“Use the Force, Luke!”
In Star Wars, Episode IV – A New Hope, there is a climactic scene in which Luke Skywalker is flying his X-Wing fighter through the trenches on the evil Empire’s weapon of mass destruction called the Death Star. Luke’s mission is to fire a missile into a very small hole in order to destroy the Death Star. As Luke nears the target, he is setting his targeting computer to lock into the target when he hears the voice of his mentor, Obi-Wan Kenobi, say, “Use the force, Luke!” Luke heeds Obi-Wan’s advice, shuts off the computer, and instead relies on the Force, the energy field that gives a Jedi his power. When he relies on the Force to guide him, Luke manages to make a direct hit, and the Death Star is obliterated.
As believers in Jesus Christ, we have a “Force” that is with us to help us along our spiritual walk. That “Force” is the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit, the third person of the Trinity, the triune Godhead, is the personal and powerful presence of God, who is present in the lives of believers. Jesus promised that when He left this world to take His place at the right hand of the Father, He would send the Holy Spirit as a Helper to abide in the lives and hearts of those who believe (John 14:16-17). As believers, we have a mission to testify about Jesus to the world. Jesus knew that, by our own strength and our own power, we could not accomplish that mission. He knew we needed a Helper, the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of Truth (John 15:26-27).
Through the power of the Holy Spirit, Jesus was raised from the dead after having been crucified. After Jesus ascended into heaven, His disciples were all gathered in one place when the day of Pentecost came. On that day, a great spiritual force fell upon them. That force was the Holy Spirit. There was a sound like a rushing wind that filled the place they were in, and tongues of fire came and rested on each of them. As the disciples were filled with the Holy Spirit, they began to speak in other tongues, in other languages that none of them had known before (Acts 2:1-6). And through the power of the Holy Spirit, the disciples went on to spread the good news of Jesus Christ throughout the world.
The power of the Holy Spirit is there for all believers. When we believe that Jesus is Lord, when we choose to turn from our sin and follow Him, the same, “Spirit of God, who raised Jesus from the dead,” lives in each one of us. And just as, through the power of the Spirit, Jesus rose from the dead, so that Spirit living within us gives life to our mortal bodies (Romans 8:11). The Holy Spirit is there to guide us, to comfort us, and to teach us. The Holy Spirit helps to shape us into the image of God, to shed the sinful life of the old self and put on the new self so that we may represent Jesus as we testify to the world about Him.
Finally, when we are in the midst of spiritual battles, when the enemy is trying to destroy us by weakening our faith, the Holy Spirit is there to guide us in battle. When we try to fight those battles on our own, we cannot win. Luke Skywalker won his battle against the Empire by relying on the Force. In our battles, when we rely on the power of the Holy Spirit, we will also see victory. When Luke relied on the Force, Darth Vader sensing the power of the Force, said, “The Force is strong in this one.” We must rely on the power of the Holy Spirit as we spread the Gospel and fight our spiritual battles. When we do, our enemy will say, “The power of the Holy Spirit is strong in this one.”