The Power of the Holy Spirit in Our Lives – Healing 2023


In this talk, Peter delves into the profound impact of the Holy Spirit in our lives, emphasizing that the Spirit enables us to invite His presence within us, mirroring Jesus’ relationship with the Spirit. He highlights how the Spirit’s indwelling allows us to intimately perceive God as a loving Father and guides us toward a unique mission in proclaiming His Kingdom.

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Reflective Study Guide Questions

“And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in different tongues, as the Spirit enabled them to proclaim.”

Acts 2:4.

1. Peter says Jesus came in order to make it possible for the Holy Spirit to dwell in us like the Holy Spirit dwells in Him. How can you work on inviting the Holy Spirit to dwell more deeply in you, in imitation of Jesus?

2. When the Holy Spirit dwells in us, we can call God Abba. How can contemplating the Holy Spirit dwelling within you help you to view God as your Father?

3. When the Holy Spirit dwells in us and makes us children of God, He calls us to proclaim the Kingdom of God in a particular way. What particular mission might He be calling you to right now?

4. After St. Peter preached to the people on Pentecost, the people asked what they should do. He told the people they should repent. How can you work on repenting more deeply in your life right now?

Text: The Power of the Holy Spirit in Our Lives

Hello friends, this is Peter Herbeck. I’m so delighted to be back with you once again, to be a part of this Pray More Novenas Summer Healing Retreat. There’s such good topics, and such a privilege to be able to talk about them. 

The Gift Par Excellence

Today, I want to talk about the power of the Holy Spirit in our lives, the power of the Holy Spirit in our lives. In a previous video I mentioned that the promise of the Holy Spirit, the gift of the Holy Spirit is the gift par excellence. The whole reason Jesus came, Pope Benedict the 16th underlined for us, he said the whole culmination of Jesus’ ministry was so that he could sit at the right hand of God, the Father, and pour out the Holy Spirit. And a new creation can be born in human hearts, through the grace and presence and power of the Holy Spirit. The Spirit that raised Jesus Christ from the dead. 

Jesus said himself in Luke Chapter four. You know, of course we, as he began his ministry, maybe that’s a good place to start, his baptism in the Jordan. You know, when there’s a theophany, Jesus goes to the waters of the Jordan, and he is baptized by John the Baptist. And the voice of the Father speaks, the presence of the Holy Spirit in the form of a dove, “This is my beloved Son, in whom I’m well pleased.” He’s the beloved, right? And who’s the beloved? The beloved is one that’s anointed with the Spirit. So, then the Holy Spirit leads him into the desert, to do combat and declare war against the enemy. The enemy tries to tempt Jesus. And of course, Jesus conquers him in the desert. Jesus is then moved by the Spirit. It says to go up to his hometown in Nazareth. The next scene you see him, he’s standing in the synagogue in his hometown. He gets up to read from the scroll in the synagogue, it’s the Isaiah scroll, and he says, where Isaiah says, “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me. He has anointed me to preach good news to the poor, to proclaim liberty to captives, to obtain sight for the blind, to announce the year of the Lord’s favor.” Then Jesus sets it down and says, “Today this prophetic word is fulfilled in your hearing. The Spirit of the Lord is upon me,” he said. 

Jesus has come to fulfill, the time of Jubilee has come in the person and the life of Jesus. And then he leaves the synagogue. And one of the first things that happens is he’s confronted by a demon, so a demonized person. And he cast the demon out of him. And the kingdom of God is at hand. The power of God is at hand and the power of God is at hand. And the way I remember Cardinal Cantalamessa mentioned at one point, there was never a time when the Spirit of God and Spirit of Jesus, the Holy Spirit, were not united together. But the anointing that came about on the day of his baptism in the Jordan, was the anointing for now the release, and the commission. So, Jesus is moving forward in the leading, in the power, and under the anointing of the Holy Spirit, right? And that’s what’s going to happen in our life, is what Jesus is intending. 

