Human-powered Vs. Spirit Empowered


“He had been taught the way of the Lord, and he taught others about Jesus with an enthusiastic spirit and with accuracy. However, he knew only about John’s baptism. When Priscilla and Aquila heard him preaching boldly in the synagogue, they took him aside and explained the way of God even more accurately.” (Acts of the Apostles 18:25-26 NLT)

Apollo’s was an enthusiastic and knowledgeable preacher. However, He was limited. It seems he had only been baptized in water. He lacked the baptism by fire: the Sprit baptism that would truly ignite his teaching. 

Priscilla and Aquila handled the delicate situation with discretion and integrity. They quietly pulled aside the eager preacher and shared the full gospel. They knew from personal experience that Apollos’ ministry would be more powerful and effective when he had received the full extent of  Christ had to offer; His Spirit.

Years ago, when we were first homeowners, we thought a human-powered mower might be fun: green, economical and un-intrusive. We have it a try. The grass bent but didn’t want to cut and the entire postage stamp of a yard took hours instead of minutes. Within a day or two we admitted our defeat and exchanged the human-powered mower for for the gas-powered variety and, consequently, got the job done.

We can preach the gospel without the Spirit’s infilling, but it’s only human powered. Spirit-empowered preaching will always be more effective and more in sync with the heartbeat of heaven.

The Spirit is so vital for ministry that Jesus repeated Himself. He told the disciples, on multiple occasions, before the cross and then again after the resurrection, to wait for the gift. Don’t leave home without it.

“Once when he was eating with them, he commanded them, “Do not leave Jerusalem until the Father sends you the gift he promised, as I told you before. John baptized with water, but in just a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.”” (Acts of the Apostles 1:4-5 NLT)

We see clearly in this text that the Holy Spirit is worth waiting for and that His equipping is essential for human ministry. Without the Holy Spirit we will be stuck in flesh mode, limited to what we alone can produce. However, with the Holy Spirit, we can grow real and lasting Kingdom fruit.

Lord, please fill us today; for the first time or again. Help us to continually remember just how ill-equipped we are without Your Spirit. Give us the tenacity to wait on Your infilling and refilling. Let our lives be ignited for the advancement of Your Kingdom. Amen.