Despite knowing that the electricity wasn’t working in our house after a strong storm, an inconveniently common occurrence in our neighborhood, I instinctively flipped on the light switch when I entered the room. Of course, nothing happened. I was still enveloped in darkness.
That experience—expecting light even when I knew the connection to the power source was broken—vividly reminded me of a spiritual truth. Too often we expect power, even as we fail to rely on the Spirit.
In 1 Thessalonians, Paul wrote of the way God caused the gospel message to come “not simply with words but also with power, with the Holy Spirit and deep conviction” (1:5). And when we accept God’s forgiveness, believers too have immediate access to the power of His Spirit in our lives. That power cultivates in us characteristics such as love, joy, peace, and patience (Galatians 5:22–23) and it empowers us with gifts to serve the church, including service, teaching, and mercy (1 Corinthians 12:28).
Paul warned his readers that it’s possible to “quench the spirit” (1 Thessalonians 5:19). We might restrict the power of the Spirit by ignoring God’s presence or rejecting His conviction (John 16:8). But we don’t have to live disconnected. God’s power is always available to His children.