Power: the capability of doing or accomplishing something; strength, might or force; the possession of control or command over something or someone; authority. If you have ever been in the midst of a terrible wind or lightning storm and had your power go off for a while, you know the helplessness of being caught in the total darkness in an unsettling time. Imagine what it would be like to live this way all the time. Nobody wants to live powerless. We all want to be able to exercise some element of power in our lives - even in the times of terrible storm and feelings of helplessness. Why do you think we light the candle in the darkness? It doesn't illuminate much and it won't dispel the storm, but it gives us enough sense of "power" over the darkness to help us navigate the storm!
But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you... (Acts 1:8 NLT)
In life, we find many things "drive" us, but few energize, refresh, and restore like having the power of the Holy Spirit within. In fact, everything else just pales to his power. Jesus is about to leave his disciples - he has been on the cross, in the grave, now resurrected and having spent the last several weeks with them - he is now ready to ascend into heaven to sit at the right hand of his Father God. Before he goes, one last order of business must be accomplished - he is about to send the Holy Spirit to indwell his followers - to give them power from on high. To this end, he calls attention to their burning question about when the "kingdom" would be restored. They were referring to the Kingdom of Israel - the ability for Israel to finally be out from under the reign of the Romans and every other form of government which had kept it under its oppression for years. To this point in time, they still did not recognize the "kingdom" was Christ himself. No other "government" mattered for he was the one they awaited and he was the one who "set things right" in their lives - not some earthly ruler.
I think we are sort of like these disciples - right up to the very last minute, we are asking questions, seeking to get our "perception" validated. We just don't understand the full picture - but what we see "in part" we are holding onto and we hope for a "bigger picture" understanding some day. Jesus told us the way to the "bigger picture" understanding is really in listening and responding to the leading of the Holy Spirit - the one who brings power into the midst of the darkest places of our lives! Power which brings the capability and the capacity to do things outside of our understanding. Power to exercise authority over the toughest and most resistive of forces. Power to loose and be loosed. Power to bind and never be bound again. I believe we live with only a "trickle" of power within - falling way short of the potential we have through the power of the Holy Spirit. It is like living in candlelight once the power has been turned back on - just because we never turn the switch back on!
Here's a hard truth - you did not begin this life by your own "power" or "effort". Even the forces of labor are not the baby's doing - it is the body of the mother working to birth the infant, not the kicking, pushing, and tugging of the baby! Why then do we expect to live out this life under our own power? Hmmm...does that give you a moment of pause? It should! We "unplug" from one life source (the umbilical cord) and plug into another (the breast or bottle). Even when we are capable of walking to the refrigerator on our own to obtain the milk, we still needed something else to have produced the milk! We focus so much on "developing independence", forgetting all the while we really are dependent on something outside of our own power! The toughest thing for us to learn in this spiritual walk is the power of dependence. It is the reliance upon the Holy Spirit's teaching, guidance and protection which gives us the ability to stand strong. We "plug into" what God gives us as our source of "power" in this life and we will grow like there is no tomorrow!
Looking again at our definition of power, we see it is both the capability and the capacity to live life at its fullest. The disciples focused on the "authority" of "rulership". They didn't have it all wrong - for the greatest "power" is recognized when the "right" rulership is attained! Whatever "rules" your heart determines your course. Whatever "rules" your choices determines your outcome. We often live trying to "obtain" power - all the while forgetting power is something supplied, not obtained! We don't generate it - we just tap into it! Much has been "supplied" for our use in this life - what we choose to do with it is left to us! Just sayin!