“I’ve searched all the parks in all the cities and found no statues of committees.” —G.K. Chesterton
It’s true that no statues have been erected to committees or groups, but groups of people have been allowed to stand up because just one strong leader stood up for them. And history has shown that never has been a greater servant leader—lifting and rescuing more people than we can count—than Jesus of Nazareth.
Before He ascended back to heaven Jesus said to His followers, “As the Father has sent Me, I am sending you” (John 20:21). He has called us to stand up as His representatives in the world. Jesus didn’t send His followers out under their own power, but He directed them to first be empowered by the Holy Spirit (Acts 1:7-8).
Last week I shared how Hannah’s persistence in prayer led to a revival in Israel. Hannah’s physical barrenness was a picture of Israel’s spiritual barrenness. When Hannah prayed, we read a key phrase: Hannah stood up (1 Samuel 1:9). She was really saying, “God do something IN me that will turn people to You!”
And God literally did something IN her: she became pregnant, and the son that came from her was the spiritual leader Israel needed.
New Testament Christians can have a new life conceived IN them when they are baptized IN the Holy Spirit. They can then spiritually give birth to a revival, just as surely as Hannah’s son Samuel led a revival in Israel! Being baptized IN the Holy Spirit empowers us to be stand-up Christians.
Consider the disciple Peter. On the night Jesus was arrested, Peter couldn’t stand up for Jesus, even though it was just two little servant girls who confronted him. Then Pentecost Sunday came, Peter was baptized IN the Holy Spirit, and this Spirit-empowered man now became a stand-up Christian (Matthew 26:69-72; Acts 2:1-4, 14).
As Aimee Semple McPherson noted, “The Holy Spirit, when He endues you with power, puts a real ‘stand up for Jesus spirit’ within you, and removes your cowardice.”
Peter not only stood up before a questioning crowd, he stood up to the same religious leaders who had Jesus crucified, and he stood up for the Gentiles who became Christians (Acts 4:5-10; 15:6-11).
In Peter’s first letter to the Church, he explained how Spirit-baptized Christians could…
- stand up joyfully in trials (1:6-9; 4:7, 12-19)
- stand up for holiness in a wicked culture (1:13-16; 2:11-12)
- stand up to be able to submit to and serve those in civic government positions (2:13-17)
- stand up to serve your employer (2:18)
- stand up like Jesus did to the people who revile and slander you (2:19-25)
- stand up for your spouse’s salvation (3:1-7)
- stand up for your Church family (3:8-12)
- stand up to fear (3:13-14)
- stand up to give testimony to your faith in Jesus (3:15-17)
- stand up to live counter-culturally (4:1-6)
- stand up for the shepherds and the sheep in God’s family (5:1-5)
- stand up to anxiety (5:6-7)
- stand up against the devil’s growling (5:8-11)
- stand up for Jesus until the very end of life or until Jesus returns (5:12-14)
All of this from a man who couldn’t stand up to a little servant girl!
That’s why I’ve said it before and I’ll keep on saying it—Don’t stop at salvation! There is SO MUCH MORE for those who will receive the baptism IN the Holy Spirit. If you want to stand up for Jesus and stand up for others who are being pushed around by the devil, you must be empowered with the stand-up-for-Jesus spirit that only comes from the Holy Spirit.
Will you let the Holy Spirit put that stand-up spirit in you?
If you have missed any of the other messages in this series, please click here to access them.