Promise of Power to Serve
PROMISE OF POWER TO SERVE — Acts 1:8 4
I. THE SPEAKER 7
II. THE POWER 8
III. THE INSTRUMENTS 11
IV. THE PREPARATION 15
V. THE PLAN 19
VI. THE ACTION 21
Promise of Power to Serve
Lift up your hands and say, “Father God, I surrender to you and your will for my life in the Name of Jesus.” When you surrender, He will blow you around like dust. You are His. When the guy with the gun in the western movies says lay down, they lay down. If he says put your hands behind your back, they put their hands behind their backs. If he says to roll over on your face, they roll over on their face. He has the gun, and they do what he tells them to do. Of course, some try to fight and get away. Likewise, some of you fight the Lord. You have your hands up in surrender to Him, and He tells you to do something. And you say, “I do not want to do that, I am going to get loose, I am going to go my way.”
The Bible is filled with the promises of God.
II Corinthians 1:20 says, “For all the promises of God in him are yea, and in him Amen, unto the glory of God by us.” These promises are fulfilled through us to God’s glory.
One of the promises is a promise of power to serve.
Acts 1:8 says, “But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you; and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Judea (your city), and in Samaria (your state), and the United States and to the uttermost parts of the earth.”
“And you shall be witnesses unto me both at home, on the job, at school and wherever you go.” A few years ago the Holy Spirit told me that this ministry would be evangelistic. I said, “Praise God, I receive it.”
Then in December of 1976, I had a vision while I was sitting up in bed drinking a cup of coffee. All at once I saw an army of young men marching. Just as far as I could see, I saw young men.
The Lord showed me that He has given us the knowledge to win these young men. We are to win them, teach them, train them and send them. It will be similar to the way the mother eagle does when her babies are born. She works with them for a long time, bringing them food and helping them learn how to fly. But there finally comes a day when she gets right at the edge of the nest on a high cleft and pushes them out. Then they must fly on their own.
I believe there is going to come a day when some young men are going to sit at the Lafayette Charismatic Bible College and learn so much that I will tell them, “I think it is time for you to move, you have been around here too long, you already know too much. You better get your family and find a place to minister somewhere. You have been in the nest too long.”
Acts 1:8 reveals some factors that assure us that we can do what God’s Word says. As I was meditating on this passage of Scripture, God showed me how important faith teaching is in winning people to Jesus. We can put our faith against pain and it has to go. We can put our faith against a demon and it has to come out. Likewise, we can take faith and start putting it against the binding powers of darkness that are holding people in captivity, and break the hold so they can be set free to come to Jesus Christ the Son of God.
Who is speaking in this particular verse? Jesus Christ. Verse seven, says, “And he said unto them.” Jesus is the One who said that after the Holy Ghost is come upon you, you shall receive power.
II Corinthians 1:20 says that all the promises of God are yea and Amen. It is a matter of us exercising faith. We can go out in the natural and push and strain to win people to Jesus and all we will get is a lot of people convicted, not converted. There are many people in churches who are serving but yet not living for God. They have come under conviction but have never been converted. They have never been Born Again into the Kingdom of God. When you are born into the Kingdom of God, things change, old things pass away and all things become new. But the devil will try to keep you in bondage to the things of the world.
The speaker in
Acts 1:8 is Jesus. John 14:10 says, “…the words that I speak unto you I speak not of myself; but the Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works.” There are a lot of places in John where Jesus said, “The words I speak are not my words, they are the words of my Father.” Therefore, the words that Jesus spoke in Acts 1:8 are the words that the Father gave Him to speak to you. This makes it perfectly true, just exercise your faith.
He said that you shall receive “power after the Holy Ghost is come upon you.” It comes after you have been baptized into the Holy Spirit. If you do not have the baptism of the Holy Spirit with the supernatural evidence of speaking in tongues, then you are like a car without a motor. You have no power.
