A Local Resource that Works for Everyone
After spending time with his disciples and knowing he would be departing the earth soon, Jesus spent some serious moments with his disciples. He needed to pass them the baton of making disciples of all nations (Matthew 28:18-20). In light of this astounding responsibility, what kind of resources did Jesus provide the disciples? He left them with only one resource — the Holy Spirit.
Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift my Father promised, which you have heard me speak about. For John baptized with water, but in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit (Acts 1:4-5).
But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth. After he said this, he was taken up before their very eyes, and a cloud hid him from their sight (Acts 1:8-9).
That is all! Jesus left them with the Holy Spirit. He didn’t supply them with funds, donor lists, buildings, property, equipment, and projects. Rather, Jesus gave the disciples the one resource that would never fail them and always produced results. The book of Acts is an account of such amazing impacts.
You see, together the Holy Spirit and his work are the only resource that is local and accessible for everyone. Whether rich or poor, male or female, young or old, businessperson or farmer, city dweller or country dweller, college graduate or apprentice, all have equal access to the Holy Spirit and His power.
When Christians depart from their home countries and implement their cross-cultural work with heaps of foreign funding and material goods, they introduce resources that are not readily available for everyone, thus placing the Great Commission work in the hands of a few instead of in the hands of all. In the USA, we emphatically promote equal opportunity, but then proceed to implement a model of missions that is not reproducible for everyone. The Holy Spirit and His power fulfills “equal opportunity” because the Holy Spirit gives power to everyone without creating economic barriers.
Maybe like you, I have been taught to rely more on scientific and materialistic resources than on the Holy Spirit. It is those resources that we then tend to knowingly or unknowingly encourage the rest of the world to rely on for the Great Commission assignment. Jesus believed the Holy Spirit was adequate for the disciples and their mission work to the ends of the earth, and so it should be with us in the 21st century, as well. I believe it would benefit us greatly to evaluate our mission strategies and ensure that we are not overshadowing the one resource that is equal and available to all — the Holy Spirit and his work. Remember, the Holy Spirit is a local resource, because anyone can draw upon Him in any setting.