Today’s Readings: 1 Chronicles 1:1-2:17, Acts 23:11-35, Psalm 3:1-8, Proverbs 18:14-15
Acts 23 tells of a conspiracy against Paul where forty men pledged not to eat or drink before they killed him. But Paul’s nephew heard of their plan, told Paul, then the governor, and Paul was protected.
The thing that strikes me about this story is that it sounds like Paul’s nephew was just an ordinary person going about his daily chores. Yet he was in the right place at the right time to protect Paul and, in doing so, to advance God’s Kingdom.
I believe this is one way that the Holy Spirit is at work in the world. He puts people where He needs them to join in specific actions or conversations for the purpose of advancing God’s Kingdom. How can we be involved? I’m really not sure, but I believe that it happens when I am in the pattern I mentioned in June (believe, obey, follow) and when I actively invite the Holy Spirit to be at work in my life.
I recently heard an excellent sermon at my church about the action of the Holy Spirit. Jeff Crosby spoke about ways that we can impede the action of the Holy Spirit:
- Insult the Holy Spirit (Hebrews 10:29)
- Blaspheme the Holy Spirit (Mark 3:28-29)
- Lie to the Holy Spirit (Acts 5:3-9)
- Grieve the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 4)
- Quench the Holy Spirit (1 Thessalonians 5)
- Resist or rebel against the Holy Spirit (Isaiah 63)
Since hearing that sermon, I have been inviting the Holy Spirit into my life in my morning prayers and asking Him to instruct me when I do any of the things on this list. It has been interesting – I have been having conversations at work (at least two in the last two weeks) about God and His work in the world. I will continue to pray and report in the month of July when I have an encounter that clearly believe that the Holy Spirit was at work around me and that I had the opportunity to be involved.