This is why he came, to make it possible for the Spirit of God to come and dwell in us, as the Spirit of God is upon him. So we could say as St. John Paul II said at one point, every person who’s been baptizing and confirmed in the Catholic Church, can look in the mirror and say, “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me. He has anointed me to preach good news to the poor, to proclaim liberty to captives, to give sight to the blind.” That’s really the fundamental grounding reality, of what the Holy Spirit does in each and every one of us. 

Passages to See the Ways of the Holy Spirit

So, I want to look at just some key passages, that help us see the ways in which the Holy Spirit is at work in us. And maybe, in the Gospel of John chapter three, Nicodemus, I think is talking to Jesus. And Jesus has that famous line. “Unless you’re born again by water in the Spirit, you cannot enter the kingdom of heaven.” Of course, Nicodemus was completely puzzled. How does a man go back into the womb and all that? And he doesn’t understand what means to be born again by the Spirit. Because the reality is, I mentioned in a previous video, as Paul said so clearly in Ephesians chapter two, the human condition, the anthropological reality of the human condition, he said, “You were dead in your sins and he made you alive.” God made you alive. You were dead. You were spiritually dead. He said, “You are by nature children of wrath. You are under the dominion of the world of flesh and the devil. The power of sin and death was upon you, and you lived without hope in the world. But Jesus came to give you a new life.” 

And that new life enabled you to become a child of God. You’re born again, born anew. Let’s just take a minute to think about that. As Pope Benedict the 16th reminded us, the culmination of Jesus’ entire mission, the culmination didn’t happen on Calvary, it didn’t happen in the incarnation, it didn’t happen on Calvary. All absolutely mind blowing and critical. But they were leading to someplace. 

On the cross Jesus disarmed the principalities and powers, the power of sin and death, the demonic hold of the kingdom of darkness that was on the human race. Paul tells us so clearly, he disarmed the principalities and powers, and made a public show of them. And then Jesus rises from the dead to begin the new creation. Now in Jesus is the future of the human race. This reality, he passed from death to life. He swallowed up death in victory. The light that was in Jesus, was stronger than the darkness of death. And Jesus rises to new life. And in the person of Jesus, is the beginning of the new creation, the human race. You know, living beyond death. God’s purpose and plan is to bring about a new creation in the person of Jesus, life after death. And then he ascends to the right hand of the Father in heaven. And he brings human flesh in his person, friends, into glory. 

And it’s the Holy Spirit, God the Father and the Holy Spirit, that raised the power that raised Jesus from the dead. And it’s in Jesus. Jesus has the power to give that Holy Spirit to anyone who asks. He has the power to raise people from the dead. He has the power to bring about a new creation, to bring spiritually dead people to spiritual life, to new life. The participation in the divine life, that brings you into the family of God as a child of God. 

John’s First Letter

I love the, let me see if I can find it, the beginning of John’s first letter. You know the wonder that the Apostles are proclaiming of what they’ve seen, what they’ve touched, what they’ve heard, “That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon and touch with our hands concerning the Word of Life. Jesus, the Word, the Word of Life. “The life was made manifest. And we saw it and we testified to it. And we proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father, has been made manifest to us. That which we have seen and heard, we now proclaim to you, so that you may have fellowship with us. ‘Cause our fellowship is with the Father and with the Son Jesus Christ. We are writing this, that our joy may be complete.”

They’re saying our joy will be complete when we see you come to receive the life that we’ve experienced. So what is this life? The eternal life that has come to us, the eternal life of the Father and the Son has come to us and now we are children of God and we have fellowship with the Father and with the Son. The new creation has already begun in us, because of the presence and the power of the Holy Spirit. 

Cast Fire on The Earth

So it’s from his seat at the right hand of the Father that the culmination of Jesus whole mission unfolds. The culminating moment Jesus said, “I have come to cast fire on the Earth. Would that it were already ablaze.” The fire is the eternal fire of the love between the Father and the Son, who is the Holy Spirit being cast down. The new creation, the source of the new creation and the fire of the pure burning furnace of eternal love between the Father and the Son from all eternity.