I Corinthians 14:2 says, “For he that speaketh in an unknown tongue speaketh not unto men, but unto God: for no man understandeth him; howbeit in the spirit he speaketh mysteries.” Speaking in tongues edifies you, it does not edify your body, it does not make your muscles any larger, it does not make you feel any better as far as the natural is concerned. It edifies and feeds your spirit man. When that spirit man is edified and you come against troubles, problems and difficulty, you are strong. You are able to walk under the anointing that God is called you to. You are able to move in victory. You have the power once you have been baptized in the Holy Spirit, but one of the reasons there is not as much power manifested in your life is because you are not obedient to the Scripture. You are not spending enough time speaking in tongues. You are letting the devil get you so involved in talking, praise and worship that you do not take the time to pray in the spirit. Whenever it gets to the place that speaking in tongues does not bless you, you need to fall on your knees. Someone has stolen your blessings. It is so easy to go along with the charismatic movement for two or three years just kind of speaking in tongues now and then, and finally just lay it aside. But He says, “After that the Holy Spirit is come upon you, you shall receive power.”
Mark 16:15-20 says, “And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. (16)He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned. (17)And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; (18)They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick and they shall recover. (19)So then after the Lord had spoken unto them, he was received up into heaven, and sat on the right hand of God. (20)And they went forth, and preached everywhere, the Lord working with them, and confirming the word with signs following. Amen.”
The Lord was working with them confirming the Word with signs following. We have learned a lot about faith for healing, deliverance, walking in victory and financial prosperity. That same knowledge can be applied to winning people to Jesus.
The Biblical name of a person who does not know Jesus is heathen. That means they are serving another god. Basically, America is a heathen land. Heathens are all around us, they are the ones we want to find. Most of the churches are looking for church members. We want to find the halt, lame, blind, and sick. We want to find that person who does not know Jesus. We have the power to go out into the highways and byways and bring them in. This is what Jesus wants us to do. He has called us to walk with Jesus everyday so we can prosper spiritually, physically, mentally, and financially. Why? So that we can be a light unto the world. God wants us to shine at home, on the job, at school, and wherever we go. We have the power after the Holy Ghost is come upon us.
What are the instruments He is going to use? Spirit filled Christians. He says, “Ye shall be,” not angelic beings. He says, “Ye.”
If you are born of a human being you reflect human attributes and character. You breathe, see, hear, talk and move. Now that you have been born of God, you need to let that nature of God that you have partaken of shine forth out of you. You are an instrument that God has chosen. He could come down and do it Himself, but instead God has chosen to seek out men and women who will learn to walk with Him and move with Him so they can be witnesses unto Him. Many times you use the excuse that you cannot do it, that is what the Holy Ghost is for, you can do it.
I Corinthians 1:26-29 says, “For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called;” Notice He says not many. There are some. God does have some tremendously wise men. Paul was an intellectually great man. He studied under Gamaliel. He went to the schools that had the highest requirements in that day and time. But the rest of the Apostles were not that way. Why was that? God tells you here. (27)”But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty; (28)And base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are; (29)That no flesh should glory in his presence.”
He has chosen the foolish things of the world. What is more foolish to the world than speaking in tongues? And that is where the power comes from. The religious world today rejects speaking in tongues and that is why they have no power. They have to substitute an organization for it. They have to have boards and committees to try to make up for the lack of power. It is like having a motor in your car that will not run so you have to have about ten people push it.
There once was a preacher in a large full gospel church out west. Everyday about twelve o’clock he would leave his office and come back at two o’clock. They realized he was not going to lunch because he came back at two. After about a month of this, he got to the point where he was coming on with a lot of anointed teaching and stirring things up a little bit. So the deacons wanted to check up on him and make sure everything was alright. They wanted to see if he was doing something he should not be doing. So they started following him to see where he was going. He would drive up into the hills and sit down up there for about an hour and a half to two hours. Then he would get in his car and drive back. That was all he would do. He would just sit there.
After a few months of that, they went up to him and said, “Pastor, we love you and appreciate you, but we have been concerned. Well, to tell you the truth, we kind of followed you a little bit, we found out all you do is go up in the hills and sit there. We have looked down in the valley and cannot see anything, all we see is a train track. A train comes by and usually after the train has gone by, you get up and go back.”
The pastor looked at them and said, “It does me so much good just to see something that I do not have to push.”
One of the reasons the Charismatic Teaching Center blesses me so much is because it is moving and I do not have to push it. The Word of God is what is pushing it along. I praise God for that is a blessing. When you are trained in religion, you are taught to push. They say that if you do not push, and if you do not change the programs and keep some new ideas coming forth all the time, your church will fold up. But, praise God, if you just keep bringing forth the Word, the Word is going to do it.
