologian!
Sharing Jesus with others is not about your eloquence. It’s about the Spirit’s power. And many times it’s about the questions you ask.
(The Spirit is really good at providing the right question for the right moment!) Paul says it is not his “wise speech” that led to an effective ministry, but the power of the Spirit. Whatever our personality type is, no matter how we view ourselves as communicators, the Spirit speaks through our word and deed to reach people—it is his power, not our words that make the difference. It is all about learning the craft of sharing your faith—listening live both to the person you are speaking with, and tuning an ear toward heaven.
The book of Acts provides a beautiful picture of how the Holy Spirit is actively communicating with the various characters.
The Spirit told Philip, “Go to that chariot and stay near it.” | While Peter was still thinking about the vision, the Spirit said to him, “Simon, three men are looking for you. | It seemed good to the Holy Spirit and to us not to burden you with anything beyond the following requirements |Coming over to us, he took Paul’s belt, tied his own hands and feet with it and said, “The Holy Spirit says, ‘In this way the Jewish leaders in Jerusalem will bind the owner of this belt and will hand him over to the Gentiles.’” (Acts 8:29; 10:19; 15:28; 21:11)
But the empowerment of the Spirit in sharing Jesus with others includes more than having “the right words.” The words are one part of it, but the other ingredients might be even more important. Consider the role that boldness has. When we receive Spirit-filled boldness, there is a power to our speech that transcends the actual choice of words used.
After they prayed, the place where they were meeting was shaken. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke the word of God boldly. (Acts 4:31, NIV)
Complementing that idea, we also see times when the Holy Spirit encourages.
Then the church throughout Judea, Galilee and Samaria enjoyed a time of peace and was strengthened. Living in the fear of the Lord and encouraged by the Holy Spirit, it increased in numbers. (Acts 9:31)
What other ways does the Spirit help us when we share the gospel? Believe it or not, the joy He fills us with is important, too.
And the disciples were filled with joy and with the Holy Spirit. (Acts 13:52)
Think about how many people want deep and abiding joy in their lives. What if we regularly experienced that kind of joy, fueled by the Spirit of joy Himself?
That would be a contagious kind of Christianity. And not matter how much we put on the masquerade of joy, something is qualitatively different when the Holy Spirit is the source of it!
So, what do we do with this? How do we begin to lean more into the power of the Spirit in our efforts to show Jesus to the people around us? Here are three practical ideas.
1) Begin your day with prayer, specifically asking the Holy Spirit to show you opportunities to be a “witness” throughout the day.
2) When an opportunity comes, continue to lean into the Holy Spirit’s leading. It is an acquired and learned skillset to be able to listen to the Holy Spirit as you are in a conversation with someone (which means you got to practice it to get better at it!). Actively pray for the Spirit to provide words of how to respond to someone. And also be open to the other ways He empowers as we discussed with boldness, encouragement, and joy! When fear comes, because it will, remember God’s truth that the Spirit “uses the weak to shame the strong” and “uses the foolish to shame the wise” (1 Corinthians 1:27-31).
3) Share the times when the Holy Spirit uses you. This encourages yourself and others! We sometimes get “spiritual amnesia” and forget the times when God is working through us. And so documenting the God stories gets us excited to continue to play a role in the God stories of others.
When our obedience meets the Holy Spirit’s perfect timing, supernatural things happen.
Let’s not limit how the Holy Spirit can fill and empower us with supernatural means to be able to meet someone right where they are at. After all, God stories are always ready to happen in our lives when we make ourselves available for them!