This is what the human race is being brought into. This is why Jesus said, “I’ve come to cast fire on the Earth.” John the Baptist said, “The One who is coming, he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire.” The Holy Spirit and fire. This is what people need to come from death to life. They need the Holy Spirit and the fire of the Holy Spirit burning in their soul, burning in their heart. Jesus’ Luke 24, post-resurrection appearance to the Apostles, he said, “Behold, I send the promise of my Father upon you.” This is the fulfillment of the promise. All the way back in the Old Testament, Ezekiel, Jeremiah, Isaiah, the anticipation, Joel of the coming outpouring of the Holy Spirit that brings about new life, the God life in us, the Christ life. 

He said, “But stay in the city until you are clothed with power from on high.” This is Jesus’ whole anticipation. He knew the path he was on to Calvary. He knew the spiritual battle he had to fight on our own. It was under the anointing and the leading of the Holy Spirit that Jesus had the strength to walk in the Spirit so powerfully and then to offer himself in absolute freedom, as I mentioned in another video in this retreat, the absolute freedom on the cross where he loves the Father with perfection, perfect offering and sacrifice to God for our salvation expressed through obedience to the command of God, who sent the Son for this very purpose. And Jesus said so beautifully, I love to repeat it every chance I get, John 14. He said, ” I won’t be with you much longer because the devil’s coming after me. But the devil has no hold on me. But what I want you to know, I do everything the Father commands me to do because I love the Father.” 

So here it is. This is the act of love. This is the core reality of what Jesus himself called, what is great and what is the first importance, the greatest thing and of what’s of first importance is that total abandonment to the love of God, which is the Holy Spirit now in us, the love of God poured into us. So, we can now begin to call God, Abba Father in the Holy Spirit. We become children of God. 

Baptism of the Holy Spirit

So going on now, Acts chapter one, we have that beautiful scene just before Jesus ascends to the right hand of the Father. Luke, the author of Luke, who wrote the chapter 24 verse, but also he’s now situating Jesus’ ascension in this moment. And there’s this encounter in verse four. And while staying with them, he charged them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the promise of the Father. Which he said, “You heard from me for John baptized with water. But before many days you shall be baptized in the Holy Spirit.”

Jesus is the one who baptizes in the Holy Spirit, plunges us in the Holy Spirit. This is the central reality of Christianity, the baptism in the Spirit happened in your baptism. There’s a fuller release of it, in our lives the full activation of gifts and the rest of it, but the fundamental baptism was the one where we were given power to become children of God. We were also given spiritual gifts and other kinds of things that we’ll talk about here as it goes on. But here Jesus is the one who baptizes in the Spirit. 

This is what the human race needs, the baptism in the Holy Spirit, the baptism to new life, to new creation, to the family of God, to be given power to become children of God and the baptism in the Spirit, to equip people to do what Jesus did after he was baptized. He went and did spiritual combat against the enemy. He went and declared in his hometown, the anointing of God was upon him. And he went forth to proclaim the kingdom of God, that the power of God had come. The kingdom of God goes forth from people who are living in the baptism in the Holy Spirit that they received and its fullness and walking in it, walking in it, obeying the Holy Spirit into the mission and the assignment that he’s given to every single one of us. 

We don’t all have the same assignment, but we’ve all been given an assignment to now under the anointing of the Spirit to go forward as Jesus did, as he sent the Apostles and others, all of us who are baptized are apostles, small a. We are sent ones by the presence and the power of the Holy Spirit in our lives. This is what the baptism in the Holy Spirit is about. And Jesus said, when it happens, verse Acts 1:80 said “You shall receive power.” The word there is the Greek word is dunamis, that we get the English word dynamite, real dynamite, real power. The kind of dynamite that blows up the kingdom of darkness, that breaks the chains of demonic forces, that breaks the power of sin over our lives and gives us a new capacity to live a new way of life. You shall receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you and you shall be my witnesses even to the ends of the Earth. 