Does God want you to really begin to be a witness? Does He want you to go to the nursing homes, jails and parks or knocking on doors? Seek Him and find out. You may say, “Well, Brother Willis, I do not believe God wants to do that.” Do not say anything until you have prayed and sought God about it. You will be a witness because that is your nature, you are a chosen instrument.
You may say, “Brother Willis, I am just not the kind that talks.” The Word says you can do all things through Jesus Christ who strengthens you. In the natural, we would look for someone who could really talk — someone who could really express himself. But God does not want that, the Word is going to have to do the work. You need to make a good impression, but the Word is the only thing that is going to get them. The ones who will be the best soul winners are the ones God puts it in their hearts that He wants them to do it.
I would recommend that you read,
You Shall Be, by Jimmy Maynor. That brother is a soul winner. He goes out into the highways and byways. God has given him a holy boldness. You may say, “I do not have that boldness.” It is not your boldness, it is the boldness of the Lion of Judah. The Lion is living in you, let Him loose. The Lion of Judah is Jesus Christ the Son of God. Let Him loose and you will have boldness.
As you let the Lord flow through you, you will be a better instrument. He said, “You shall be a witness.” Not all will be teachers, pastors, prophets, evangelists and apostles. Not all will operate in all the gifts of the Spirit, but all should be operating in at least one of the gifts of the Spirit. If you are not operating in one of the gifts of the Spirit, you are cheating yourself. Do not let the devil steal your blessings. Do not excuse yourself out of a gift. Seek God about it, start confessing, “God, I have surrendered to You, blow me around like the dust.”
Who are the instruments? We are. There will be a mighty move of God in these last days, God is preparing His army now. We have the opportunity to be a part of that army. He has given us the privilege of learning the full faith message. Do not slow up now, continue in His Word.
Let us talk a few minutes about preparation. First of all it must be your life. You must have the decision made to become Christ-like. You must let the Word of God do that work in your life. He is over-hauling your motor, daily. He will straighten things out and line them up. He has said, “Ye Shall Be.”
So, preparation is first of all dedication. Secondly, it must be knowledge.
II Timothy 2:15 says, “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” The reason why people cannot do more for God is because they have more of the world’s word in them than they have of God’s Word in them. If you have more of the world’s knowledge in your computer, that is what you will act upon. But when your mind is renewed by the Word of God, you will be transformed into the image of Christ.
He says to, “study to shew ourselves approved.” Success in any area is based upon knowledge. The more knowledge a man has about carpentry, the better carpenter he is. Painter, plumber, doctor, lawyer, engineer, or whatever, the more knowledge you have in that area, the more effective you will be. The more knowledge you have about the Word of God, the more effective you will be.
What is success in healing based upon? Your knowledge of the Word of God.
What is success in deliverance based upon? Your knowledge of the Word of God and the authority that is in the Name of Jesus.
In victory, prosperity, salvation for your loved ones and reconciliation of families, success is not dependent upon your natural knowledge. It is not in what the world has told you, or what society has taught you, but your success is based upon your knowledge of the Eternal Word of the Eternal God. When the knowledge of God begins to rise forth in you it will set you free from all the chains, fetters and bondages the world has been putting upon you since you were born.
You cannot expect to be used of God and not be marked. He said, “They persecuted Me. Do you think you are going to do like I did and get away with it?” When you follow Jesus you are at enmity with the world. They do not like you. They want you to get back in their boat. They want you to get back in their worry, hate, resentment, debt, credit, insurance, fear boat with them.
You know what the world thinks about me? Everywhere I go teaching the Word of God people think that I am a crazy nut. No medicine has been in my body for nearly six years. I do not have insurance. I have not worried in so long, I do not know how to worry. I do not have any bills, the car is paid for and my home is paid for and they say I am a nut and a crack-pot. “Poor Brother Willis, he has just lost his mind.” That is what we need to do, we need to lose it to Jesus.
Brothers and sisters, those that God used mightily always walked upstream as far as the world was concerned. If you walk upstream they are going to know where you stand. They are going to know who you are and who you serve. And as you stand upon the Word of God, He will bless you right in their faces. It will be hard for most of them to take, but some will look at it and say, “I have been looking for something. I have looked at churchanity. I have looked at religion, but there is nothing there. There is something different about that woman, there is something different about that man. The love, joy and peace are there, the victory is there.”
And the next thing you know, they will be wanting to find out what it is. When they ask, you can tell them, “It is because I have Jesus inside of me.”
