When the apostle Paul looked out at the idolatrous multitudes in Athens, his spirit was moved (see Acts 17:16). Likewise, as I look out my apartment window every evening, gazing upon the masses in Manhattan, I experience what Paul felt. I see many beautiful buildings — from the Midtown skyline to the Statue of Liberty — yet they all appear as tombstones. They are full of the walking dead, multitudes of people dying and going to hell. I have to cry out daily, "Lord, we need You! We cannot do anything to reach these people without Your guidance and power."
Jesus knew everything His church would be facing today, the overwhelming opposition, the many obstacles. And He knew exactly what would happen to our society. He knew there would be a moral landslide, that humanity would wax worse and worse, and that an angry devil would spew out a river of hell against His Church.
Jesus would not have sent out His disciples without their knowing that the power given to them would be more than sufficient to meet every need and opposition. These men who had run in fear when the soldiers came for Him were timid, fearful, unskilled and untrained. Yet Jesus knew that these men — when fully yielded to the Holy Ghost — would work miracles, put demons to flight, and overcome every adversary and challenge.
I believe Jesus' words to His helpless disciples apply to us today: "Behold, I send the promise of my Father upon you: but tarry ye . . . until ye be endued with power from on high" (Luke 24:49).
Jesus was saying, in essence, "If you try to evangelize in your own strength, you will fall on your face in a short time. I know the battles and obstacles you face and I will give you a power greater than any in the universe. You will be able to stand up to kings, princes, governments with authority over demons and principalities. But you cannot do anything for Me unless you are full of the Holy Ghost.”