4 Ways the Holy Spirit Empowers Believers

The Holy Spirit empowers every believerIt wasn’t me. I swear I didn’t do it. I couldn’t have.

I simply responded to the inner voice that said, “Go!”

“Go!” So, I rushed to my friend’s side when she was injured, and her daughter was killed in a home explosion. I fielded calls of condolence, inquired re insurance coverage, managed meal deliveries, and hugged my broken friend gently but warmly.

My calm demeanor and clear head were not my own. God’s Spirit sustained me.

Another time the voice said, “You need to be there.” So, I shortened my vacation and spent several days in the hospital alongside my friend as her husband died.

My sturdy, comforting presence can only be explained as God’s Spirit in me.

These, along with other God-directives, became a ministry of walking alongside the grieving. It isn’t a ministry of my choosing, but God’s Spirit empowers me for it.

You will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you.
Acts 1:8

God poured the Holy Spirit into the disciples on Pentecost, which we celebrate this Sunday (Acts 2:1-13). We give the Spirit many names, Counselor, Comforter, Advocate, and Helper, but Jesus promises power.

It’s the same power that raised Jesus from the dead (Romans 6:4). Peter used it to heal a cripple (Acts 3:1-10) and Simon the Sorcerer tried to buy it (Acts 8:17-24).

4 ways the Holy Spirit empowers believers

The Spirit empowers us to accomplish things beyond our own abilities.

The Spirit enables people to achieve God’s purposes and face extraordinary challenges. Samson, with the Spirit’s strength, toppled a building (Judges 16:23-31). Moses confronted Pharoah (Exodus 5-12). Elijah challenged the prophets of Baal (1 Kings 18:16-46).

Since Pentecost, the Spirit dwells within every believer, always empowering the willing disciple.

When you believed in him… [you] were marked with the seal of the promised Holy Spirit.
Ephesians 1:13

Even if patience, kindness, forgiveness and the other fruits of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23) come naturally for you, we have limits. The Holy Spirit pushes us into unnatural and uncomfortable territory, like loving and forgiving our enemies. The Spirit empowers us to exhibit these qualities as His love rather than with begrudging obedience. We need His power.

The Holy Spirit empowers us to remember Jesus’ words.

We’ve heard and read scripture, but don’t always know what it means. Jesus promised to send the Spirit of truth to remind the disciples of His teachings and unveil their meaning.

[The Father] will give you… the Spirit of truth. You know him because he abides with you, and he will be in you. The Holy Spirit will teach you everything and remind you of all that I have said to you.
John 14:16-17, 26

The disciples who recorded Jesus’ words in the gospels did so with Holy Spirit memory and insight. Two thousand years later, the Holy Spirit helps us understand God’s written word. The Spirit reveals the meaning of Scripture the way Jesus would.

The Holy Spirit’s power within us enables life transformation.

Closely related, The Spirit enables us to resist the sinful passions of the flesh, as Scripture puts it, and align our hearts and minds with God’s will, to become more like Jesus.

Trying to resist ungodly impulses and act like Jesus with pure willpower yields temporary results. But God’s powerful Spirit transforms us from within to desire the things God desires.

The Holy Spirit empowers us to be witnesses of faith.

In His final words before ascending into heaven, Jesus instructed His followers to tell everyone about their experiences with Him.

But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”
Acts 1:8

Does talking about Jesus and how He transformed your life make you sweat? In New England, rather than talk openly about Jesus, we let our lives speak for us. I’m guilty. Though I’m immersed in ministry, I often remain quiet to avoid offending and/or positioning myself to defend my faith.

I preface personal God stories with, “You know me, I believe it’s God.” Not quite apologizing, I invite others to take it or leave it. Does this weaken the impact or peak curiosity?

The beauty is that if we allow the Holy Spirit to direct our conversations,
He empowers us to share, providing opportunity, words, and courage.

The Holy Spirit provides words when we have none. Our speechlessness creates an empty vessel through which God pours His wisdom. Have you ever said something appropriately astute and thought “where did that come from?”

When they hand you over [to governors and kings], do not worry about how you are to speak or what you are to say, for what you are to say will be given to you at that time, for it is not you who speak, but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you.
Matthew 10:19-20

God’s powerful Spirit resides in you.
Do you need to rekindle the gift?

God did not give us a spirit of cowardice
but rather a spirit of power and of love and of self-discipline.
2 Timothy 1:6-7

Dig deeper:

Our faith has explosive power from the Spirit. We can cooperate with the Spirit in being transformed into Christ’s image using these 5 practical steps.
If you’re curious, another of God’s directives to me occurred in the garden.

#seedsofscripture #readthebiblebetter #biblestudy #Christinme #transformed #betransformed #transformedlife #sanctified #sanctification #Godswill


  1. Marilyn Nutter on May 17, 2024 at 5:26 AM

    This is an excellent post to guide and affirm.

    • CathyChung on May 17, 2024 at 9:35 AM

      Thanks Marilyn! I think we forget about the power in us to do God’s work and go it alone.

  2. Barbara Latta on May 17, 2024 at 6:07 AM

    Beautifully said, Cathy. Thanks for sharing!

    • CathyChung on May 17, 2024 at 9:36 AM

      Thank you Barbara! I know you’re using God’s guiding power to do your writing.

  3. Tayne on May 23, 2024 at 8:34 AM

    Cathy, I love your reminder for me to allow the Holy Spirit to direct my conversations…it has been my daily prayer. Grateful for you!

    • CathyChung on May 23, 2024 at 9:34 AM

      Listening with the 3rd person in the room. Thanks for engaging Tayne.

  4. J.D. Wininger on May 29, 2024 at 3:39 PM

    Amen ms. Cathy. It isn’t what we do, but what the Holy Spirit can do through us when we allow Him free reign in our lives of obedience. Great post ma’am.

    • CathyChung on May 30, 2024 at 5:48 AM

      You got it J.D. We’re just a vessel for the Spirit’s use – when we’re willing and stop taking control!

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