I love storms. Thunderstorms. Blizzards. First of all, nature in itself is absolutely beautiful.
Taking a moment to look at the detail of a tree, or a blade of grass .. or gaze into the sky during a sunset .. pointing out stars on a clear, brisk night ... all these things can change our attitudes and make us feel extremely grateful.
Now, a force of nature is a whole different story. People have different reactions and feelings towards storms. I don't know what it is about them, but I literally love a nice rain and thunderstorm while I'm driving home from preaching or waking up from a deep sleep.
We've had so many record breaking storms in the past few years .. Katrina and Rita to name a few. I don't believe we've seen the worst of it yet. I believe a Global Warming is coming to our generation like we've never seen before. Okay, okay, I'm not talking about the same thing as Al Gore is making a small fortune on.
I believe a spiritual Global Warming is ready to break loose among the people of God that will spread out through the earth in our generation!
In Acts 17:6 it says "these people who have turned the world upside down have now come here."
Right after Christ left Spiritual Storms were breaking loose. If you study Church History you'll be amazed at the spiritual storms all through the centuries up to today. Even these past few years God has been moving in power around the world. Sometimes we tend to think if we haven't heard of it it's not happening.
Let me encourage you right now .. recently in Africa an evangelist led over 1 million people to Christ in one night at one altar call. Over the past 2 decades in Argentina God used 1 evangelist to reach over 4 million people for Christ (imagine all of your state coming together for a Church service and you'll begin to understand what's going on in Argentina right now.) In Bogota, Columbia my older brother sat in a youth service held in a Soccer Stadium where 70,000 youth gather weekly for youth group. In South Korea 1 million people gather every week for Church at the largest church in the world ... ever. God is doing great things.
Will we choose to be a part of this spiritual storm of monumental proportions?!
I believe that just as storms can be measured by a scientific scale called the Richter Scale, spiritual awakenings can be personally measured for in our own lives by looking at a scale in the Word of God.
Our witness is supernaturally reflected by our proximity to Jesus. Are we holding secret sins or laying them down at his feet in repentance? Are we striving to know him more in His Word? Are we responsive to obey in the little things?
Do we really believe what Jesus preached about repentance, heaven and hell, and that He is the only way to the Father? It's easy to justify things and try to reason crazy ideas as we get older ... are we faith-full to lay our agendas and thoughts down in order to be sensitive to God's Word?
Do we care about others who haven't known Christ yet? Love for others includes caring about their eternal well being. Do we pray for others who are outside the Church?
There comes a point when we no longer care what others might think of us and we step in.
Passion is what drives a snowboarder learning a new trick to fail miserably 100 times, to break some bones in the process until they finally get it right. They are passionate about this thing, and nothing will keep them from accomplishing their goal. How much more passionate should we be about eternal matters?!
The disciples had healed the sick and cast out demons. They had preached the Gospel all over. They had walked with Christ in the flesh.
Still, when Jesus headed up to heaven to be at the Right Hand of the Father, he told them He had something more than all that for them ... a power they hadn't yet known.
It would come through an overflowing (or clothing) of the Holy Spirit. How do they get it? They wait and pray. They did so for 10 days and the Holy Spirit fell.
I believe as we follow their example, individually we will be used as well to turn the world upside down for Christ.
I personally believe much of the Church in America today is at a number 2 on the scale ... with holiness and faith, but without too much concern for others outside. Some may be concerned but can't seem to conjure up the passion to speak up.
Others may have received power from the Holy Spirit but since lost passion and burden and it set them back to the 2 level. Wherever you are ... may God stir you at this moment to step it up a level. To aim up a notch. Time is short, let's shake the world for God.