Faith moves with the Word. You can only move with God as you move with the Word of God. There has to be a time of preparation. I know in my heart that God has been using this time of preparation for us to get the faith inside of us so that we can move out. We can claim boys and girls, men and women, Moms and Dads, and Uncle Johnny’s and Aunt Susie’s for Jesus Christ the Son of God. Then they can get a taste of what we are talking about. The world thinks we are mad because we try to tell them about Jesus and set them free from that mess out there.
We need preparation. It will not come all at once. But I guarantee you it will come as you stay with God. Keep confessing, “I am a son of God, I am an heir of God, I am a conqueror, not I live, but Christ lives in me. Christ in me, the hope of glory.” There is no blessing or joy like seeing God change people’s lives. When a dope addict is delivered from drugs, you know that only God could do that, you know that it was not by might nor by power, but by His Spirit. When you see people who have lived in fear, worry, confusion, tension, and tightness all their lives come to Jesus and in five or six months are walking around spouting Scripture, you know that they have had a touch from God. He is the only One who could do that. The world is full of hopeless people, and God wants us to take His Word to them. I tried to take it to them for years but I did not have what they needed. I did the best I could, I preached it, preached it, preached it. I would go out and witness and come back confused and frustrated, but now I have power and know that confusion and frustration are from the devil.
What is the plan?
Acts 1:8. This is the plan. “But ye shall receive power after the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and you shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost parts of the world.” We are to let our lights shine wherever we are. This is the plan. Luke 14:16-24 says, “Then said he unto him, A certain man made a great supper, and bade many: (17)And sent his servant at supper time to say to them that were bidden, Come; for all things are now ready. (18)And they all with one consent began to make excuse. The first said unto him, I have bought a piece of ground, and I must needs go and see to it: I pray thee have me excused. (19)And another said, “I have bought five yoke of oxen, and I go to prove them: I pray thee have me excused. (20)And another said, I have married a wife, and therefore I cannot come.”
Let me inject something here. A lot of you women are having babies. The next thing you know the devil will have you using that baby as an excuse for you not going to hear the Word of God. God will never give you something to take you away from hearing His Word. I am saying this to all women who have babies, do not let the devil cheat you out of your blessing. He will have you staying home when you ought to be hearing the Word, but the next night it will be pouring down rain and you will wrap that baby up and go visiting. I say this with love, sincerity and a rebuke if you want to receive it that way, but I am going on with God. It will cost you if you do not obey God, do not let the devil cheat you. God has given you something precious. He has saved you, filled you with the Holy Ghost, chosen you, called you and anointed you. The devil would steal it all from you if he could.
This is a serious thing, I am serious about it. I am serious about my joy, peace, health, prosperity and victory. I am serious about laying hands on people and seeing them get healed. I want it to stay that way and I know that it will because I am not going to let anything get in the way, that is what you have to do.
Let us go on to verse 21. “So that servant came, and shewed his lord these things. Then the master of the house being angry said to his servant, Go out quickly into the streets and lanes of the city, and bring in hither the poor, and the maimed, the halt, and the blind. (22)And the servant said, Lord, it is done as thou has commanded, and yet there is room, (23)And the lord said unto the servant, Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled. (24)For I say unto you, That none of those men which were bidden (or invited) shall taste of my supper.”
He said to go out into the highways and the byways bringing the halt, the lame, the blind, the sick, the frustrated, the confused, the poor, the rich; it does not make any difference who they are, they are all hungry for Jesus. They are searching and seeking, but don’t know where to find it.
What is the action?
James 1:22-25 says, “Be ye not hearers but doers of the Word.” You can hear it from now on out and dry up on the vine. You can hear it and hear it and hear it, and know it and know it and know it, and explain it and explain it and explain it until everybody knows all about it, but yet not be a doer. Until you get to the doing you will not get the blessings. It is like having the table spread with the biggest steak available and all the trimmings, but until you begin eating, it will do you no good. You must put the doing to it.
The action is useless without three things. There has to be the going.
James 2:26 says, “For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.” Faith without works is dead. Go back to your faith principles. Faith without action is dead. Brother Jimmy Maynor said, “A lot of people’s problem is not a witnessing problem, but a love problem.” The reason you cannot do the witnessing is because the love is not there. When you love, you will go to the far extremes.
