Yesterday, April 14, Pastor Dave’s message on "Receiving the Power" liberated me a bit. In his message he took us all into the story of God that was let loose in the early church, a story that is still drawing folks like you and me into it. The message was powerful for me because I never have felt adequate in talking, one-on-one, to people about God. I’m not sure why I struggle with it, either. Maybe it’s because I don’t want to intrude into peoples’ privacy, or I don’t want to be obnoxious, or, the reason that trumps them all, I don’t want to inadvertently be insensitive and drive people away from Jesus rather than to him.
Yesterday it was as though God took His Word and allowed the Holy Spirit to whisper into my ear, “It’s not about you, Rick. Get over yourself. Let me be God in you. Don’t over-think yourself. Love Me, listen to Me, live in Me. I am able to take everything that happens in your life, mesh it all up into my grace, and cause all things to work together for good in you by the power of My Holy Spirit. Trust Me.”
Suddenly, the facts came alive for me as Pastor Dave opened his heart and shared the Word. God is present to bring my story into His story and empower it to convey His message. He is here to empower me with courage to live and share my story. He even empowers me with the necessary language to convey my story, a story that has been lavished with grace, mercy, love, acceptance, and forgiveness.
Don’t you just love it that in Christ each of us has a story, and that our story is unique, special, and empowered by God? When the Holy Spirit fills our lives, the ordinary becomes the place of grace, and our lives are empowered by the very life of God in us. In Acts 2 we see that the real story is the story behind the story. It wasn’t because these early Christians were extraordinary people with extraordinary giftedness and reeking with extraordinary skill. They were just folks, like you and me, and the distinguishing difference in them was that God was in them, empowering and enabling them to be what in and of themselves they could not be.
The story of the early church was, in fact, the story of God. It holds true for us, too. In Christ and by the power of the Holy Spirit, our lives can be a God-thing. We want them to be a God-thing too, don’t we? Deep down inside your heart don’t you want to be Spirit-of-God-empowered, Spirit-of-God-shaped, Spirit-of-God-enabled? This whole story and all the people in it were GOD-COVERED. Doesn’t this have a sound of WOW about it?
And, it all started in an upper room where the folks had gathered to WAIT on God. They would go into Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria, and the most remote parts of the earth, but not before WAITING on God. As they waited, they prayed and wondered and maybe even dreamed a little. Mostly they waited. And, in His time, He baptized them in the life of His Spirit, filled them with His power, and set their hearts on fire with the things of God. They left the upper room and never looked back. And, the rest is history. The only explanation for their lives was the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit. And what an explanation He was.
- Pastor Rick
Mon, April 15, 2013
by Rick Savage filed under