Airstrikes are often the first method of attack in war. Ground troops move in afterwards to clean up and try to restore order.
“You are witnesses of these things. And behold, I am sending the promise of my Father upon you. But stay in the city until you are clothed with power from on high.” Luke 24:48-49
Jesus is telling the ground troops to wait for air support before going on the mission He has given them: the Great Commission.
The Holy Spirit is the air support promised by the Father that will enable them to accomplish their mission.
It would be foolish to bypass airstrikes during a war and just go out on your own. It would be just as absurd to embark on the Great Commission without waiting on the support of the Holy Spirit.
Why? Because He brings the power that we do not have on our own and that we NEED to accomplish the mission God has for us.
Let’s look at scriptures that point to this promise:
"And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, to be with you forever, even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, for he dwells with you and will be in you. "I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you." John 14:16-18
"Nevertheless, I tell you the truth: it is to your advantage that I go away, for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you. But if I go, I will send him to you." John 16:7
"But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth." And when he had said these things, as they were looking on, he was lifted up, and a cloud took him out of their sight." Acts 1:8-9
You will receive Power! TO BE MY WITNESSES!!
The Holy Spirit does not exist so we can marvel at His power. Bombs dropped in airstrikes make awesome explosions, but that's not why they exist. They're dropped to destroy the enemy and assist the troops on the ground.
The Holy Spirit does not only exist for our blessing. He has come to give us power to destroy the enemy and empower us to do His mission!
All the gifts released on Pentecost were for the fulfilling of the Great Commission. The wonderful gifts of the Spirit are a means to an end. The greatest gift is love — the ability to affect men and women’s hearts to receive Christ.
In the same way we've been given this ability, by the power of the Holy Spirit, to impress on people's hearts that Jesus is Lord. That Jesus loves them and that they were created to receive Life from Him. This can only happen when you are empowered by the Spirit.
Many of us jump right into the work of the Great Commission once we become Christians. Yet, like the disciples just after the resurrection, we have not been clothed with power from on high. So we make great efforts on our own without taking the time to pray and wait until we are clothed with power from the Spirit. When we receive this power, we become aware of our specific calling and are given the ability to do what we've been called to do.
Slow down and start waiting! Only when you are empowered by the Holy Spirit will you be able to accomplish the mission God has called you to.