Written by Fr. Dale Minor - Reclaim Ministries
No one would deny that we live in perilous times. Our nation is in a time of major change, a change in leaders, in direction, and perhaps in purpose. In this, some see hope, others despair. Yet, most of us are not likely to see a great change in our circumstance, because change, real change, often comes slowly.
Arguably, there has been no change in the course of world history than that which came by the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Yet it took over three hundred years for Christianity to take hold and begin to be recognized as a force in human society. But, even within these long periods of struggle, within the process of these world-changing events are moments when individuals, groups, communities; even nations were changed in a flash:
When the Day of Pentecost had come, they were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came the sound from heaven, as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. Then there appeared to them divided tongues as of fire, and one sat on each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance. And there were dwelling in Jerusalem Jews, devout men, from every nation under heaven, and when the sound occurred, the multitude came together….. Then Peter said to them, ‘Repent and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.’ Then those who gladly received his word were baptized and that day about three thousand were added to their number.” (Acts 2:1-6a, 38, 41)
Many of you have had your life changed by just such a sudden a revelation, in just such miraculous manifestation of the truth. It may have come while in a group, perhaps even a revival service; or it may have come while you were alone, reading the Word of God, or while in prayer, or even as you were crying out knowing that you needed a positive change in your life. But this change did not come by the power or decision of man, it came by the grace of God through the empowering presence of the Holy Spirit.
Some have heard this word as in the rushing of a mighty wind, others through His still small voice. Some have been introduced to Him through a friend, a preacher, His written word. Others have had a personal and powerful encounter with Him. However it occurred, it came because God has called you to be His own child, it came because He loves you, and He wants you whole.
There is another verse of scripture from Acts I want to share. (Acts 17:6) At a time when Paul and Silas had visited the city of Thessalonica in Macedonia and was leading many of its citizens to Christ, some who stood in opposition to him went to the house where they had been staying and, when they did not find them, dragged their host, a man named Jason, to the authorities making the charge. “These who have turned the world upside down have come here too.” This would have been about 50 AD, a long time before the Church had become a world changing force. Yet, to the people of Thessalonica and the world as they knew it, the message Paul and his associates were bringing amounted to a world-changing event.
Again, Paul might have been the messenger, but it was the Holy Spirit who was guiding and leading him onward, and it was the Holy Spirit who was taking up residence in the hearts of the people and making a change to their world, no matter where they were or where they would go.
The great truth in all of this, the world in all its facets is changing constantly, but there can be no change which is not allowed by God, and there is no change more important than the change in your heart once the Spirit of God has taken up residence there.