“. . . strengthened in the faith, and were increasing in number daily.” Acts 16:5
The normal Christian life is an extraordinary life. We look at the people in scripture who God used and assume they must have been more spiritual and had a greater grasp of the supernatural, that they possessed divine insiders’ knowledge. Crediting them as “special” and more “spiritual” only blinds us from seeing our own usability and capacity for spiritual growth.
The first Christians, like you, had to grow in the ways of Jesus. The inspiration that guided their speech, inspired their sermons and caused them to do great things was the presence of the Spirit bestowed on them. Yielding to the work of the Spirit will always give our service depth and cause it to affect a wider scope than what we intended.
The presence of the Spirit did not make them sinless, it did not destroy their weakness and natural inclinations. It didn’t take away Paul’s hot temper. It didn’t eliminate Paul’s prejudice, nor did it alter his intellect.
The point is, the people in the early church were regular people like you and me. Facing everyday struggles, aware of their own weaknesses and shortcomings. The presence of the Spirit resting on them made up for their deficiencies.
Through the Spirit, hatred is replaced by love, anger with patience, anxiety with peace and pretense with humility. Shockingly, you are no better or worse than the frail, fractured, first followers of Jesus. Stop elevating your shortcomings and submit yourself to the Spirit. When the Spirit comes, He makes the weak courageous, He makes the feeble strong, and He makes the slow sharp.
The apostles were a living witness to a not-uncommon phenomenon of the Christian life. The Spirit leads us into a discovery of Jesus Christ, resulting in fire merged with friendship, which causes us to do extraordinary things.
How is the Spirit working through your weaknesses? Today intentionally focus on the life of God being demonstrated in and through your weaknesses.