“When they heard these things, they were cut to the heart, and they gnashed on him with their teeth. But he, being full of the Holy Ghost, looked up steadfastly into heaven, and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing on the right hand of God.” Acts 7:54-55
Have you ever been in a sermon that everything the preacher said made you wanna shout? Yeah, me too, but that was not the case last night. Last night, preacher LET US HAVE IT. He was certainly convicting some hearts and pointing out some things that we all need to be aware of. The title was “When My Feelings are Attacked,” but I think all I heard was “how not to attack feelings.”
Stephen is only verses away from being “rocked to sleep.” Praise the Lord that he is full of the Holy Ghost, even as they gnash him with their teeth. All he can see is the glory of God! This man is preparing for death and his sole focus is the heavens opening and receiving his spirit. The primary thing that stood out to me was his strength due to the Holy Spirit.
You’re probably expecting me to give you a motivational quote about strength through trials and glory in tribulations, but I can’t. My heart just isn’t there. Maybe because I know you’ve heard it a thousand times. Maybe it’s because I’ve become more sensitive to those who are NOT full of the Holy Spirit. Maybe it is because I think we need to stop putting the focus on how we can feel better through troubles and start investing in the lives of others. Are we not called to give these people some sort of hope? Where does their strength come from? I’m sure you’ve wondered, heard, and asked that but how has it changed your attitude? I don’t enjoy being depressed, discouraged, or conflicted but the Holy Spirit is within me. Christ won’t give me more than I can handle and my moments of weakness have only grown my faith.
If I’m speaking to someone who is not full of the Holy Spirit then I have to be aware that my gnashing teeth could cause scars. Verse 55 would’ve sounded more like “He had no hope and he ran to drugs and destruction…” had Stephen been a lost soul.
I am challenging you to focus on sharing words of truth and love with those people who need the strength of men and women of God. Be willing and courageous enough to stand in the gap for them.
If you’re a Christian, then you’re called to do this. This is not “full-time ministry,” this is being a servant of Christ.