What’s different between following Jesus before and after His resurrection? Our impression may be that the disciples had it easy. They had Jesus right there in front of them,in the flesh. They had tangible access to the Son of God. Surely, it’s tougher for you and me to follow an unseen Jesus today.
But if that is true, then we would expect to see a major shift in the disciples’ ability to follow after Jesus ascends to heaven. But in fact, we see that the shift goes in the other direction. Instead of finding it harder to follow an unseen Savior, Jesus’ followers found it easier more natural to follow Him after He was gone. What on earth made the difference? The Holy Spirit.
The third person of the Trinity is promised by Jesus to dwell and take permanent residence in the lives of God’s people (Jn 7:37-39). It was to the advantage of God’s people that Jesus be away from them so that the Spirit can come and be the advocate for their lives (Jn 16:7-8).
Since the Day of Pentecost in the Book of Acts chapter two, the presence of the Sprit descends into the lives of believers, living in and through them. He seals us with His presence. He is no longer a guest. He indwells in our lives as a Comforter, Healer and Advocate. He works from within, motivating and convicting us from the inside out. He has an internal ministry in the lives of believers. He is actively working to change, mold and shape lives so that those who obeys willingly can become more like Jesus.
When the Holy Spirit works in us, He influences us to speak boldly and Biblically. He generates our spoken words that we would speak with courage and boldness, in line with the truth of God, and in the manner of His love. The Spirit also regenerates soul. Where the Spirit of God fills people, people come to faith in Christ. You can trace these two powerful works of the Spirit in the entire book of Acts – and it is still applicable to us today.
But if we want to have the same effectiveness as the early believers, we need to apply three simple but important steps: First, we are to be filled by the Holy Spirit (Acts 4:31), Secondly, be truthful with Him (Acts 5:3) and third, do not resist the Holy Spirit (Acts 7:51-53). Would you take these three steps today as an act of faith as the Spirit is now at work in your life?