Stephen was filled with the Holy Spirit. A man of purpose. A man with clarity. That is why he was such a threat to the high priest and Sanhedrin. It’s a sad thing when church leaders don’t do a good job of supporting those in the church filled with the Holy Spirit because it does not support their agenda. It’s a tough balance because they have a church to run and their mission to achieve. But it is a great lesson for all of us to be open to others who are also anointed by God within the church and support their mission too. The priests did not humble themselves and missed out on a great revelation by someone who wasn’t a “priest” because they were “too anointed” in their minds to listen and see.
Image courtesy of: dappy2230
“But Stephen, full of the Holy Spirit, looked up to heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God.” – Acts 7:55
We don’t need to be Sanhedrin or church leaders to fall into this trap. Others anointed that come before us may be different than us, but are anointed nonetheless. In Mark 9:38 the disciples went to Jesus and reported someone else was driving out demons in your name, and he replied that if they are not against us, then they are for us. What does this mean? It means they are family. They are committed to God too. That is what matters. It takes an army to do this work. We need all the help that we can get. Let us help and support each other and recognize what God is doing in other’s lives. Let us love thy neighbor as thyself.
One thing important to recognize is not only how passionate that Stephen was, but how committed he was. Stephen’s commitment came from a strong biblical foundation. He was wise in the Word. Because of this he was able to see the error of past thinking and the resistance of the religious leaders of that time. And through all of this, Stephen kept focus on truth which is Jesus Christ. This allowed Stephen to not be swayed by the religious leaders, rather he influenced them. It all starts with the foundation in the Word. Stephen clearly showed his knowledge and wisdom by answering their question with deep understanding, information, and perspective that comes through the Word of God. Start with the basics and get grounded in the Word. Life and success will follow.
It’s funny how you can make all the right decisions at the right time through the guidance and power of the Holy Spirit that comes with and through God’s Word. When this truth finally got through my thick head and my stubbornness of what “I wanted to do” and I fully surrendered to Him, my life did a complete turnaround for the better. It’s not like life doesn’t continue to bring challenges my way, but there are none that cannot be overcome through God’s Word. So everything I do now I first bounce up against the Word of God, every single aspect and decision that I make. I even switched companies a few years ago to work for a company where the founder was grounded in the Word of God and led by biblical principles. What a blessing and honor it is to be able to come to work every day knowing that the founder of the company stands on God’s Word. And the founder of the company continually works to advance God’s kingdom through various initiatives, one of which enables bible studies in the workplace for business leaders. How amazing is that? How amazing is God!?
Dear heavenly Father, thank you for your Word. We ask that you fill us with your wisdom through your Word, and rain down Your blessings from heaven. Help us to get over ourselves and realize that it is You who rule heaven and earth and everything in it. Help us to realize that as your children that we are heirs to everything that you have and own – which is everything! Draw us close to you that we might know you more, and walk in your ways! Bless us with thy gifts of the Holy spirit, and in every area of our lives. And help us to know that it is all your Lord, and give all the honor and glory and praise to you, in Jesus mighty name. Amen.
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