In The Power Of The Spirit
Updated: Sep 2, 2019
Chan Gin Kai
Jesus returned to Galilee in the power of the Spirit, and news about him spread through the whole countryside. He was teaching in their synagogues, and everyone praised him. (Luke 4:14-15)
Jesus was “full of the Holy Spirit” (Luke 4:1) before he entered the wilderness where he was tempted by the devil. And he emerged from the temptations “in the power of the Spirit” (Luke 4:14). It was a no holds barred slugfest and Satan had pulled no punches. He tried every dirty trick up his sleeves, but Jesus was victorious. He emerged from his time of testing stronger than ever.
Empowered by the Spirit, Jesus started his ministry in Galilee. The region of Galilee was a fertile area with a big population. The famous Jewish historian Josephus (who was at one time the governor of Galilee) wrote that there were 240 cities and villages and more than three million people in the region. For news about Jesus to "spread through the whole countryside” so quickly, he must have taught very fervently at many synagogues.
The Spirit empowered Jesus, and the Spirit empowers us too.
We were all given the Holy Spirit when we were baptised, but we may not always feel the Spirit’s power. However, when we face temptations and overcome them, we grow stronger. We become more attuned to the Spirit, and more receptive to the Spirit’s influence. We feel closer to God. We become happier, and motivated. Our faith is strengthened and we become more confident too. It inspires us to serve God more. When we overcome temptations, it sets off a positive chain reaction that empowers us. Like Jesus, we can be infused with the power of the Spirit.
The reverse is true too. When we succumb to temptations and fall into sin, we set off a vicious cycle that weakens us. We feel guilty and ashamed to face God. We avoid Him in prayer and feel afraid to tell others about it. We stay away from Christians who care for us and are able to help us. We get discouraged, become unmotivated, and may even fall into the trap of self-pity. It is even scarier if we fall into sins regularly. Because we hate our feelings of guilt, we start believing the excuses we’ve created for our sins. We become numb to the Spirit, and our conscience gets hardened. We pull ourselves away from God. We lose the power of the Spirit.
The Spirit gave Jesus the physical and mental strength to preach across the whole region. The Spirit gave him the wisdom to debate with the Pharisees and withstand persecution. The Spirit gave him courage and comfort. When we have the power of the Spirit, we’ll be able to draw closer to God and serve Him better too.
Temptations will always leave an impact on us. Succumb to them and we get weaker, overcome it and we grow stronger in the Spirit. What kind of impact do you want temptations to make on you? Don’t fight temptations like your life depends on it... fight them like your soul does.
Chan Gin Kai
Gin Kai is a film producer who believes in the power of media to inspire positive changes. He has spearheaded disaster relief and capacity building projects in impoverished communities across Asia. In church, he serves as a mentor to young professionals in the EDGE Ministry. He describes himself as "just a sinner who wants to get right with God".