I have just come back from a one-week intensive seminary course on Luke-Acts. I am tired. I feel that for the past five days my mind and spirit have been working out in the arena of discovery, challenge and learning. It has been a great week among colleagues and friends. It has been a great week of growing.
It truly is a pleasure to be part of a creative atmosphere where thoughts and ideas flow from teacher to student and back again. Our gifted professor taught with passion and purpose. He poured into our hearts immeasurably more than what we could hope to reciprocate. The teaching was rich, deep, and rewarding. You could feel God’s pleasure and presence with us in the room. We were touching the heart of God as we meditated upon Truth and navigated the material.
Walking through the Lukan narratives (Luke-Acts) allowed us to digest close to twenty-five percent of the entire New Testament (NT) canon. As a NT writer, Luke is the largest contributor and weaves a very interesting, pneumatic narrative. In other words, he creates a compelling Spirit story. His work is a carefully constructed selection of history. Luke is intentionally telling us important details pertaining to Jesus in order to influence his audience (the reader). In short, Luke is constructing a selective re-telling of Jesus and the important of being a follower. He is telling us how to live an empowered, accomplished life here on earth. He is telling us how to live with the dynamic breath of God, the Holy Spirit.
In Luke’s narrative it is the Spirit who empowers and enables God’s people to live and function as difference makers here in the world. It is God’s Spirit who desires to fill, shroud, come upon and overflow from within the life of the believer. In other words, anyone who believes can receive the empowering presence of the Spirit of Jesus. It is the Holy Spirit who is the source of all things powerful, rich and real in this world. It is God’s Spirit who inspires, enables, speaks, reveals, instructs, guides, comforts, constrains, gifts, sends and affirms things in our lives. The Holy Spirit is the One is able to bring God’s abundant overflow for you and others. The Spirit is the One who gives life.
At the end of our class today we had a special time of waiting, praying, seeking and allowing God to speak to the group. It was special, deep and real. Classmates raised their voices in prophetic prayer, encouragement and intercession. The Spirit was speaking, comforting, communicating and transforming us. My eyes welled with tears. The Spirit was empowering once again.
On the drive back home my mind replayed many of the moments, conversations and discussion points that occurred in that classroom. I return home feeling challenged, encouraged, and somewhat overwhelmed with the upcoming schedule, tasks, duties and responsibilities that await me at work, home and school. However, I will forever remember the day we stood in God’s Presence as ‘one’ class and allowed the Spirit to speak. My prayer is that God’s people around the world would experience the same.
We need God’s Spirit to speak, enable and empower His people everywhere so that we can be His voice and vehicle of blessing here on earth. In other words, as Jesus followers, we are to be His prophetic witness in world through word and deed to those around us. This is what I take to heart. This is what I desire to be. Holy Spirit come and make me a conduit for Your Presence and Power. Enable me to speak Your Truth and express Your character. Empower me to be a witness for Jesus in all that I say and do. Let the wind of Your presence continue to blow upon my life, family, church and community.
May Your Kingdom come and Will be done on earth as in heaven.