Thursday, January 20, 2011

Come Upon Us, Holy Spirit

“…What authority and power this man’s words possess! Even evil spirits obey him, and they flee at his command!” Luke 4:36b
I’ve always been fascinated with real spiritual authority. It doesn’t have much to do with speaking inside a church, possessing a degree or denominational credential, being ordained, being a particular gender or age, having a religious title, or being an author or missionary. Sometimes we confuse ecclesiastical authority with spiritual authority but they aren’t synonymous. One thing is for certain. When we are engaged in ministry to Muslim women we need spiritual authority or not much will happen. Spiritual authority comes from God Himself. He has sent you and me on a mission. If we know that we have been called and sent by God He validates us and has given us His authority to be demonstrated through us. We can walk in spiritual authority when we are drinking tea with a Muslim woman in her living room or visiting her in the hospital. We are not just doing our own ‘personal ministry’. No, we are fulfilling God’s work. What will spiritual authority look like for us Christian women reaching out to Muslim women? How will we know if we ‘have it’?

First of all we will be experiencing the indwelling Presence of the Holy Spirit and producing beautiful fruit. Our lives will be holy and clean. But have you also experienced the Holy Spirit come upon you and received power or boldness(Acts 1:8) which has resulted in your tongue being released to witness about Jesus? It’s mysterious and surprises me every time it happens. If you have not experienced that liberty and boldness ask the Holy Spirit to come upon you when you are with your Muslim friend. We’ll be amazed that we will say certain things which normally we would be shy about. We might even say something prophetic. Most of the time we’d be concerned about offending a Muslim woman if we would talk openly about who Jesus is and the cross and resurrection. Usually we just want to come over as ‘nice’ and not cause conflict. We will suddenly feel the urge to pray confidently and in faith for a Muslim woman about her need. Wow! We wonder how we could just ‘let go’ in prayer. And the prayer was not generic but in Jesus’ name. We may sense God wants to heal a lady or bring about a deliverance from a bondage or an oppression from demonic powers or to ask God for our friend to be able to conceive and we find ourselves praying directly into that – boldly. How is that possible? Something from somewhere came upon us and something inside of us came out of our mouths. That ‘something’(really Someone) is the authority of Jesus rising forth. We didn’t do anything to make that happen. We are awed because it’s just not us. Our Muslim friend is impacted. We are changed forever. Good-bye to the ordinary predictable Christian walk. Welcome to the wonder and awe of all that God allows us to experience as we partner with Him.

Holy Spirit, Come. We need You. Empower us to reach our Muslim friends with Your truth and love. In Jesus’ name, Amen.