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Institute in Basic Life Principles

Command 48 : Receive God's Power | Day 330

Be Endued With Power!

He quietly entered and began walking through the mill, looking at the faces of the young people working there. Many of them recognized him because they had come to hear him preach the night before. Now, as Charles Finney looked at them, one by one they began to tremble and weep until finally the factory owner said, "Stop the mill, and let the people attend to religion; for it is more important that our souls should be saved than that this factory run." Within a few days, nearly all the workers at this factory had been saved.

The same effectiveness in converting sinners followed Charles Finney throughout his lifetime. It began after his own conversion when he received a special anointing of the Holy Spirit's power, spoken of in Christ's command:

Command Forty-Eight: “And, behold, I send the promise of my Father upon you: but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high” (Luke 24:49).

A group of about 120 people, including the disciples, stayed in Jerusalem for 10 days until the Holy Spirit came upon them with power for the special ministry of establishing the church. (See Acts 1-2.) The factors that were required of them in order to receive that anointing of the Holy Spirit are also applicable for us today.

First, they followed Jesus' strategy by beginning in Jerusalem. “But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth” (Acts 1:8). God wanted His power to be demonstrated "at home" before His followers went to all other nations.

Your "Jerusalem" is your family and community--often the hardest places to live for God. The people who know us best do not expect powerful things to come from us. Even Jesus experienced this and said, “A prophet is not without honor, but in his own country, and among his own kin, and in his own house” (Mark 6:4).

The disciples were initially filled with the Holy Spirit by Jesus after His resurrection (see John 20:22), and believers today are indwelled with the Holy Spirit at salvation. However, this command speaks of further anointings of the power of the Holy Spirit to accomplish the great works for which He created us.

After Charles Finney's conversion, he spent time in prayer communing with and waiting upon the Lord. Then the Holy Spirit came upon him in an unusual way, which he described as "waves and waves of liquid love." This demonstration, though unique, is consistent with the nature of the Holy Spirit, whose fruit begins with love. (See Galatians 5:22.) As Paul waited before the Lord in prayer and fasting, God called him to a specific ministry.

Paul was filled with the Holy Spirit at salvation but later was given a special anointing for ministry. (See Acts 9:17, 13:2.)

We will never be effective for the Lord in other cities and nations until we first learn how to wait upon the Lord in our "Jerusalem." As we look to the Lord for direction, He will give us power to demonstrate His love to our most difficult "mission field." Let's take a new look at our "Jerusalem," and ask God for the power of His Spirit to demonstrate His love to all those around us.

“And, behold, I send the promise of my Father upon you: but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high” (Luke 24:49).

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Contributing writer: Bill Gothard