I want to say that again. Most people’s problem is not a witness problem, but a love problem. When love is there, it will override all things. Do you really, really, really love? That is a good soul searching question. Love conquers all. Love for people will put you to learning faith, because you will want to see them healed. You will want to have the Word to give them to set them free. Concern and compassion for people will put you to learning how to walk in victory 365 days of the years like nothing else will. Love will keep you in the Word, because you know the Word is the only thing that is going to set them free.
I know that the only thing that will set you free and do you any good is learning the Word of God. God can flow it through me or through some other instrument. He can bring it through a cassette, a book or anything else, but the only thing that will set you free is the Word of God.
What God is looking for today is men and women who will give it all. They will leave all for Him. They will say, “Lord, my life is Your life.” As you begin to do this, you will get to the place where the only real joy in life is the things of God. The other things of the world begin to fade away. I know a lot of people think that I am an odd-ball. Vacations and etc. don’t mean anything to me anymore, nothing means anything. Once you get touched by the Master’s hand and start getting the Word inside of you, everything else begins to fade. I believe God is bringing us more and more to the place where only one thing is true in our life — our love of the Word of God.
I have found what I have been looking for. There had been a hunger in me all my life, ever since God spoke to me when I was 12 years old. I was going down a little road in Oakdale, Louisiana, and I started singing, “When the Lord gets ready, you have to move.” And God spoke to me. I knew then in my heart that He had called me to preach and proclaim the Word of God. From the time I was 12 until I was 30, I searched for it. Later I was baptized in the Holy Spirit and I found what I was looking for. It is not in the things of the world. It is in that personal, intimate relationship with Jesus Christ that gives you satisfaction down inside. Nothing else will do it. I have learned just enough about Jesus to know that I want more of Him. This is action. Knowledge is useless without the doing.
Then there has to be speaking. You must speak the Word, it is the Word that quickens.
I Peter 1:23-25 says, “Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever. (24)For all flesh is as grass, and all glory of man as the flower of grass. The grass withereth and the flower thereof falleth away: (25)But the word of the Lord endureth forever. And this is the word which by the gospel is preached unto you.” Read it again beginning with the 22nd verse. “Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit unto unfeigned love of the brethren, see that ye love one another with a pure heart fervently: (23)Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever.”
You have to speak the Word of God. That is where the power and anointing is. As God’s Word comes out of your lips, it comes forth out of your heart. That is where the anointing is and that is when the power of darkness will flee. That is when that man or woman will see the light and say, “I see, I see.” That is when the devil’s yoke is broken and they begin to comprehend that the God of the universe is real and that there is something beyond this world.
(24)”For all flesh is as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of grass. The grass withereth, and the flower thereof falleth away:” The only thing that is going to endure is the Word of God.
(25)”But the word of the Lord endureth for ever. And this is the word which by the gospel is preached unto you.”
So the actions are
going, speaking and enduring.
Hebrews 11:27 says, “…as seeing him who is invisible.” The Word has to be in you to such an extent that you can endure seeing the Word of God.
Hebrews 10:38-39 says, “Now the just shall live by faith: but if any man draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him. (39)But we are not of them who draw back unto perdition; but of them that believe to the saving of the soul.”
We are not of them that will draw back. We are going to hear and receive the call that God has for us and we are going to move on into it. We are talking about a promise of power to serve. We cannot do it in our own strength, but He has given unto us power, and we can do all things through Christ which strengthens us.
Decide today that you will follow Jesus all the way. Do not get part of the way and stop. The devil will try to stop you. You can get saved, baptized in the Holy Spirit, learn about healing, faith and deliverance, and he will stop you. But there is going to be a people who refuse to be stopped. They will not settle for anything less than the fullness that God has for them. They will not get distracted along the way, they will not settle for less. They will keep going on and on and on in the knowledge of the Word of God. As they begin to know Jesus in an intimate way, He is going to completely revolutionize their lives. They will become a peculiar people.
“How much more peculiar will we be?” I do not know. But as we become more like Jesus, the love will just be there for everyone. There will be nothing to shake or worry us because we will know that Jesus is with us and we have the victory. The problems will come, but we will just be rocking along saying, “God is in control, my God has a hold on everything. I have given my life to Him. He has promised to take care of me. He said He would do it and I believe Him. I am not going to let loose of my faith. I have decided to follow Jesus all the way.”