Power is the special and distinctive prerogative of God, and God alone. Power belongs to God. God is God: and power belongs to him. If he delegates a portion of it to his creatures, yet it still is his power. The sun in the heavens, although it is “…like a bridegroom coming forth from his pavilion, like a champion rejoicing to run his course” [Psalm 19:5], yet it has no power to move through the universe except as God directs it. The stars, although they travel in their orbits and no one can stop them, yet they have neither power nor force except that which God daily infuses into them. The tall archangel, near God’s throne, who outshines a comet in its brilliance, and who excels in strength and listens to the voice of the commands of God, still has no strength except that which his Creator gives to him... And when we think of man if he has might or power, it is so small and insignificant, that we can scarcely call it such; yes, when it is at its greatest-when he waves his scepter, when he commands vast armies, when he rules nations-still the power belongs to God.
This exclusive prerogative of God is to be found in each of the three persons of the glorious Trinity. The Father has power: for at his word the heavens were made, and by his strength all things continue, and through him they fulfill their destiny. The Son has power: for like his Father, he is the Creator of all things; “Without him nothing was made that has been made” [John 1:3], and “in him all things hold together” [Colossians 1:17]. And the Holy Spirit has power.
It is concerning the power of the Holy Spirit that I will speak this morning; and may you gain a practical example of that attribute in your own hearts, when you sense that the influence of the Holy Spirit is being poured out on me, so that I am speaking the words of the living God to your souls, and the power bestowed on you when you feel the effects of it in your own souls.
Normally, it is very hard to affect a person’s heart. However, if you want to get at them for any worldly purpose you can do it. A cheating world can win the hearts of men and women, a little gold can win their hearts, a bit of fame and a little applause can win their hearts. But there is not a minister alive, who by himself, can win the hearts of men and women. He can win their ears and make them listen; he can win their eyes, and cause those eyes to look at him; he can win their attention, but their hearts are very slippery. Yes, the heart is like a fish that all gospel fishermen find difficult to hold on to. You may sometimes almost pull it out of the water; but slippery as an eel, it slips between your fingers, and evades capture. Many a minister has imagined that he has caught the heart but has been disappointed. It would need a strong hunter to overtake the deer on the mountains. It is too fast for a human on foot to approach.
Only the Holy Spirit has power over the hearts of men and women. Did you ever try your power on a heart? If any person thinks that a minister can convert the soul, I wish they would try. Let them go and become a Sunday-school teacher. They will take their class, they will have the best books that can be obtained, they will have the best rules, they will draw their lines of defenses around their fortified spiritual city, they will take the best child in their class, and if they are not tired in a week I will be very much surprised. Let them spend four or five Sundays in trying, and in the end they will say, “The young person is incorrigible.” Let them try another. And they will have to try another, and another, and another, before they will manage to convert one. They will soon find it is “‘Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit,' says the LORD Almighty.” [Zechariah 4:6]
“Speak with that voice which wakes the dead,
And commands the sinner to rise:
And makes the guilty conscience dread
The death that never dies.”
He can make Sinai’s thunders audible; yes, and he can make the sweet whisperings of Calvary enter into the soul. He has power over the hearts of men and women. And here is a glorious proof of the omnipotence of the Holy Spirit that he has rule over the heart.
June 17, 1855
by C. H. Spurgeon (1834-1892).