The message today is part of a shorter sermon series on “Practicing Faith in Williamson County.”
Part of living in this present age (Titus 2:11-12) is taking time to know the present age. We noted last week that the postmodern age is upon the West and in this larger context we presently live. Additionally, we noted that Williamson County is an exploding area of the country with 1) jobs, 2) education, and 3) quality of life, being the reasons people are moving here. In one sense, very talented and driven people are drawn to Williamson County.
The result is a very competitive yet family values driven culture. With a booming economy, it may be very difficult to survive here and with the values that bring people to this county, how do we live out faith here?
The first answer to this questions is this: embrace God’s power for this present age, the Holy Spirit. Seriously, someone might say? What is does that mean? With the demands of the job, surviving by hard work, and real power structures at work, talking about the Holy Spirit may come off as weird and misplaced.
We read of the early believers in Acts 4 being filled with boldness and operating in great power. This is significant because these believers were “uneducated”. They were common people who were living in the face of great opposition by a world system totally at odds with the gospel. Yet, being filled with the Holy Spirit they were enabled to live and prosper in their present age. By prosper, we do not mean they excelled in jobs, education, and quality of life! By prosper, we mean they advanced the kingdom of God!
The Holy Spirit is a person who is also God. As such, being filled with him is to be filled with boldness, clarity, and power to live in one’s present age with a witness that pierces the values of a world system. However, we often face blocks to his filling: preoccupation with the pleasures of this world, lack of trust, and habitual sin. In order to experience greater filling, we must of necessity…yield. To yield is to practice faith in the Spirit to protect us, lead us, and empower us. It is quite possible that his power over us is limited because we are holding onto something that limits him.
The believers of Acts 4 were bold and free in their witness. They were not free from difficulty but they free from sin! So, we may walk in greater intimacy with Jesus, being filled with the Spirit, and function in Williamson County, free of the desire/goal of “winning” over others, trusting in wealth for protection, trusting in education for promotion. We pursue all things as believers in our context but being empowered by the Spirit, we are subject to none of these things.
This message comes from Acts 4:13-22. Want to listen? Here’s the online sermon archive.