Clothed with Power

May 20, 2021 — Krystal Craven
Devotional title text overlaying the side profile of a woman wearing a white, flowing dress. The woman is on the right side and her dress flows towards the left of the image.

As Pentecost approaches, it got me thinking about the day of Pentecost in the book of Acts. There was a period of time between when Jesus ascended to heaven and Pentecost. Before ascending, Jesus had given them the commission to go into all the world and make disciples, telling them that they would be His witnesses in Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria, and the ends of the earth, but I want to focus on His instruction to wait in Jerusalem until the Holy Spirit had come. (Luke 24:49 and Acts 1:4-5)

“And behold, I am sending the promise of my Father upon you. But stay in the city until you are clothed with power from on high.” (Luke 24:49)

This phrasing to be clothed with, endyō in the Greek, is a powerful word when we also see how it is used in other context throughout the New Testament. This is the same word used in the parables Jesus told of the king and his son’s wedding feast and the prodigal son. The man who was found without being clothed in wedding garments was cast out; and the father of the prodigal son gave the command to clothe his returned son with the best robe. Even further, we see this word used by Paul in 1 Corinthians, “I tell you this, brothers: flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God…For this perishable body must put on the imperishable.” (1 Corinthians 15:50;53)

Again, in Ephesians we are told to put off our old self and instead to “put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness.” (Ephesians 4:22-24). Lastly, not in lack of references, but in better understanding the context, in Galatians it says that “for as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ.” (Galatians 3:27)

When Jesus gave the command of the great commission, He fully meant it, but He never meant for us to do it on our own or in our own strength. It was always intended while being clothed with power from on high, which comes through the baptism of the Holy Spirit, the promise of the Father.

As we jump ahead after the disciples are first baptized with the Holy Spirit as He came upon them, we see Peter preach an incredible, spirit-filled sermon that resulted in thousands being saved. The references that he used to the old prophesies and Psalms that an unlearned fisherman like himself wouldn’t have studied under, is absolutely and undeniably the Holy Spirit at work in and through him. We have the advantage of seeing Peter before he was empowered, seeing his mistakes play out throughout the gospels; one of his biggest being denying Christ 3 times. He wasn’t an eloquent guy, yet with the Spirit upon him, he spoke eloquently and clearly and was able to lead with godly boldness that would be effective instead of the disastrous outcomes of his worldly boldness we previously read about. The Spirit even ended up working miracles through him, such as the lame beggar he told to rise up and walk, and who was healed through the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth.

Let me ask you this…do you think you could ever do the kinds of things Peter and Paul did? Does it feel like those were works of old that have faded away in modern times?

I think sometimes as Christians we get into the bad habit of putting people in the bible on pedestals or having the perspective that Holy Spirit doesn’t work that way anymore, and that can severely hinder our walk and our faith. The same unchanging God and Spirit who worked through the people of the Bible then, can and does still work in His servants today. I think the main hindrance is that we generally don’t actually believe it can happen or we at least don’t look with expecting faith.

Now, I am not saying you just need to “name it and claim it” type thing, that is not biblically supported. However, I have witnessed great things done when I have let my natural minded guard down that is perfectly content to only operate in the natural realm, and instead been open to let the Spirit work and move in the spiritual realm and it. is. awesome!

I want to encourage you to get out of your comfort zone and carefully constructed schedules. Pray for a fresh overflowing with the Holy Spirit every morning, and ask Him to open doors and opportunities, being willing to walk in whatever works He’s prepared. I promise you, it will be incredible and you’ll be blessed as you serve. At first, you’re most likely going to feel crazy, I know I did when the Holy Spirit would tell me to say something to someone or do something not “normal”. But the more you exercise that faith muscle, the more quickly you’ll respond to the Holy Spirit’s promptings and the more you’ll experience the types of things we read about in the Bible.

If you haven’t accepted Jesus, the Holy Spirit is WITH you because He is everywhere, but if you have accepted Jesus, the Holy Spirit is IN you. If you ask for Him to baptize you, He comes UPON you and empowers you. The Holy Spirit is a gift that is obtained simply by asking, just as Jesus said, “If you then who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him!” (Luke 11:13)

This Pentecost, let’s be stirred to not only have put off our old self and put on Christ, but to also be daily clothed with power from on high.