But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you. (Acts 1:8)

I HAD NO IDEA when I decided to refinish my deck last summer what a huge job it would be. Because the old finish was peeling off, I thought a pressure washer would easily remove what was left. Not so! A salesman recommended I use a chemical stripper. Big mistake! I rented a drum sander, thinking it would do the job, but in some spots the old finish was stuck to the deck like epoxy. Other places the drum sander chewed into the wood, leaving a rough finish. Finally I ended up down on the deck using a mouse sander and a hand tool to smooth the deck and remove the last of the old finish. It took stubborn determination and five days to complete the job.

The deck fiasco reminds me of times in my walk with the Lord when I’ve allowed my Crusader Rabbit personality to run ahead of Him. I’ve said yes to things He didn’t call me to do. My “finish what you start” work ethic got the task done but in my own strength—not His.

The early Christians could not have been His witnesses in Jerusalem much less in Judea, Samaria, and to the ends of the earth without the power of the Holy Spirit. If the men and women who walked with Jesus needed His Spirit, how much greater is our need today?

Ask for the Holy Spirit’s help for the Spirit-size task He has set before you.

Marlene Bagnull celebrated fifty-one years of marriage. She and Paul have three grown children and three grandchildren. She directs two Christian writers’ conferences.