The significance of Christ’s resurrection became real to me at eight years old.

My mom had taken me to see the Billy Graham movie “The Prodigal” at a strip-mall theater in Deerfield Beach, Florida. My motivation for going to the movie wasn’t the hope of receiving salvation. It was getting a bag of Twizzlers and a fountain soda. But my heart was so convicted by the Spirit in that theater that when we got home, I crawled into bed, overwhelmed with the certainty of my need for Jesus.

The moment my mom walked into the bedroom and found me under the covers is etched in my memory. When she leaned down to kiss me goodnight, I asked her to pray with me. I told her I wanted to put my trust in Jesus and accept Him as my Savior.

Since that moment, I have lived in the confidence that I am saved from condemnation for my sins and that I am freely given eternal life in Christ.

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This is a gift that can’t be earned and isn’t deserved, and there is absolutely nothing I can do to add to, or subtract from, the work of Christ on my behalf. It’s all grace. This is the salvation narrative—the Good News we celebrate at Easter.

What I didn’t realize on that life-changing night in 1983 was that the resurrection power that raised Jesus Christ from the dead is the same power deposited in us the moment we confess Him as Lord. It would take another 35 years for me to discover the significance of what I’d been given in the Holy Spirit when I committed my life to Christ.

You could call me a slow learner, but I think that’s how it is for a lot of us.  We just don’t know the purpose of the Holy Spirit in us.

We don’t know that because Jesus conquered the grave, we are given not only eternal life in heaven but we are given victorious life now.

The resurrection power of the Holy Spirit inside us gives us victory over sin and shame and strongholds in this life. It frees us from relying on ourselves and our limited capacity to overcome the things that leave us feeling stuck and defeated and unable.

The miracle of the resurrection has become more about the chocolate bunny in the basket than the spiritual blessings we receive in Christ, including the many incredible benefits of having within us the Holy Spirit, our loyal Friend and great Champion.

If the Holy Spirit raised Jesus Christ from the dead, just imagine what He can do for you! (Romans 8:11–13)

How I wish I’d heard more about the purpose of the Holy Spirit for our daily life in my earlier years of following of Jesus.

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Sadly, I think we are more accustomed to conversations laced with misconceptions about Him and baggage attached to Him. 

We assume He is only for the extremes: the super-spiritual or the super-strange. Or we’ve heard that His power is reserved for those who reach a certain level on the ladder of goodness. Or worse, we fear He’ll make us weird because of how we’ve witnessed His power abused and misused.

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But here’s the truth: The Holy Spirit is not Someone we earn access to at some point down the road in our faith journey. If you are a follower of the resurrected Christ, then you can be certain the Spirit of God is in you, He is for you, and He is for now. By faith alone we receive the Spirit, just as God promised.

The Apostle Paul writes, “He redeemed us in order that the blessing given to Abraham might come to the Gentiles through Christ Jesus, so that by faith we might receive the promise of the Spirit” (Galatians 3:14 niv).

Belief in the resurrected Jesus is the only prerequisite to receiving the resurrection power of the Holy Spirit—in you!

And if you’ll get to know Him, you’ll quickly discover He isn’t anything like the stereotypes attached to Him.

Author Jeannie Cunnion

He isn’t merely a force to wield and He can’t be reduced to a symbol, like a fire or dove. He is God the Holy Spirit, the third and Divine Person of the Trinity, with a personality who has a significant purpose in our lives: to open the eyes of our hearts to the glorious reality we celebrate on Easter—the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ—and to woo our wandering hearts back to Jesus as we journey along. He fills us with resurrection power to follow Jesus, to share the hope of the gospel with boldness, and to fulfill our divine purpose for the glory of God.

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I can’t help but wonder how our attitude toward Him would change if we knew that He is vital to a flourishing and dynamic life.

He sparks our faith. He sustains our faith. He shapes us into the people we long to become and He strengthens us with the supernatural power of God.

What most of us don’t realize is that we are settling for self-help when God has given us full access to supernatural Spirit-help. We are trying to grow and thrive and overcome in our own strength, forfeiting the resurrection power of the Holy Spirit that takes up residence inside us and wants to work on our behalf.   

The miracle of the resurrection has become more about the chocolate bunny in the basket than the spiritual blessings we receive in Christ, including the many incredible benefits of having within us the Holy Spirit, our loyal Friend and great Champion.

To make a dramatic difference in how we live we must know that God Almighty dwells inside us by His Spirit, and then believe that everything that is His is ours. God manifests all of himself, in His people, through His Spirit.

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It’s time to stop settling for anything less than living in the resurrection power of Easter. And it’s time to start relying on the One whom Jesus himself said is “for our good”(John 16:5–7).

Will you join me in daring to believe that life is better when lived in the resurrection power of the Holy Spirit?

Jeannie Cunnion’s latest book is  “Don’t Miss Out: Daring to Believe Life is Better with the Holy Spirit.”

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