The Spirit is strong
As winter starts in South Africa, a different kind of winter descends over the labour force, because it’s strike season. People are dissatisfied with their circumstances and start striking to make their voices heard. Not a nice season in our country.
Paul’s time also had uprisings and protests, but these were as a result of the news carried into the world by Paul and his people. 5People are watching us as we stay at our post … in hard times, tough times, bad times; when we’re beaten up, jailed, and mobbed … Can you believe that people would protest against the Gospel? Yes, they were so dissatisfied that they marched in the streets and demanded from their leaders to silence Paul and the others.
But this was not the only thing they had to endure. There were times when they thought it was the end. One crisis after the other rushed over them like a storm. Talk about being hit! They were hit physically until they bled. They were thrown in jail like criminals. Many nights they did not have beds to sleep on. Many nights they had to go to sleep hungry.
And their reaction to the storms coming towards them? 6 … in gentleness, holiness, and honest love; when we’re telling the truth …
Wow! I wish I could be gentle in such circumstances, get up with a smile in the morning and keep telling the truth. I wish I could be holy and radiate warmth and friendliness when things aren’t going as I wish them to. Look, something is just a little out of place and I lose my cool.
But this is not how God wants us to live. God wants us to act with great wisdom in all circumstances. Even if the people around you are unjust; even if the insults are fired at you like bullets; even if you are doing your best, but it’s never enough; even if the other one’s tongue kills you; even if your freedom is stolen and you’re thrown in jail; even if people rise up against you who keep holding onto the truth – we must keep trying to remain pure and sincere and patient and warm and friendly.
I want to revolt immediately and say: “No, Lord, I can’t do this. You know how quickly I get angry and lose my cool.” But God doesn’t expect us to do this on our own. He knew we won’t be able to do it, and therefore He gave us His power through His Spirit. And this is the confirmation: 6… and when God’s showing his power …
That is the secret. The Holy Spirit gives you the power to be pure and sincere and warm and friendly. With the Holy Spirit on our side this is possible. We must simply allow the Holy Spirit to release His power in us. If you get angry because you don’t like the circumstances you are in and feel it is unfair, the Holy Spirit is still not completely in charge. If you start attacking someone verbally and the other person returns with insults; if you bad mouth someone and are rude to them for what they have done now, the power of the Holy Spirit is not really a factor.
Let’s be honest with one another: At one time or another we all fall head first into the hole. There’s one unguarded moment and the fat is in the fire. Let’s help one another. Let’s stop one another before we fall down again. Let’s ask the Holy Spirit to take over – our emotions as well. Then we can also be pure and sincere and patient and warm and friendly.
May it be so!
What makes you explode?
Where in you is the power of the Holy Spirit not yet visible?
What must you do to give more control to the Holy Spirit?
Father, I confess that I fail often. I get angry and lose control over what I say. I know I hurt people. I don’t want to do it. I so want to be pure and sincere and patient and warm and friendly. Please help me to be obedient and to be under the control of Your Holy Spirit at all times. Amen