Witnessing in the power of the Holy Spirit
by Jude Hatton
Each evening at work Adam, the cleaner, would come into my office and change the bins. After a few times, I started taking the opportunity to ask him how his weekend had been. Quite quickly he started to open up and share about his family, how his son was seriously ill with cancer and the pain of only being able to see him at weekends. I showed compassion and told him that God is a Father who loves him and cares about his situation. I was able to talk about the difference God has made in my life; isn’t that what being a witness is all about after all? I’ve subsequently changed jobs and lost contact with Adam but it was a privilege to be part of his journey and I know God will still be working in his life.
When I reflect on people like Adam I’m reminded of Jesus telling His disciples that they will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on them and that they will be His witnesses (Acts 1:8). All of the Bible is incredible and life changing but there are some verses that just completely stop you in your tracks and this is one of them. It’s a verse that turned the disciples’ world upside down; they were never the same again. And if we live it then we will never be the same again either!
Jesus gave us His Holy Spirit to empower every one of us to be His witnesses. We have His power and with it we can be witnesses.
I am also encouraged that the Holy Spirit is accompanied by power! Just recently I had the opportunity to pray for Matt who owns a shop round the corner from where we live. Paul and I love being intentional about making friends in the area so it was great to get to know this guy. When Matt told me that he was really bothered by a bad shoulder I just knew I had to pray for him! There’s always that moment of ‘Do I offer to pray or not?’ but I’m increasingly trying to remember that it’s only Jesus’ opinion of me that matters and that there is power in His name! So, I prayed for him and he said it was completely better! Speaking to him a few weeks after I was able to explain that Jesus had healed him. The journey continues. It’s so exciting.
We believe Jesus’ purpose for us is as important today as it was for the disciples. To be witnesses in all we say and do is a natural outworking of being a spirit-filled people. We want to share and celebrate our stories, however insignificant they may feel, to encourage one another as we step out in faith.