But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth. -Acts 1:8
It’s too easy to maintain a sterile, safe Christian life: surround ourselves with like-minded believers, and associate with non-believers as little as possible—or not at all. We keep to ourselves at work, in our social circles, and in our worship communities.
Where was Jesus during His time on this earth? He was hands on with the poor, the sick, the needy, and the helpless. He faced fire and opposition head on. He was in the thick of it, changing hearts and minds daily.
You might say, “Well, I’m not Jesus.” But as believers, God lives within us, does He not? We are called to walk His walk, to follow His lead, and to pursue Christlikeness, which is achieved over time through such a walk.
The context for the verse above is Luke the Evangelist telling how Jesus stayed with the apostles for forty days after He rose, speaking about the kingdom of God, and that they would soon be baptized with the Holy Spirit. They asked him if the kingdom would be restored to Israel right then, and this is what happened:
He said to them: “It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by his own authority. But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”
After he said this, he was taken up before their very eyes, and a cloud hid him from their sight. -Acts 1:7-9
While we wait, we are active in making Him known in this world, so we need to disperse and mix with the crowd.
Don’t get me wrong: it is important to have the fellowship and support of fellow agents. It definitely is, because we falter and need support. But imagine the missionary who may have to work alone in a foreign land of unbelievers…in depressing conditions where despair and confusion reign. That person is a single beacon of God’s love to pierce the darkness, and dependent entirely on Him to recharge and maintain strength.
The truth is, we are all missionaries. So, let’s burst the bubble from the inside.
We were called to go out and win the lost, not preach to the choir and keep our hands clean. We need to get down and dirty in the trenches and in the mission field. And we go out there fully equipped and flanked by the God of angel armies. We can fearlessly carry His light to the ends of the earth. Fear not, for He is with you.
In the following video, the members of Casting Crowns describe what it means to thrive. Check it out: