What Is Holy Spirit Power?

When the apostles gained Holy Spirit power, everything about their ministry changed. What might happen if we sought that kind of power?

Contributing Writer
Updated Mar 21, 2023
What Is Holy Spirit Power?

“But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” (Acts 1:8)

The last thing Jesus said to his disciples before he was taken to heaven was about the power of the Holy Spirit. In just a little while, they would experience this Holy Spirit power come upon them even though they did not know what would happen. What is this Holy Spirit power? What is the role the Holy Spirit plays in your life? I know for some, the work of the Holy Spirit is a mystery. But you must understand the Holy Spirit’s role in your life because he is the essential element to your Christian walk.

5 Reasons You Need the Holy Spirit Power in Your Life

If you are a believer, you have the Holy Spirit within you. However, you can spend years trying to do everyone on your own strength, ignoring what it has to offer. When you learn to rely on Holy Spirit power, you discover things you absolutely need.

1. Holy Spirit power is necessary to witness

When Jesus made his last statement to his disciples about the Holy Spirit, he mentioned that they would become his witnesses because of the Holy Spirit’s power. This was a shocking statement—after all, before Jesus died, they had all deserted him. I know Peter usually gets pointed out as the one who deserted Jesus, but they all did (go read Mark 14). They could not stand because they did not have the Holy Spirit’s power present in their life. But what a difference the Holy Spirit makes.

Shortly after this time, in Acts 2, we see the day of Pentecost when Jesus’ words were fulfilled. The disciples were never the same again. These men and women who ran from authority now had a newfound boldness and could stand courageously in the face of opposition and proclaim the gospel. Not only were they bold witnesses. They could confound the wisest of men, even though many of them lacked education. They could do this because they had not only the Holy Spirit’s power but also his wisdom.

2. Holy Spirit power helps you to overcome sin

“So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh.” (Galatians 5:16)

In your own strength, you cannot overcome the power of sin in your life. Here’s the good news. You don’t have to. God has given you the Holy Spirit to strengthen you and give you the resolve to overcome sin’s influence and pull in your life.

One way he does this is by changing your appetites. As you draw nearer to God and allow his Spirit to work deeper in your life, he moves you away from certain things. Have you ever noticed how there are things in your life you used to do that you have no desire to do anymore? That is the Holy Spirit’s power at work in your life.

When the Holy Spirit’s power is at work in your life, he will either remove the desire or give you the ability to overcome the temptation. For example, say you are dating and struggling with sexual temptation. It is quite natural that a man and woman in a dating relationship will desire each other. If you want to honor God in your relationship, he will not remove the sexual desire for the person you are dating (and you don’t want him; those desires will be necessary if you get married). However, by the power of the Holy Spirit, he can give you the ability to control that desire so you exercise it in a way that is pleasing to him.  

3. Holy Spirit power changes your character

One of the greatest evidences of the Holy Spirit’s power being at work is when he changes your character.

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.” (Galatians 5:22-23)

When you let the Holy Spirit work in you, he will reform and reshape your character. Suddenly, how he responds will become the way you respond. Instead of anger, you will have peace. Instead of being impatient and rude, you will be kind. When the person who gets on your last nerve comes around, you will exercise patience. This is the power of the Holy Spirit at work in your life, molding and shaping your character.

4. Holy Spirit power leads you into all truth

“But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth.” (John 16:13)

Another aspect of the Holy Spirit’s power working in your life is his ability to help you discern the truth. This becomes so important when studying Scripture and listening to people teaching about God. You may not recognize this, but the Holy Spirit is your greatest asset in studying the Bible. He is the one who can unravel any of the mysteries of scripture, especially because he is the author of the book. 

However, let’s take it to another level. With the abundance of voices in the marketplace, especially because of social media, how can you tell who is speaking the truth or not? One way is by the discernment that comes from the Holy Spirit. He can inform you when something seems off or is not right. This is not only true of teaching, but in any situation. 

Years ago, I went to hear this very popular preacher promoting a unique move of the Holy Spirit in his services. This movement caught the attention of many, and since he was coming to my area and I was curious, I went to see for myself. All I can say is when I walked into the church, my spiritual antennas went off. I could sense a spirit in the room, but I also knew it wasn’t the Holy Spirit. One reason I knew is that the activities in that room did not align with anything in the Bible, and the Holy Spirit made me aware. I stayed for a while, but eventually, I left because the things happening in the service grieved my spirit.

God does not reserve discernment and leading into all truth for special people. This is available to all believers. If you are in Christ, you have the same Holy Spirit living in you, and he can empower you to know the difference between what is truth and what is not. 

5. Holy Spirit power helps you to pray.

“In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans.” (Romans 8:26)

The last thing to emphasize in this article is the Holy Spirit helps you to pray. When you pray with the Holy Spirit’s power, you can pray exactly what needs to be prayed. Has there ever been a time in your life when someone prayed for you, or you prayed for someone else, and everything you prayed aligned with what you or that person were going through? Even more amazing is you never told them what to pray for. This happens because of the Holy Spirit’s power to aid in prayer. Sometimes you don’t know what or how to pray. In these moments, you can depend on the Holy Spirit, who will help you.

Plug into the Holy Spirit’s Power

The best thing about the Holy Spirit is knowing you don’t have to do this yourself. You don’t have to witness, pray, or even live this Christian life with your own strength. You can depend on the Holy Spirit’s power.

We can activate the amazing capabilities of electronic devices by plugging them into a power socket. The Holy Spirit is your power socket. Jesus gave you the Spirit so you can access his power because you can’t do anything without him. The Holy Spirit has the power to help you, but you must decide to plug into his power. 

If you are not doing so, seek to be filled with more of the Holy Spirit in your life. Give him more access; watch how your life will change when you do. The same promise Jesus made in Acts still holds true today. Men and women full of the Holy Spirit will be filled with power and will be Jesus’ witnesses to all the ends of the earth. You can be one of those too.

Photo Credit: ©iStock/Getty Images Plus/Lyndon Stratford


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