The Message of the Holy Spirit

So, Jesus says, that’s happening. The Apostles wait in the upper room with Our Lady and others. And then on the day of Pentecost, the Holy Spirit is poured out like a mighty wind comes or tongues of fire. Holy Spirit comes in the form of tongues of fire. They start speaking in tongues of new language. They start, they go out into the marketplace. John Paul II said, “The Holy Spirit stirred their deepest energies and thrust them into the marketplace to proclaim and to announce something very, very important.” And it begins with Peter standing up. Remember the beautiful reading said, what’s wrong with these people? There’s the whole crowds are there, you know, Jews from all around the world come to celebrate the feast of Pentecost, which was the celebration of a harvest feast, but also the giving of the law. And this harvest was about to break open and Peter’s preaching and the new law, which is the Holy Spirit, is manifested, comes to us, the new law within us that transforms us and enables us to love what God loves and to will the good of others and things. So, it’s so amazing. So, they’re shocked by Peter. The Apostle Peter starts preaching. Different people hearing Peter speak in their own language at the same time. An amazing miracle happens. And then Peter said, “What is this about, friends? We’re not drunk. What you’re seeing is the fulfillment of the prophecy of Joel. “In the last days,” says the Lord, “I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh. Your sons and daughters will prophesy. Your young men will see visions.” Peter’s saying this is being fulfilled right now. The beginning of this, we’re now entering the last hour of human history, John, will say later. And why do we know that? Because the king is on the throne. He’s established His kingdom; he’s poured out the Holy Spirit. The church is born and a new reality, the body of Christ, the kingdom of God is moving through weak and broken people like you and I. 

And how do we get there? So Peter then declares, “What’s behind all this?” he said. Then goes on to preach the message of the kerygma of Jesus. He said, “You know Jesus, he preached in the synagogue. And God the Father worked signs and wonders through him to make known that the Father was with him. The many signs and wonders that Jesus worked.” He said, “But you killed him. You crucified him. But death could not hold him down.” They’re testifying now to the reality under the anointing of the Holy Spirit. You say a lot there about King David and other things. But Peter gets right down to it at a certain point. He said, “Yes, this Jesus, God raised up. And of that we are all witnesses.” This is what’s happening to us. We are witnessing to the reality of the life, passion, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. 

That’s what the Holy Spirit wants to talk about. That’s what the Holy Spirit wants the church to communicate. The amazing reality of who Jesus is. And the first mission of the Holy Spirit is to manifest the human hearts, the glory and the majesty, the lordship and the victory of Jesus. So wonderful. Verse 33, being therefore exalted at the right hand of God and having received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, he has poured out this, which you now see and hear. This is the central reality of declaring Jesus, the culminating work of Jesus. Jesus took his seat. He said “He’s exalted. He’s exalted now.” This is so important for us friends, because you and I, human flesh, we were made for glory. But we’ve fallen from glory. But in Jesus Christ who took on human flesh, we have now been raised. 

Those who are baptized into Christ have been raised with Christ to who now exists in glory. The new humanity is in the presence of the Father for all eternity in the person of the Son. And Jesus is offering us the new life to participate in that forever. There’s nothing greater than this. This is like spectacular news. It’s amazing. And Peter’s preaching. “Being therefore exalted at the right hand of God.” That means he has all power and authority given to him by God. He can raise people from the dead. He can make people born again through the outpouring of the Holy Spirit. He can destroy the sin in people’s lives for us, right? And the power of death, the chains of death. He’s at the right hand of God. He said, “Having received from the Father the promised Holy Spirit, he has poured this in which you now see and hear, he’s poured it out.” He’s the Davidic king, he goes on to say. He’s fulfilling the psalmist. The Lord said to my Lord, “Sit at my right hand ’til I make your enemies your footstool.” He then says to all these Jewish people who are present, Peter said, “Let all the house of Israel therefore know assuredly that God has made him both Lord and Christ, this Jesus whom you’ve crucified.” The central reality of what the Spirit wants everyone to know is Jesus Christ is Lord. Jesus has been exalted. All power and authority belongs to him. He is the beginning of the new creation. He’s offering salvation, that is saving people from eternal death and eternal separation from God, taking them out of the condition of being enemies of God and under the wrath of God to become God’s children and to share in the exalted state of Jesus, to participate in the glory that now belongs to him. 

