We’re in Chapter 20, and todays ACTivate thoughts are from Ali, my amazing wife!
Spirit Empowered Living Holds Nothing Back!
This chapter shows how being empowered by the Holy Spirit leads to rich Christian living when we hold nothing back. Paul’s actions truly reflect this – he gave everything – holding nothing back! He said: I am not moved by these things, and nothing stopped him:
- Persecution didn’t: He kept moving from place to place as people plotted against him because of the effects of the gospel. Due to limited time at Troas, he taught ALL night! He held nothing back! The fruit of this: miracles – the dead raised; believers comforted, refreshed and encouraged! [This after an all night sermon!]
- Prison and Pain [Future] didn’t: [This known by prophetic insight and leading of the Holy Spirit] Paul was NOT moved by the thought of suffering and imprisonment that lay ahead for him. He was only motivated in fulfilling his mission to preach the Gospel, whatever the cost. He did not hold onto his plans and life his way.
- Possessions didn’t: He did not allow his financial status to stop him living for the cause of the sharing the Gospel. He did not covet; knowing and practising the truth that “it is more blessed to give than to receive.”
- Popularity didn’t: He taught the full counsel of God whether it was popular or not. He didn’t hold back on the truth as he was more concerned in equipping these leaders to confront those who would distort the truth in the future, than gaining their applause.
- People [friendships] didn’t: He knew he would never see these leaders again – people whom he loved and nurtured, yet he didn’t allow this to keep him from moving ahead into God’s plan for him which included pain and suffering.
So, are you “holding back”?
I wonder if there is anything holding you back from fulfilling God’s plan and purpose which includes being empowered by His Spirit? Could it be a relationship, possessions, the intimidation of being mocked and persecuted for your beliefs, or fear of what the future may hold?
I am not moved by these things…
Can we get to the point of saying, as Paul did, I am not moved by these things [v24] but by the purpose and mission of God in my life no matter what that includes? This is what leads to a deep sense of fulfilment. Let’s make sure we are holding nothing back but giving everything in order to emulate Jesus [and Paul: follow me as I follow Jesus 1Cor 11:1]. He lay down His life so we may know Life!