Ira Yates and his wife, Ann, purchased land in West Texas in the 1920’s. For years, they struggled to make a living as ranchers and even feared foreclosure. At one point, the family survived on government subsidies and assistance.
That all changed when a representative from the Transcontinental Oil Company asked permission to explore Yates’ land for oil. At 1,000 feet below the ground, the drill struck a rich zone, producing a “gusher.”
By 1929, the Yates Oil Field was producing over one million barrels of oil a year; since then, it has produced over one billion barrels of oil.
Ira Yates had owned it the entire time and never knew it. Here was a potential millionaire living in poverty, receiving government handouts.
Just like Ira Yates, many Christ-followers live in spiritual poverty and don’t even know it.
The Bible teaches us that God has put “his Spirit in our hearts as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come” (2 Corinthians 1:22). We have the opportunity to be “filled with the Spirit” (Ephesians 5:18).
Put another way, below the surface of every Christ-follower is the personal indwelling of the Holy Spirit. We have a rich oil field waiting to be tapped! Yet how often we do we fail to utilize all of the resources of the Spirit?
When the Holy Spirit is unleashed, he produces character traits we could not produce on our own (cf., Galatians 5:22-23). We find the strength to be gracious, the ability to endure. These character traits are called “fruit of the Spirit” because they are the result of allowing the Spirit the right to farm our land.
When the Holy Spirit is unleashed, he provides the gifts and abilities the church needs to thrive. Common, ordinary people are supernaturally enabled to do uncommon, extraordinary things. Scripture is clear: every believer has at least one spiritual gift (Romans 12:6).
Your life represents an oil field waiting to be tapped. You don’t have to remain in spiritual poverty when the Holy Spirit stands ready to empower you.