September 15, 2018

Acts 1:8

"But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth."

A couple of months ago at this point, I had the opportunity to go to Jenness Park for my church camp for my fourth year in a row.  It was amazing.  This verse, Acts 1:8 was the central theme for the week.  Now, I had heard this verse a multitude of times in my life before camp, but the verse never really struck a chord within me.  After the week, however, this verse brings back memories and all that I had learned in those five days in my favorite place.

The verse straight up says that "you will receive power when the Spirit comes upon you."
I don't feel powerful.  I'm just a seventeen-year-old high school girl who has a lot to learn about herself and the world.
When I think of the word powerful, or power, I think of superheroes.
I think of people who are strong and have no weakness and can do literally anything.

But let's look at the definition of power:

Power: the ability to do something or act in a particular way, especially as a faculty or quality.
Power: the capacity or ability to direct or influence the behavior of others or the course of events.

When you look at those definitions of the word power, I don't know about you, but for me, that changes my perspective on what being powerful is and looks like. So when the Lord says that we will receive power, He doesn't mean we will gain these supernatural gifts that allow us to fly or pick up cars suddenly and upon command for His glory.  It means that we have the ability to bring about his glory.

When He comes upon us, when we accept Him, and we become His children forever, He gives us the ability to influence other people with His love.  He gives us the ability to do something special and amazing for His glory for the rest of our lives, and that is our Mission, which is what we learned about at camp.
The next part of the verse says that we will be His witnesses in a whole bunch of different places.  Now, does this actually mean we should all go to Judea, Samaria, Jerusalem and all of those countries and areas altogether and sing Kumbaya for the Lord?  Maybe not.  Or maybe you are called to those specific places.  But in this case, it is symbolic for what He actually means.
The order of the places is important as well: Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.  What does that mean in our case, if we are not specifically placed in those areas of the world?

Jerusalem symbolizes our own neighborhoods, the places closest to us, our towns, cities, our schools, the people we can immediately reach. 
Judea and Samaria represent the near far.  The cities around, the states around, carefully branching out away from our own comfort zone and home.
And "to the ends of the earth" is pretty self-explanatory, meaning all of us are called to go out of our way to spread the gospel and what the Lord provides.  We are all called to get out of our homes and go. The Lord says GO. It may not be to a specific place, and it may not necessarily ever be outside of the country, but things like mission trips are extremely helpful. 

GO. Go and make disciples of every nation.
Wherever that means for you, Go.
How amazing is it, that the God who created us tiny, insignificant humans who feel as though we cannot do anything worthwhile, has chosen us to be His witnesses?

I learned at camp that our Mission could be in our own hometown, it could be in our state, or it could be in Japan, but we all have a Mission to go and be God's hands.  God's love.  If we don't accept the mission, who will?

So when you feel powerless and helpless and small, remember that an all-powerful God has called you to go for Him.  What an amazing opportunity.

So today I dare you to go out and do something crazy.  Whether crazy means posting a Bible verse online or going on a mission trip to Alaska, I dare you to go.  Because God dared you first.

What are you waiting for? 
You have the power.


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