Real Power


Acts 8:18-24
Now when Simon saw that the Spirit was given through the laying on of the apostles’ hands, he offered them money, saying, “Give me also this power so that anyone on whom I lay my hands may receive the Holy Spirit.” But Peter said to him, “May your silver perish with you, because you thought you could obtain God’s gift with money! You have no part or share in this, for your heart is not right before God. Repent therefore of this wickedness of yours, and pray to the Lord that, if possible, the intent of your heart may be forgiven you. For I see that you are in the gall of bitterness and the chains of wickedness.” Simon answered, “Pray for me to the Lord, that nothing of what you have said may happen to me.”


Simon was “wowed” by what he saw. The power of the Holy Spirit was like nothing he had ever experienced. Seeing the business potential in this power, he wanted to know how he could get a cut of the action. 

Peter was honest with Simon and pointed out the selfish and evil motivation behind his request. What Simon didn’t understand was that the power was meant to point toward Christ. Peter looked beyond the request and saw Simon’s heart, and there he saw bitterness and wickedness. If Simon had power, he would misuse it, hurting others. In that moment the man was broken and his cries revealed the condition of his heart. 


This man, Simon, was used to playing games with what appeared to be power. Sometimes we just play tricks in our spiritual lives, with what appears to be power. Simon didn’t know real power, and we may be missing out on real power as well. 

The promise of the Holy Spirit is for real and genuine power for spiritual living in the life of a believer. However, for us to experience this real power, there must be space for the Holy Spirit in our lives. When we fill our lives with a half-hearted commitment to follow Jesus, we will be tempted to try and stir up power. Maybe we do that through music, or listening to an energetic sermon. Then, when the worship service  doesn’t give us that little “boost” of energy, we blame things on the church. Little do we realize that the problem is that we are not experiencing real power. 

The real power of the Spirit is a gift from God to all of those who are genuinely seeking. When we begin to walk in Spirit power, we will discover that we live life differently; our lives are transformed, our motivations shifted, and the kingdom work becomes new. What was once a burden becomes a joy, empowered by the presence of the Holy Spirit. 


Lord, search my heart and help me to live bathed in your presence. Amen. 


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