Repent and Be Baptized

He’s a life-giving Spirit, Paul said, he’s siring a new humanity in the Spirit. It’s absolutely amazing. So as Peter preaches that, people ask “Brethren, what should we do?” And then Peter gives the fundamentals: Repent, change the direction of your life, turn to God, agree with Jesus’s assessment of your sin sick condition, repent, seeking the forgiveness of sins. I want to read just the exact words. Repent and be baptized, every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you’ll receive the Holy Spirit. So repent, be baptized in baptism. Your sins are taken away and you’re given the gift of the Holy Spirit and you’re born again and you’re a new creation. 

This is the heart of the work of the Holy Spirit. And then the Holy Spirit is present in the church building a communion, a fellowship that John talked about. A new family. A spiritual family that’s gathered at the feet of the God the Father. And we have the same love in our hearts of the Holy Spirit. Love for the Father, love for the Son. And then God is giving us grace to love one another and to lay down our lives for one another and then to love ourselves in the right way in God to have our loves rightly ordered. 

Summary of What The Holy Spirit Does to Us

So, here’s some of what, more of what the Holy Spirit does for us. Just to summarize. So he causes us to be born again. That’s so important. Gave us power to be children of God. Friends, this is why evangelization is so important. Because human beings need to be born again. They need to be brought from death to life. A lot of people are confused about this in the Church and the Church is just another, even Pope Francis said, he said, people look at it like an NGO. Like we exist to somehow fix the world, that that’s our mission or to be nice to people. Nice people go to heaven. No, people who are born again and have their sins forgiven and enter the church, that’s who goes to heaven. Those who die in a right state in the Spirit who’ve come to receive the gift of God that’s given to us in Christ Jesus. He’s the only Savior of the world. 

The world doesn’t like to hear that, but that’s true. And the Holy Spirit is at work empowering us to make Christ manifest. And the Holy Spirit uses people in a healthy way. Like we cooperate with the Holy Spirit who works through the preaching, through the testimony, through sharing, through prayer, through prayer ministry, through signs and wonders. All of that is still present in the body of Christ. It’s the Holy Spirit making the kingdom present through those who love Jesus and have come into relationship and are living with him in the power of the Holy Spirit. And God pours his love into our hearts and he tenderizes us and teaches us how to love as children of God. The Holy Spirit sanctifies us. He sets us apart for holy purposes. He’s the one who makes us holy. 

The Holy Spirit is at work helping us to become saints. To love as Jesus loved and live the life that Jesus has called us to live and the Father has made us for. He gives us a new power and a new capacity to live this new way of life, to live the great commandment, to love God and neighbor, to live the Great Commission, to go make disciples of all nations. He comes to free us from the dominion of the world of flesh and the devil and the powers of sin and death. He calls us to be witnesses again. You shall receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you, then you’ll be my witnesses. He calls us to do the works that Jesus himself has done. Mark 16, and these signs will accompany those who believe. 

A Personal Testimony

Friends, this is the will of God for us. And I just want to share briefly a story. You can go to our website at I have my testimony there, a story of how the Holy Spirit through my sister, Kathy, and others, people got really renewed in the Holy Spirit. This reality of the baptism of the Spirit emerged more fully in their lives. She came and gave testimony, started speaking in a way about Jesus and sharing faith in a way that we never did as a family. And it led to a tremendous healing of my father. And the conversion of pretty much everybody in our family of seven kids. 

