There are three random things that stick in my mind from the preceding week. I’ve decided to call them “random acts of the Spirit.” In no particular order, here they are:
1. God is patient. In my Ryrie Study Bible NASB, there is a table that outlines some of the major events in the life of the great missionary, Paul. Do you realize that from the time he was converted on the road to Damascus in 33 A.D. to his first missionary journey in 47-48 A.D., some 15 years had passed? We know from his own writings that Paul spent at least three years in study after Damascus before he felt ready to approach the movement in Jerusalem. Before that, Paul was already a great scholar in the Jewish tradition. In other words, Paul certainly had the background to feel that he would be ready to preach Christ’s word right away once he was converted, but instead it took him more than a decade of study, prayer and fellowship to be ready to take the Word to places no one had ever dreamed of. The key to Paul’s success has to be his hope in Christ. Because he never gave up hope that God would use Paul in the way and in the time that God saw fit, Paul accomplished so much for the glory of Christ, a system of belief that guides the church to this day. God works on a timetable that is completely different from the hustle and bustle push of this modern world.
2. Seeing the passion for God in others is inspiring. When you step out in faith daily, as Christians try to do, you can find yourself discussing God in all kinds of places, even as you are getting your hair styled! My wonderful stylist is a young woman with a real passion for God. As we were discussing how life was going this week, we dipped into a discussion of some of the things we have been learning in our own separate studies, including the subtle ways that Satan works to push us aside from God’s purpose for our lives. As my hair stylist put it, “I literally have to stop my thoughts sometimes and tell the devil, no. I have the creator of the Universe in me, and you have no place here.”
What a wonderful way to look at the awesome gift that is the grace of God in us! When we truly have the Holy Spirit in us, we have an obligation to uphold that presence. I have been using the idea of the Creator of the Universe for the rest of this week. Needless to say, I was inspired.
3. When we have God in us, it is enough. I watched The Wizard of Oz for the first time since my childhood this week. I had forgotten that the main focus of the movie is that all the characters need to realize that the one thing they long for most is the thing they already actually have. The Scarecrow is the one to have the problem-solving ideas. The Tin Man sheds the most tears. The Lion stands up to the bad guys. Dorothy realizes, “There is no place like home.”
When we accept Jesus as our Savior, we also accept the peace that is no place like home. For those who rely on material things to feel better, the idea that faith in the unseen being all you need may seem impractical or impossible, but this peace is what helps those people you see stay steady in the roughest of waters.
Claiming God and living God should be one and the same. And when you look for random acts of the Spirit in the week ahead, you’ll find that you will be more likely to shine His light and chase away the shadows.