This thought process came about as I have been reading through Acts recently, over and over again. Acts continues to be one of my favorite books in the Bible. It is incredible reading one account after the other of people speaking out for Christ with incredible boldness and then God moving in mighty ways because of it. I think it sums up best in Acts 17:6 where they say, "And when they could not find them, they dragged Jason and some of the brothers before the city authorities, shouting, “These men who have turned the world upside down have come here also..." That may seem like an overstatement but if anything it was an understatement. They truly had turned the world upside down for Christ. Then, as always when I study this book, I began to look at the world around me and wonder why we were not seeing the same type of move of God? Now, I know some of you reading this are in parts of the world where you are seeing moves like this and I would love for you to share what is going on and how God is moving. But I know for me, here in my home deep in the heart of Texas, I am not seeing the same move of God around me. So I can't help but wonder why. And I feel that sometimes it is because we are limiting ourselves and what we think can be accomplished in us and through us. I fear that we often read scripture and think, "Those are great stories, but those men and women were special and there is no way my students and I could do something like that." Now, I am sure we believe we can do big things but how big. Do you believe thousands of people could come to Christ in one day? Do you believe that there could be "no needy among you"? It is time we start believing these things, not only because this generation and our world needs a mighty move of God but also because I believe it is possible. Why do I believe this?
Well for one, our culture is eerily similar to the culture that the apostles lived in. When you study government and culture of that time and do a comparison this becomes very clear. Granted, the Jews in Jerusalem that the apostles initially ministered to were waiting for a Messiah, but aren't those in the world around us as well? Aren't they waiting for hope and an answer to all the pain, emptiness, and struggles in their lives and just hoping someone will save them?
But here is the bigger thing. When you look at the apostles they did not receive any special training or have any unique abilities above and beyond what we have. What I mean is that we are all gifted to do things for God and we should not look at them like they just have skills that none of us do, therefore we cannot do what we did. This is a lie. Because when you look at the essence of Acts, what happened? The apostles had met Jesus. They were crazy enough to believe He was who He said He was, that He did He did what He said He would do, and that He would accomplish through them what He said He would accomplish. And then here is the really crazy part, they were obedient to do what He commanded them to do.
Guess what? We have met the same Jesus and have the same Holy Spirit inside of us that the disciples did. All that is missing is for us to follow their example and believe that Jesus was who He said He was, that He did He did what He said He would do, and that He will accomplish through us what He said He would accomplish. And then most importantly of all we need to step out and be obedient to what He commanded us to do.
I hope you are. But if you are not I hope you will begin to unleash in your youth ministry the true power of God that is inside of you and then in turn you and your students and leaders would unleash that power in the community around you. Let go of fears and limitations you have placed on yourself and believe that God can and will move as He has before. And if we do this I know we will see our world turned upside down for Christ once again.