Woof! I almost forgot to share last week's church blog with you all. We're studying the Biblical book of Acts for about a year, I think. I try to refrain from writing another sermon. No one needs that. My goal is to share a helpful story, picture, or little analogy on how what we read can be relatable to us as Americans in 2022. Last week we were looking at Acts 5:11-16. Jesus's disciples, very common men, displayed unbelievable power in the early days of the church. We learned that this is possible with a clean heart that allows the Holy Spirit to work through us unhindered.
I wasn’t sure what to write this week. I guess I thought life would return to some semblance of normalcy? But I don’t think it will. And yet, why should that worry me? The Bible tells me this isn’t really my home. I’m a traveler.
It helps me to think of myself on a road trip to eternity. But not just me. Jesus tells us over and over that we are never, for one nanosecond, alone. And on top of that, we are part of the ever growing, huge, multilingual, multiracial, worldwide kingdom of God. We have SO many brothers and sisters in Christ!
And he said, “With what can we compare the kingdom of God,
Or what parable shall we use for it?
It is like a grain of mustard seed, which, when sown on the ground,
Is the smallest of all the seeds on earth, yet
When it is sown it grows up and becomes larger than all the garden plants
And puts out large branches,
So that the birds of the air can make nests in its shade.”
But we are not meant to be passive travelers. Content to look out the window, twiddling our thumbs while waiting for heaven. We are also told not to quench the Spirit on our journey.
To me, quenching something means to stifle something powerful that is already in motion. When Pastor Jim talked on Sunday about cleansing ourselves to allow the Holy Spirit to flow through us unhindered, I thought of this passage of Scripture:
See that no one repays anyone evil for evil,
But always seek to do good to one another and to everyone.
Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances;
For this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.
Do not quench the Spirit.
Do not despise prophecies, but test everything;
Hold fast to what is good.
Abstain from every form of evil.
1 Thessalonians 5:16:22
Do we want to be useful to Jesus during our time on earth? Or just to ourselves? If we want to be useful to Jesus, then we need to do everything possible not to quench His Spirit. I picture this as rolling up the windows against the fresh air, turning off the music, and occasionally following other people instead of following Jesus. Or, let’s be honest, getting distracted by something shiny and wasting a season of life or two.
Maybe the verses above are how we “roll down the windows”, so to speak, to the Spirit. He is already moving, we don’t have to plead with Him to move. We just have to remove whatever is “quenching Him” in our lives. And according to what we read in Acts 5:11-16 last Sunday, that is when real power begins to flow. When we really begin to make a godly difference in the world.
And my goodness. Isn’t that exactly what we need right now? :)