Tony Elder

Tony Elder

One day last weekend my wife noticed the engine of her car uncharacteristically turning over slowly when she went to start it. It didn’t sound like it normally does. We wondered if the battery might be failing under the stress of the summer heat. We decided to go ahead and get it checked out. Sure enough, the battery was virtually dead and needed to be replaced. We were thankful my wife heeded the warning signs or else in the next day or two she may have found her car without power at a very inopportune time.

Our battery is the Holy Spirit. Jesus pointed to Him as the source of the power the disciples would need to be effective witnesses and to carry out the mission He was giving to them. “Behold, I send the Promise of My Father upon you, but tarry in the city of Jerusalem until you are endued with power from on high” (Luke 24:49). “But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you” (Acts 1:8). Paul seemed to be referring to the Holy Spirit and affirming His role as the power source in our lives when he told Timothy, “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind” (II Timothy 1:7).

Thankfully the Holy Spirit doesn’t run out of power or lose His “juice” like our car batteries eventually do. However, there can be problems with our connection to Him. Maybe we haven’t experienced the baptism with the Spirit as the disciples did at Pentecost (see Acts 2). Or could it be that we’ve allowed some unconfessed sin to cut us off from our power source? Maybe we haven’t been listening as attentively to the Spirit or haven’t been as receptive to His working in our lives, shutting ourselves off from His divine enablement. Or it could be we’ve been so busy that we haven’t cultivated that relationship with Him as we should. Maybe we just need a fresh recharging of our spiritual battery.

Don’t wait until the lack of power in your life causes you to take a fall or to be unable to take advantage of an opportunity God gives you. Don’t ignore the signs until one day you discover your spiritual battery completely dead and find yourself stranded in a bad situation.

What may be some of those early signs that we’re lacking power? For one thing, when temptation comes, you’re not as quick to drive away from it. You may even be giving in to those solicitations on a regular basis. It seems like temptation has power over you rather than you having the power to overcome it.

Another sign of a power problem may be not handling the stress well when the heat rises in your life. Doubts, fears and frustrations drive your actions rather than the power of God. Like the disciples before Pentecost, you may find yourself panicking in the storm, running away when opposition arises, or even denying Jesus altogether.

Another warning sign may be your engine being slow to start up and get in gear when God gives you an opportunity to witness or to serve Him. And even when you do manage to move forward, it seems like you’re chugging along more like Fred Flintstone with his own foot power rather than by the powerful and effective engine of God’s power.

So watch for these and other warning signs. Reconnect with the Holy Spirit before you experience a major power failure.

The Rev. Tony W. Elder is pastor of Wesley Community Fellowship Church. He can be reached at 770-483-3405 or by email at


I have been editor of the Rockdale Citizen since 1996 and editor of the Newton Citizen since it began publication in 2004. I am also currently executive editor of the Clayton News Daily, Henry Daily Herald and Jackson Progress-Argus.