Something has crept up a number of times this week which I’d like to share with you guys.
The first time was Sunday night, when my friend Kieran (there you go, even mentioned by name, you can thank me later) was telling me a about his time at church that morning, involving a sermon about the parable of the wheat and the weeds (Matthew 19:24-30, 36-43) and the song The Same Power ( . . . that conquered the grave lives in me. Your love that rescued the earth lives in me . . . )
Good stuff right?
Then on Wednesday I was at prayer breakfast (7.30am on my day off – your astonishment is noted) and Jack (hi Jack) was also speaking about the power of the Holy Spirit being within us. It came up at prayer for New College this morning too. Then this evening at small group we were talking about events week next month, and the things we’re doing between now and then to bring friends to and talk to about Jesus, and Aisling shared this verse with us:
for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control. Therefore do not be ashamed of the testimony about our Lord, nor of me his prisoner, but share in suffering for the gospel by the power of God – 2 Timothy 1:7-8
It says in Ephesians that we, our bodies, are Temples where the Holy Spirit of God resides.
And it is the Spirit of life that sets us free (Romans 8:2).
If we are led by this Spirit, God declares us to be his children (Rom 8:14).
God uses that which is foolish in the world to shame the wise and that which is weak to shame the strong (1 Corinthians 1:27).
When we don’t know the words to say the Spirit speaks through us, for “the gospel must be preached to all nations” (Mark 13:10-11).
All these things have been on my heart and mind this week and it culminates in this:
I need to have more boldness. I need to no longer walk timidly, or rather speak timidly. Instead I must remember that the Spirit of God is within me and by His power I am able to do infinitely more than I could ever ask or even imagine (Ephesians 3:20). It’s a scary thing to step out of your comfort zone, to rock the boat amongst your friends, to speak a message that is contrary to that of the world’s but it is our calling, our commission and we’re not left to do it alone.
I really want to invite my friends to the brilliant things that are happening in and around Events Week. I want to be able to tell them about Jesus even more. If I’m going to do that, I need to trust that God is at work in me, through me, before me, a heck of a lot more. We need not fear: for our reputations, image, respect, relationships. We need only trust that we are God’s children and He is with us, wherever we go, whatever we do, whomever we are speaking to. And like the wheat it enables us to stand tall, be distinctive and be witnessing to the truth of the Gospel amongst the weeds.
The Spirit, God’s Spirit, is within us. May we let Him reign!
If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit who dwells in you . . . For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry,“Abba! Father!” – Romans 8:11, 15