Never On Your Own
This coming Sunday (Sept. 5th), we will start our fall teaching series through the first part of Acts. And, over the course of the next ministry year, we will make our way through the entire book of Acts. As we do that, what are we going to see? Honestly, lots of things. We will see a historical account of the early church. We will come to learn more about our identity in Christ. And, we will find that Christians are to actively share (evangelism) and defend (apologetics) their faith.
But, more than anything, we will come to learn that as Christians, we are not called to live this Christian life on our own. And, frankly, that is really good news! Why? Well, if you are anything like me, the thought of living, acting, and thinking like Jesus is an overwhelming thought. Much in the same way, trying to do something that I know I have not been trained for or equipped to do is overwhelming. I know that I will need help. Too often, though, I’m too proud or stubborn to ask for it—referencing Acts 1:1-5, the theologian N.T. Wright reminds us of our stubbornness and the gift of the Spirit.
“Jesus told his followers to wait for this to happen before they tried to do anything too much. That is important advice. Far too often, to this day, people blunder ahead, assuming that if they know a little about Jesus, and about God’s kingdom, they can just go off and put things into action in whatever way occurs to them. Luke would tell us to wait: to pray for the presence and power of the Holy Spirit, and to find our calling and our energy from that source. If this (Christian life) is a play in which we (believers) are all called to take different parts, it is a play in which the only true acting is what happens when the Spirit of the playwright himself takes charge.”
In other words, we are to depend on the Holy Spirit. In fact, dependence on the Holy Spirit was a priority for Jesus. In Luke 4, we see that Jesus is filled with the Spirit and led and sustained by the Spirit. He wants us to know that the same Spirit he depended on during his earthly life (incarnation) is the one that fills us. And, we are never on our own because, in Jesus, we have the Holy Spirit in us.
Whatever you are going through this week. Whatever you feel woefully inadequate for. Whatever you are struggling through. Hear this gift of grace; you are not on your own. The Spirit of God is in you, and because of that, the very presence of God is with you. Always.
Christian, you are never on your own.