The Spirit moves

The one thing you can count on with the Holy Spirit: He will do the unexpected.

No one would have predicted that the motley group of defeated disciples of Jesus would suddenly be transformed into mighty men, speaking with the power of the Spirit and upending the world around them.

And who would have guessed that Saul, the great Jewish persecutor of the early Christians, would become a blazing missionary for the new faith?

Looking back at my early life, I would have laughed had someone said I would become a devoted follower of Jesus.  I can remember as a teenager scoffing at a television show featuring the evangelist Oral Roberts.  I recall being amazed when my father defended him.

As a university student, I was more interested in having a good time with friends than I was in studying.  Christ was far from my thoughts.

But the Holy Spirit moved in me.  He did the unexpected.  He drew me to Jesus Christ and my life changed forever.

I know many similar stories – some far more astounding.

One of these is the story of Jack Frost, an American evangelist and healer who died not too long ago.  I was listening to his testimony yesterday and I praised God for the Holy Spirit’s direct intervention in his life when he was near despair, alone on his fishing boat on the Atlantic Ocean.  With a sense of humour, the Spirit used a song about Jesus sung by a secular rock group to melt Jack Frost’s heart and drown him with joy.  Frost was an alcoholic and heavy drug user and was cured of these addictions immediately.

Unfortunately, we often take these high points and say to ourselves that life is downhill after that.  But we do not really understand what the Holy Spirit is up to.  For him, our conversion is just the beginning.

I was grateful to hear Jack Frost tell about the Holy Spirit’s work on his life after his conversion.  His is a story of gradual transformation – with some major setbacks – over many years.  Inspiring and challenging.

The danger is to lose faith in the Holy Spirit and his work.  Regretfully, I am guilty of that sin.  I have looked at my failures and sins and assumed they are insurmountable.   But the Bible and history prove me wrong.

I am focusing more and more on the Holy Spirit and his work.  God has given us the Spirit to empower us for his work in our world.

I am not helpless.  The Holy Spirit is within me – God is within me.  There is no greater strength than that.

So the world may look hopeless as it did to the early disciples after Jesus’ death.  But the Spirit is moving.  That is our hope.

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