Last night I was reading from Acts (always dangerous, especially late at night)… have you ever thought about how hard it was for the followers of Christ to finally get GOing according to Christ’s instructions before He left. Take a moment and read the first few verses of Acts, chapter 8, go ahead, I’ll wait…
Remember, at the beginning of Acts, Jesus promises power & indicates why we receive it:
“But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” v. 1:8
So, then, right on cue, it happened! Yes! They received the promised Holy Spirit and were filled with power (see chapter 2)! BOOM!
Yet, they remained frozen in their comfort zone until chapter 8. It’s like being at a traffic light and having it change from red to green but doing nothing except rev the engine. You feel the power but GO nowhere!
Jesus was crystal clear: “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations” Matthew 28:16-20 (plus, Mark 16:14-18, Luke 24:44-49, John 20:19-23, and Acts 1:4-8). He wanted them to get out there and DO IT!
Yeah… it was GO TIME! Yet, they didn’t budge. …no, not an inch. What kept them glued to Jerusalem? Was it: fear, disobedience, confusion, apathy, uncertainty, poor leadership, lack of funds, or something else?
It’s hard to say exactly, but they simply weren’t in a hurry to go anywhere… and it would require extreme persecution and the murder of a friend to get them out of their comfort zones.
What will it take for us?
Another conference or book won’t do it… an inspiring blog won’t launch us… more prayer meetings? A new journal? The latest worship album? No, no, NO!
Is persecution the only thing that will arise our faith to action? If yes, then this explains why the church grows by leaps and bounds in China but shrinks in America. It’s a life or death thing to them and a hobby to us… gulp.
So, is it going to take a punch in the face (or worse) to get us moving? If yes, call me, I’ll punch you! Anything to get the Word out!
We have begun a youth outreach in the most post-christian, unchurched city in America. But, do know what I’ve discovered? They’re not a bunch of liberal God-haters (I hate even typing that but I know what people think who aren’t New England)… The people here are smart, tough, hardworking, incredible people — many who have been misinformed (or never told with more than words) about the amazing love & power of Christ. They aren’t interested in another church ritual or weekend commitment but they DO recognize that help is needed with the next generation (their kids & grandkids) and they are open to something REAL… WE MOVED HERE BECAUSE GOD MOVED US! He has something MORE to say & do in this region of the USA — I’m humbled & honored to be chosen and I’ll work my butt off to serve like Jesus!
He wants to MOVE you too (but it may be across the street, rather than across the country or around the world).
Will you move so God can MOVE?
In Acts 8, Philip goes to Samaria and God moves, he goes to the desert road towards Gaza and God moves, then the Ethiopian goes back to Africa and God moves… what a chapter! God’s looking for the faithful, the courageous and the obedient. Those GOing for Him. And when He finds them ANYTHING and EVERYTHING is possible.
Did this post MOVE you? Get up, walk away from your computer or mobile device, and GO love someone RIGHT NOW! Then come back & share in the comments! I triple-dog-dare you!!