Full vs in power of the Holy Spirit

Wsfchurch   -  


My name is Andrew Barry. I am the Worship Pastor at WSFC. I have the privilege of sharing a little devotion that I have been mulling over the last couple days. It has to do with the difference in being “full of the Holy Spirit” and “in power of the Holy Spirit”.

In Luke 4, we encounter a narrative about Jesus that provides insights into the nuances of spiritual empowerment. The chapter begins with Jesus being “full of the Holy Spirit” as He returns from the Jordan and is led by the Spirit into the wilderness (Luke 4:1). After fasting for forty days and overcoming the devil’s temptations, Jesus returns to Galilee “in the power of the Spirit” (Luke 4:14). These two phrases, though closely related, signify distinct aspects of spiritual life and ministry.

Being “full of the Holy Spirit” refers to a state of complete spiritual saturation and communion with God. It signifies a heart and mind aligned with God’s will, enabling an individual to be guided, comforted, and taught by the Spirit. For Jesus, this fullness was evident as He resisted temptation with wisdom and Scripture, demonstrating the inner strength and purity that comes from the Spirit’s indwelling presence.

On the other hand, returning “in the power of the Spirit” signifies the manifestation of the Spirit’s strength through active ministry and miraculous works. This power is outwardly visible and impacts others directly. In Jesus’ case, His return to Galilee marked the beginning of His public ministry, where He performed miracles, preached with authority, and healed the sick. The power of the Spirit was evident as He proclaimed the good news, bringing liberation and transformation.

These distinctions remind us that being full of the Holy Spirit nurtures our personal relationship with God, grounding us in spiritual truth and strength. Meanwhile, operating in the power of the Holy Spirit equips us to serve and minister effectively, impacting the world around us. Together, they form a holistic experience of God’s presence and action in our lives. I pray that this week we as the body of Christ can be both full of the Holy Spirit and Empowered by the Holy Spirit to impact our families, friends and communities. Love you church!

-Andrew Barry