It’s amazing how new phrases arrive in our lexicon and take over our world almost instantly when a new situation arises. In 2019 some of the following would have meant nothing to us: Coronavirus, PPE, Furloughed, Shielding, Social Distancing etc… you get what I am saying. Yet now these words and phrases are written and spoken millions of times every day and seem to dominate our conversations and media.
In church circles we used the term furloughed but in a different context. To us it meant the period of time when missionaries working overseas came back home for a period of rest, recovery and to tour our UK churches telling the people about their ministry abroad.
One phrase that has got under my skin slightly is when people pronounce that one of the changes thrust upon us at this time of crisis is that ‘this will be a real game changer!’ I can’t help myself – it must be the cynic in me – but I start to go down the path of thinking to myself – will it? It is human nature to quickly take up our old ways of living and patterns of behaviour as soon as things revert to normal.
There are blessings to be found in this trying time. I love that the fact that I have been able to watch daily as nature has transformed from spring into summer. It started slowly at first, with subtle changes that hinted that the natural world was awakening and then the momentum has gathered until everything is in glorious bloom and some plants visibly growing daily. Most years I am so busy that it just sort of happens and I only sample nature during my summer holidays or occasionally out on the golf course. It does feel like ample compensation for having to live a simpler, slower, constrained life and we have been blessed to have great weather.
So, this is the week that we are celebrating a real game changer. Something that had a permanent and lasting impact on our world and can do the same for your life. The Church celebrates Pentecost. This is the time when God gifted us himself and sent the Holy Spirit to be with us, to encourage us and to be our comfort and helper.
Can you imagine how wonderful it must be not just to acknowledge the existence of God or to understand that He loved us so much that He sent His son to connect with us, but now He can be permanently in us, with us and working alongside us. His supernatural power can be demonstrated in our lives and in what we do. Now that is a game changer! Jesus promised that God would send us a helper, and this is the Holy Spirit. He even said it would be advantageous for himself to leave this world because He would be replaced by the Holy Spirit.
In John 14 we read the following in the Message translation:
15-17 “If you love me, show it by doing what I’ve told you. I will talk to the Father, and he’ll provide you another Friend so that you will always have someone with you. This Friend is the Spirit of Truth. The godless world can’t take him in because it doesn’t have eyes to see him, doesn’t know what to look for. But you know him already because he has been staying with you, and will even be in you!”
This friend Jesus speaks about is the Holy Spirit. The impact of this is potentially limitless. Jesus taught clearly that the only limitation placed on the power of the Holy Spirit is our lack of faith. We only need a tiny amount to make a huge impact. Even Jesus found that He could not perform miracles in places where people lacked faith. It is clear to me that God has chosen to work through us. This week accept the Holy Spirt as a real gift to you from God and have faith that this is something that will be a real game changer in your life. Accept it as a gift, believe in it and learn to work with Him who is part of God. Use the gifts given to you to bring glory to God and never be the same again.
Have a great Pentecost!