1 Corinthians 4:19-20
“But I will come to you shortly, if the Lord will, and will know, not the speech of them which are puffed up, but the power. For the kingdom of God is not in word, but in power.”
The Christian walk is not one that can be done in the power of the flesh, but it must be done in the power of the Holy Spirit. Because the Christian walk is a spiritual warfare, it takes God’s power to make it through without being harmed by the wiles of the Devil. Paul made it clear in the verse above that “the kingdom of God is not in word, but in power.” You will never succeed in the Christian walk by what you know, but through the power of God. In 1 Corinthians, you will find five things for which you will need the power of God.
First, you need the power of God if you want God to use you to change lives. 1 Corinthians 1:18 says, “For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God.” Preaching the Gospel in human power always produces a powerless Gospel, but it becomes a life-changing message when preached in the power of the Holy Spirit. You can spread the Gospel in your own power and fail, or you can be empowered by the Holy Spirit and see the Spirit of God work in the hearts of the sinner.
Second, you need the power of God if you want power in preaching. 1 Corinthians 2:4 shows the preacher the importance of being empowered by the Holy Spirit. The greatest need in the pulpit today is not intellect, power points or smooth words, but the greatest need is Holy Spirit filled preachers. The message of the Spirit-filled preacher will do more in the hearts of people than any power point or intellectually laced words will every do in an individual’s heart.
Third, you need the power of God if you want power to stand in the faith. 1 Corinthians 2:5 says, “That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God.” My friend, you will never withstand the onslaught of the enemy without the power of the Holy Spirit. The greatest reason men compromise today is because they are working in their own power instead of the power of the Holy Ghost.
Fourth, you need the power of God if you want to influence lives for good. In the verses above, Paul didn’t influence people with his speech, but he influenced them through the power of the Holy Spirit. You can change your delivery, methods, and increase your wisdom, but you will never influence people for God the way you should without the power of the Holy Spirit. Influencing lives can only be done through the heart, and only the power of the Holy Spirit can work on the heart. If you don’t want your efforts to be wasted, you better be Spirit-filled every moment of the day.
Fifth, you need the power of God to overcome the flesh. 1 Corinthians 6:12 shows that the only way you will not be brought under the power of the flesh is by being filled with the Spirit of God. My friend, you will not have victory over sin and the flesh through your own power, but only a Spirit-filled believer will have the power to conquer the flesh.
Are you trying to do spiritual matters in your own power and intellect? You will miserably fail if you try to do a spiritual work in your flesh. Your greatest need is to be empowered by the Holy Spirit. Stop looking for answers in other areas and realize the answer lives inside you. The answer is to let the Holy Spirit totally control and fill you to do the LORD’s work.