When I was just a little bitty thing, the church my father served used to take suggestions for the congregational hymns during Sunday services. Sometimes I would work up the nerve to raise my hand, sit up tall on the wooden pew I occupied, and request my favorite, “Power In The Blood.” The older people in attendance always got a kick out of this request from a toddler, and they would sing it out fervently for me. I vividly remember how their unified voices witnessed to my young heart.
The words of the song declare that the power in the blood of Jesus can free us from sin, triumph over evil, and equip us for service. The believers in that little country church sang out in confidence from their individual experiences of that power. Even as young as I was, I knew I wanted what they had. I wanted to be connected to a force that made people sing like that.
Acts 1:8 tells us that when the Holy Spirit comes upon us, we will receive power. The Greek word for power means a moral power or excellence of soul. It is emotional strength and stability that lives within us because God puts it in us. And the power of the Holy Spirit coursing through our veins is victorious over sin, death, fear, and hate. It is stronger than anything we face. We can do whatever He calls us to in that power.
It seems like the smallest thing now, but I still remember how nervous I would get before making my song request. Would I say the right thing? Would the grown-ups laugh at me? Maybe. But I also remember knowing I didn’t want to go home, having missed the opportunity to experience everyone singing “my” song together. So many Sundays, I would dig deep, find the courage, and speak up.
My feelings around stepping out in obedience haven’t changed all that much in the four-plus decades since then. I still get nervous and oversensitive to what others might say or do. At times, I’ve even let those worries keep me still and silent. But I have learned, and I am still learning, that the power of the Holy Spirit is greater than any concern I may entertain. Romans 8 tells us that the same Spirit of God, who raised Jesus from the dead lives in us. Anything He calls us to, He will empower us to achieve.
That church may have gotten tired of singing “Power In The Blood” week after week at the request of the preacher’s little girl. But then again, maybe not. Maybe they knew how much the power meant to them, how much it could mean to me, and how much they wanted to pass it on.
This post is chapter 5/5 of church words – POWER