The Unstoppable Spirit
Now those who were scattered went about preaching the word. Philip went down to the city of Samaria and proclaimed to them the Christ. And the crowds with one accord paid attention to what was being said by Philip, when they heard him and saw the signs that he did. For unclean spirits, crying out with a loud voice, came out of many who had them, and many who were paralyzed or lame were healed. So there was much joy in that city. — Acts 8:4-8
So given the present persecution, you would assume that some of the disciples would run and hide for their lives. In fact, previously, they did just that. If you recall the arrest, trial, and crucifixion of Jesus, you'll remember that all the disciples fled. They were nowhere to be found during any of this. Even the most courageous of them all, Peter, ran for his life.
The difference in this situation was two-fold. First, Jesus defeated death. Second, Jesus ascended and left the Holy Spirit. And the Spirit was blowing like a mighty wind. While the Sanhedrin sparked a firey persecution against followers in Jerusalem, the Spirit blew on this spark and ignited a firestorm across the land. And many people were going to be a part of this storm. Philip, here is one.
You know there is nothing like a follower indwelled by the Spirit of God. The Spirit is a mighty force. It gives courage to the faint of heart and wisdom to the inexperienced. And the Spirit of God moved in Philip. He moved in Philip, just like he did in Stephen. Philip, exactly like Stephen, was one of the seven servants chosen in Acts 6:5. But the full of the Holy Spirit, he was promoted from servant of widows to an all-out Gospel preaching miracle worker. He was chosen to advance the Gospel message. And look where he went — Samaria.
Samaria was no man's land for Jews. Jews never went there. In fact, they avoided it. They considered the region of Samaria off-limits because Samaritans, who were former Jews, intermarried with Assyrians during captivity. This was a sexual no-no for Jews. So devout Jews considered Samaritan's sell-outs. And these two people groups despised each other. But notice this is exactly where Philip goes. Indwelled by the Spirit, he not only preaches a bold message and performs miracles, but he presents the Gospel to a people group to which Jews would never go.
As the persecution intensifies in our time, we need to be ready for what the wind of the Spirit may do. As one place becomes less receptive and resistant to the Gospel, the Spirit might open up new opportunities. Opportunities for a new expansion of the same old Gospel. And we need to be ready. Because the Spirit may challenge our understanding of human traditions and religious assumptions to accomplish a fresh fire in our time. So let's pray for the Spirit and people to carry the message and for a fresh wind and fresh fire of the Spirit in our time.
ASK THIS: Are you ready for a fresh wind and fire of the Spirit?
DO THIS: Let pray about this together. (Share a prayer for this below, and let's agree together)
PRAY THIS: God, may your Spirit move in and among your people in a fresh way. Start a new fire, blow it into a great storm, and advance the Gospel in our time.
PLAY THIS: Unstoppable God — Sanctus Real.
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