The good news of the gospel is for the poor. The "poor" does not refer to people who do not have material possessions, but to those who recognize their need for God.
As we can understand from the passage in Luke 4, the healing that the Holy Spirit came to set up inside us is not limited to physical distresses. He came to bring divine help to the mind, to the will, to the emotions—to any part of us that has been injured or bruised.
In whatever way we are lame or crippled--physically, mentally or emotionally—He has come to bring divine enablement. We do not need to wallow in self-pity over our emotional hurts or use the past as an excuse for present failure.
We hear the cry so often today, "I was abused." Though it is true that many have suffered deeply from traumatic experiences, it is equally true that the Holy Spirit came to bring healing. If, as Christians, we haven't experienced His healing in certain areas of our lives, is it not that we haven't allowed Him to do that healing work in us? We need to find a place of forgiveness and yieldedness to His love and power that will free us from the effects of our past.
You may ask me, "Have you ever been hurt or rejected or abused?" Of course I have. "Have you ever had anybody do something to make you bitter?" Of course I have. But I did not have to succumb to bitterness and other negative strongholds, for I discovered Somebody living in me who can handle it.
I have been given grace to forgive, and that becomes my key to the healing of my hurt. The healing of the Holy Spirit is for even the deepest pain: bruisings, batterings, broken hearts. He came to make us whole, not only in our bodies, but in our psyches and emotions as well. Though we are powerless to heal ourselves, the Holy Spirit brings healing by His divine power.
A Place of Soul-Winning and Missionary Zeal
The Holy Spirit comes to set up a zeal in our hearts for winning the lost to Christ. Jesus promised the disciples, "But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me" (Acts 1:8).
One of the sure proofs that He has come to our hearts is that we become witnesses. Where do we begin to be witnesses? Jesus said we begin in our Jerusalem, the place where we live—in other words, our home base.
Your world is where you personally touch lives. The zeal and power to witness to your world is evidence that the Holy Spirit has come. It is the Holy Spirit's business to win the world to Jesus.
Jesus commissioned His disciples to go to all the world. A Spirit-led life will have that mandate. A Spirit-led church has the same mandate to go into all the world with the gospel. Where the Holy Spirit is working, He is working to bring souls of men to Jesus.
A Place Where Strongholds of Satan Are Conquered
Conquering strongholds is different from gaining victory over sin. I know that some say the church is not to be militant, that we are to be lovers of the Lamb, cultivating a relationship with our heavenly Bridegroom.
I agree with them that we are to be in love with Jesus, but I disagree with the extreme of saying we are never to be involved in spiritual warfare. God gave the church the power over Satan. He deputized us, equipped us, and sent us out with authority over devils and diseases.
The church is learning both to worship the Lamb and to do warfare—not by our power, but by the power of the Spirit. It is God who pulls down strongholds, but He has to do it through the church. If we can stand against the enemy with vessels that are clean and release the Holy Spirit in us, He will pull down the strongholds of the enemy.
In the 1500s, the queen of England said she feared the prayers of John Knox more than she feared the whole enemy's army. He was a man of God who knew God's power over the enemy.
What does the enemy think of us? The church is not a weak, passive, defeated group of people. The church is the body of Christ anointed by the power of the Holy Spirit to preach the gospel to the poor, to set the captives free and to tear down strongholds. The Holy Spirit gives us authority to take back what the devil stole.
A Place Where Backsliding Can Be Removed
The Holy Spirit comes into our lives to bring restoration to our souls. Everything the enemy has perpetrated against the human race, God has purposed to restore.
Jesus came to undo, outdo and overdo everything the devil ever did. The Holy Spirit is restoring us to relationship with God the Father and God the Son, teaching us to walk with Him in obedience and to enjoy the kingdom of God in righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost.
These are the wonderful purposes of the Holy Spirit in coming to redeem a life from the power of sin. As He accomplishes them, we begin to walk more fully in the Spirit and to live in such a way as to fulfill the unique plan God has for each of us.
Fuchsia Pickett was a noted Bible teacher and author of numerous books, including Receiving Divine Revelation and Presenting the Holy Spirit, from which this article is adapted.
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