"I am going to send you what my Father has promised; but stay in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high" (Luke 24:49)
Shortly before Christ was received up into heaven He gave a definitive command that His disciples should not undertake the work to which He had called them to do until they had received the all-necessary baptism with the Holy Spirit. These men had already received very thorough preparation for the work at hand. They had taken more than a three-year course in the best theological seminary that ever existed upon earth, and in which, out Lord was the sole but all-sufficient Teacher. They had been eyewitnesses of His miracles, His death, His resurrection from the dead, and they were about to be eyewitnesses of His ascension. The work before them was simply to go and tell a perishing world what their own eyes had seen and what their own ears had heard from the lips of the Son of God.
Were they not fully prepared? It would seem so to us. But Christ said, "No, you are so utterly unprepared you must sit down until you are clothed with power from on high for that service. When you receive the baptism with the Holy Spirit - and not until then - you will be prepared for this work"! If Christ did not permit these men, who had received a definite and clear calling - if they were withheld from this work without receiving the Spirit, what is it for us to undertake the work to which He has called us until we have received the same?
But this is not all. In Acts 10:38 we read "how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and power, and how he went around doing good and healing all who were under the power of the devil." When we look into the Gospels for an explanation of these words, we find in Luke 3:21 - 4:21 that Jesus' entire ministry was filled with the Holy Spirit. If Jesus Christ, who was divine, very God of very God and yet truly man, did not venture upon the ministry for which the Father had sent Him until thus baptized with the Holy Spirit, what is it for us to dare to do it?!
Lord Jesus, if You needed the fullness of the Holy Spirit in Your life, how much more do I? If the disciples were not prepared for the work to which You had called them, how much less am I? I humbly bow to You with an open heart for serving You. Amen
~R. A. Torrey~