WHEN GOD IS AT WORK
Irvin Wasswa- Tylertown Campus Pastor LHBC
8 And he entered the synagogue and for three months spoke boldly, reasoning and persuading them about the kingdom of God. 9 But when some became stubborn and continued in unbelief, speaking evil of the Way before the congregation, he withdrew from them and took the disciples with him, reasoning daily in the hall of Tyrannus. 10 This continued for two years, so that all the residents of Asia heard the word of the Lord, both Jews and Greeks.
11 And God was doing extraordinary miracles by the hands of Paul, 12 so that even handkerchiefs or aprons that had touched his skin were carried away to the sick, and their diseases left them and the evil spirits came out of them. 13 Then some of the itinerant Jewish exorcists undertook to invoke the name of the Lord Jesus over those who had evil spirits, saying, “I adjure you by the Jesus whom Paul proclaims.” 14 Seven sons of a Jewish high priest named Sceva were doing this. 15 But the evil spirit answered them, “Jesus I know, and Paul I recognize, but who are you?” 16 And the man in whom was the evil spirit leaped on them, mastered all[d] of them and overpowered them, so that they fled out of that house naked and wounded. 17 And this became known to all the residents of Ephesus, both Jews and Greeks. And fear fell upon them all, and the name of the Lord Jesus was extolled. 18 Also many of those who were now believers came, confessing and divulging their practices. 19 And a number of those who had practiced magic arts brought their books together and burned them in the sight of all. And they counted the value of them and found it came to fifty thousand pieces of silver. 20 So the word of the Lord continued to increase and prevail mightily.
On March 18th, 1995 perhaps the most famous fax of all time was sent to the Chicago Bulls organization saying: “I’m Back”. The fax was sent by the great Michael Jordan announcing his return to NBA basketball. At the time the Chicago Bulls season had not gone as well as they had hoped. They were hovering around a .500 winning percentage with the chance of possibly not making the playoffs. However when 3-time NBA champion Michael Jordan showed back up on the scene, the Bulls were able to find their stride and finish the regular season well going 13-4. As the Bulls and the rest of the NBA came to realize Michael Jordan back on the Chicago Bulls changed everything.
In Acts 19 we see the impact the Lord had during Paul’s ministry in Ephesus. The apostle Paul was on his third missionary journey sharing the gospel of Christ with the lost around the world. Many scholars believe his time in Ephesus to be the apex of his ministry. He enters into the city and he witnesses God do an amazing work in the lives of many people there.. Paul spent a couple of years preaching the Gospel and ministering to the people there. Though the labor had been tough, God was on the move in a mighty way! Many who were sick were getting healed, the lost were coming to faith in Christ, and as a result of the work of God there was a mighty revival which took place with the culmination of many in the city giving up their old life following magic and choosing to serve King Jesus as Master! WOW! What a moment! How was it that all of this took place? Because when God is at work EVERYTHING CHANGES.
God at work in your marriage changes everything. God at work in your ministry changes everything. God at work in your life as you work and serve in your workplace changes everything. Here is the deal though, are you allowing for Him to work in your life? It is so easy to fall into the trap of operating as if the Lord is nowhere to be found in your world. The reason why Paul and the people of Ephesus experienced some incredible things done was because of the Lord being at work. See, Paul understood early the call to lay down His life daily and surrender in obedience to the Lord and His plan (Galatians 2:20). He understood the call to be filled with the Spirit/operating in the Spirit (Ephesians 5:18). He saw in his life the impact and the power of the Holy Spirit at work in his time in ministry so I believe He prayed for Him to work and move! Listen friend, when the Spirit of God is at work, everything changes.
What does it look like for us to allow for the Lord to work in our life as did Paul’s? It is choosing to surrender to the Lordship of Christ every single day of your life. It is choosing to submit to His will/plan for your life, and pray for the Spirit of God to stir the hearts of those in and around you. Today and in the days ahead let us look to allow for Him to work in our life, and pray for Him to continue to work and move in the lives of those around us. Why? Because when the God of the Universe is at work, everything changes.
PRAYER FOR TODAY:
Dear Heavenly Father, Thank you for your love for me. Help me to choose to live surrendered to you today. Help me to understand that when You move everything changes! Move in my life and in the lives of those around me. In Jesus’ name, Amen!
MEMORY VERSE FOR THE WEEK
The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?