There's a scene in one of my favorit movies, Bruce Almighty, where Jim Carey's character realizes that he's been given the power of God, and walks around using it (inappropriately) for his own ends. As he does so, he's singing Snap's "I've Got the Power!" and showing off.
Is THAT what the Holy Spirit is about?
Absolutely not...but it does bring up a question: Where is the Power?
When we look at the book of Acts, we see the Apostles doing miraculous things, in many cases, just like Jesus did! We see them casting out demons, healing people, speaking in languages that were previously unknown to them, even raising the dead!
In addition to that, we see that they were 'moved by' the Holy Spirit. They seemed to 'hear' from Him when to send Barnabus and Paul out(Acts 13:2); Peter heard from the Holy Spirit to go with the men from Cesarea (Acts 10); and in many other places...the clear picture is that the Holy Spirit was actively directing them.
So...where's that power today? Where's that direction today?
Some tell us that the Holy Spirit no longer works that way today...that it was all only to establish the Church, and (now that it's established and the Bible is complete), there's no real 'need' for it.
True, there may be some legit differences between how the Holy Spirit worked then and how He works now. There may be some of the 'offices' and roles in the early church that are not operating today...frankly, I'm not sure about some of that.
But one thing I KNOW: We NEED the Power of the Holy Spirit in our lives, in our faith, and in our Churches today!
In fact, I think it's fair to say that part of the reason 'Christianity' in America has been relatively powerless over the last few decades is that we have moved away from the power of the Holy Spirit in our lives.
Remember, Jesus said to His disciples: "...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 1:8-9)...and I don't know any church, any theological tradition or even any individual Christian who would say that that day--the time when Jesus calls us to be His witnesses and "Spread the Word"--has passed!
So, is it reasonable to expect that we will receive that same "power"?...that the Holy Spirit moves us to (among other things) be Jesus' witnesses? That the Holy Spirit is the key to us having the power to live out the life that Jesus calls us to?
I think it IS! I think it's ABSOLUTELY NECESSARY!
What, then, is the key, and why do we (sometimes) not experience that power?
I think it's because we've lost contact with our Power Source--the Holy Spirit.
I think that ONE of the basic things we need to do is to ask God, the Holy Spirit to fill us afresh with the power needed to do everything that God wants us to do! We need to believe it, expect it, step out in faith on it, and show it!
...as we learn to listen to, depend on, and step out on His leading, He will lead us to do bigger things for the Kingdom. NOT for our own glory, but for the glory of God. NOT (like Bruce Almighty) for our own benefit, but for the benefit of the Church.
May God's power drive us today!