So, we saw what Saint Pope Francis called a current of grace in and for the church. This is the movement of the Spirit in history. And we were touched by it. You know, this little family in a small town in Minnesota radically changed my life. And another example, you see the the Great Commission. Ralph Martin and I one time were at a meeting, attending a meeting, a very large meeting, thousands of people hearing a good Christian speaker. And I don’t think we knew anybody there, maybe one person. And at the end of this talk, we were going to leave the event. And the announcer said their leadership team that was present felt called to pray with two men who were here that today, he said. And they pointed us out and they excused everybody for lunch and invited us to come forward. We said, okay. 

And in a nutshell what happened was they prayed with Ralph and they had words of knowledge like it’s talked about in the Scripture, prophetic words, some in words of knowledge. And I experienced something similar. And they prayed over me. In a nutshell, one person said, “Son, God’s going to start sowing you into lands all around the world, basically to bring the gospel. He’s going to open doors and only go through the doors that he opens.” And then he said, “He’s going to bring to you a person had an image of battleships all lined up in a harbor. The Lord’s going to bring to you people he’s already equipped and prepared for this mission. And the Lord will show them to you. And you don’t have to worry about it, but pray and just be ready to obey the Lord.” 

So, Ralph and I and others got a little team together the next number of weeks to just pray and discern. because scripture says, don’t despise prophecy, but test everything and cling to what is good. because these are gifts of the Holy Spirit when they’re exercised properly under the lead of the Holy Spirit. We interceded one each week and then we take some, one morning a week and we take some time to say, “Are we hearing anything?” And week after week, “No, not really.” And then one morning, sister Ann Shield said, “Yes, you guys, I feel like the Lord said you’re supposed to go to Lithuania and Ukraine.” That was 1990. ’90, yeah, like 1990, yeah. And he said, “Okay, do you know anybody there?” I said, no, she didn’t know anybody. Ralph didn’t know. What are we going to do? Well take the Word, bring it to the Lord. You know, continue to test it. Don’t despise it, but test it. 

A couple weeks later, come to the meeting and Ralph said, “I got a call last night from a bishop in Lithuania.” And this bishop had been a priest, a Jesuit priest who ran an underground Catholic newspaper during communist time. And he was turned in by a KGB priest collaborator. And he went to the Gulag, I think for nine years, maybe seven. He’s a cardinal now, an amazing guy. And long story short, he ended up calling Ralph Martin or people, helped him call Ralph Martin to invite him to come, to invite us to come to help him with the work of evangelization in his country. It’s a long story, the beautiful way God has worked. But that was the first door we went through. And friends, we’ve gone through almost 1100 doors in 75 different countries around the world since that time. 

The Holy Spirit wants to empower us to love God, to love neighbor, and to fulfill our calling, to go forward, to be sent into the Great Commission in the assignments that the Lord has given to us. It’s a great life to live, friends, and what a fantastic moment to be able to respond and to live under the power and the grace of the Holy Spirit and to make our little tiny contribution to the Lord’s great plan for the salvation of the world. God bless you. 

About Peter Herbeck

Peter Herbeck Healing Retreat

Peter Herbeck is the Executive Vice President and Director of Missions for Renewal Ministries. For more than thirty years, he has been actively involved in evangelization and Catholic renewal throughout the US, Canada, Asia, Africa, and Eastern Europe. Peter is the co-host of the weekly television show, The Choices We Face. He hosts the daily radio show Fire on the Earth. He is a frequent conference speaker, has authored When the Spirit Comes in Power, When the Spirit Speaks, and numerous booklets, and is a frequent contributor to Renewal Ministries’ popular YouTube channel. Peter and his wife, Debbie, have four children and eleven grandchildren, and reside in Ann Arbor, Michigan.