What is released from your life?
I think about that question when I read the story in Acts chapter three. Peter and John were going to the temple to pray one afternoon. On the way, they encountered a man at the gate of the temple who had been crippled for forty years. He sat and begged alms from those entering the temple and on that occasion he looked to Peter and John for help. Peter said to him, “I do not possess silver and gold, but what I do have I give to you: In the name of Jesus Christ the Nazarene—walk” (Acts 3:6). What did Peter have? The verb “have” (echo) means to possess, to hold, or even to wear. One expositor says it means to possess something that possesses you. Peter had the Holy Spirit; He was possessed with the presence of Jesus. In other words, Peter possessed Jesus and Jesus possessed Peter, so when a crisis confronted the apostle he gave away what he had.
It once was stated, “The Church is no longer able to say to the lame, ‘rise and walk’ because of the fact that the Church can no longer say, ‘silver and gold have I none.’” In his book, Whatever Happened to Worship?, A.W. Tozer linked churches and Christians today with the believers in Laodicea who thought they were rich and wealthy and in need of nothing. Yet, in reality, they were “wretched and miserable and poor and blind and naked” (Rev. 3:17). I hope that isn’t true of your life or your church. Without the power and presence of the Holy Spirit in our lives we really have nothing of value to give away. I’m not against having riches and resources, but the greatest blessing that we can release is the presence of Jesus—if in fact, that’s who we’re filled with.
We always release what we’re most full of. I’m challenged by the story that Dennis Kinlaw previously told. The one-time president of Asbury College referenced a speaker who stood before the student body with a glass of water in his hand, and the speaker asked someone to come forward and shake his arm. Of course, when the speaker’s arm was shaken, water spilled all over the floor. The speaker asked: “So why did water spill?” Everyone answered the obvious; that the speaker’s arm had been shaken. He asked the question again with a bit of emphasis: “Why did water spill?” People caught on and then answered: “Because water was in the glass.” Kinlaw went on to explain that what spilled out of the glass was not determined by the shaking, but what spilled out was determined by what filled the glass. If the speaker held a glass of milk, then milk would have spilled on the floor. If juice was in the glass, then juice is what would have spilled on the floor.
Crises, challenges, and adversities, that we all are confronted with, reveal what we’re filled with. It’s the reason, Kinlaw stressed, that every Christian must be completely filled with and walking in the power of the Holy Spirit. Jesus said, “He who believes in Me, as the Scripture said, from his innermost being will flow rivers of living water” (John 7:38). This living water represents the Holy Spirit and it should flow out of us and touch people around us. When Peter faced a troubling situation he released the presence of Jesus, the one thing that he was filled with, and immediately that crippled man’s feet and ankles were strengthened and he leaped in the air, walked, and praised God. I have no problems giving away material resources when necessary. This passage isn’t stating a mandate against giving money to those in need, but what a tragedy if we only have silver and gold to give away. The greatest impartation that we can give someone is the presence of Jesus. We don’t need to be in a crisis, either, to give away Jesus. Every moment of our day becomes an opportunity to release His presence. The adventure never has to end. When you go to a restaurant, go there to give away Jesus; let eating a meal be secondary. When you go to the store, go there to release His presence; let purchasing eggs and milk become a second thought.
I remember standing at the checkout counter one time and looking into the eyes of the young lady behind the counter. She had a nametag that said, Rita. The Holy Spirit spoke to me about some of the problems she was facing with her family. I mentioned something about that to her and asked if I could pray. With tears running down her face, my wife and I gave Jesus away to her. It took no more than forty-five seconds. Another time my friend and I prayed with a waiter to receive Christ. A woman in our church prayed for someone with back issues and God instantly healed the person. Story after story and life after life; it’s simply releasing the presence of the Holy Spirit upon people wherever we might find ourselves. I believe that the moment you walk into a room the atmosphere can shift if you carry His presence within you.
We carry within us the supernatural power of the Holy Spirit (see John 14:17 and Acts 1:8). Think about that, you and I can give away the most life-changing force. The next time you are standing face to face with someone, think about the blessing that you can release. And should you be in a difficult situation that shakes you, release the same Holy Spirit. Never hang your head over what you don’t have if you are filled with the Holy Spirit. And never place more confidence in giving away anything else if it’s not the presence of Jesus.