“I believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the Giver of Life.” Never overlook this precious statement in the Apostles’ Creed. On it you can build your faith, your ministry, and your confidence in all times, especially when faith burns low and ministry is tough.
And then believe that the Holy Spirit can reach anyone. Let the conversion of Saul of Tarsus teach you His power. This man was sent to Damascus with arrest warrants. He left with his own life in danger, having received a mandate to preach the Gospel. He went there “breathing out murderous threats” (9.1), and came back on fire with love for Christ. The Holy Spirit’s power can no more be anticipated than it can be limited.
The Lord whose people he was trying to persecute is the Lord whose glory puts him in the dust (vv.1-5). Does in his heart of hearts Saul already know that is Jesus? I suspect so. Jesus has his man cornered and cowering. Saul is broken: his pride, his beliefs, his career are all in tatters. Grace knocks us down.
Two men alive in Christ
Ananias is terrified. A prayer time is turned into a commission to meet a murderer (vv.10-15). He must meet Saul, but he is told that he will be God’s instrument for his transformation. More than that, Saul will be God’s instrument for bringing the light of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ to the pagan nations. He had seen that glory, and soon, alive in Christ, others would see it through his ministry.
Zeal in the Holy Spirit
Now for Saul it’s sight after blindness, and zeal for Christ replaces hatred of Him. He prays, and now he preaches, to everyone’s astonishment (vv.20-23). And to the rage of many: Saul flees for his life, but nothing will silence him. The church can barely believe that this persecutor is now a fervent preacher of Christ, but no one can deny his powerful ministry (vv.26-30).
Luke shows us that God now has His man for the Gentiles, but Luke hasn’t forgotten Peter. He is also travelling, and is healing and preaching (vv.32-34). We might think of the healings of Jesus Himself which are similar to these two episodes (very obviously, Acts 10.36-43 and Mark 5.35-43). What Jesus began to do and teach (Acts 1.1), His apostles now have His Spirit to continue. A church filled and led by His Spirit is ready to shake the world. Are you?
A Prayer to Pray
Come, Holy Sprit, fill me with Your life, Your love, Your zeal, Your wisdom. Take the scales of self-love and unbelief from my eyes, show me Jesus. Make me His living sacrifice, for His praise sake. Amen.