Daily posts to help you connect with God
and keep yourself travelling in the right orbit
ORBIT | WEEK TEN
ORBIT – DAY FORTY SEVEN
Hello and welcome to another Orbit, the weekday devotional from the youth team at St Mary’s Reigate. If you’re just joining us for the first time, Orbit is a daily Bible reading, with some thoughts to help you put it into practice in your life. We hope this is useful – if you like it, please do spread the word.
BIBLE READING – 1 Corinthians 2: 1-5
And so it was with me, brothers and sisters. When I came to you, I did not come with eloquence or human wisdom as I proclaimed to you the testimony about God. For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and him crucified. I came to you in weakness with great fear and trembling. My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit’s power, so that your faith might not rest on human wisdom, but on God’s power.
Who is your favourite superhero? You may not have one, or you might find the concept tiresome, but humour me: if you had to pick one lycra-clad crusader to watch or even be for a day, which would you choose? Perhaps you identify with Wonder Woman, able to repel machine-gun fire with her bracelets and apparently fight wars all over the world without ageing. Or maybe you prefer Thor: mighty summoner of lightning, or the web-slinging Spiderman, or the all-powerful Superman. Whichever one is your favourite, the chances are that they wield awesome power. That’s why we love superheroes as a culture – they have the power to do things that most of us can only dream of, and we love the escapism they offer.
That seems a strange way into talking about Paul’s words to the Corinthians, but actually he too would claim to have access to superpowers. Before you worry, I’m not about to suggest that the Apostle Paul should be everyone’s favourite superhero; I’m not about to launch a new range of Paul pyjamas. But he clearly did things, as did many other members of the early church, which were not natural or normal. Among the miraculous feats of the Apostles recorded in the Bible were healings, feats of apparent mind-reading and telling the future, speaking fluently in other languages and even – believe it or not – teleportation.
If that sounds far-fetched, maybe we need to re-evaluate what we really think and believe about the power of God. Because, when we say that God is all powerful, we really mean it. God is so powerful that he was able to make the universe out of nothing; so powerful that he is able to exist outside of time; so powerful that he is able to intervene in any situation, anywhere in the world. God has the power over life and death: he is able even to raise people from the dead.
In his letter to the Ephesians, Paul later writes that the same power that raised Christ from the dead is available to us to access too. And that’s what he’s also saying here, in his letter to the Corinthians. He is saying that he is not particularly wise or persuasive, but that he is able to demonstrate the Spirit’s power. As a follower of Jesus, he is able to wield supernatural power – literally, superhuman abilities. But unlike with Spiderman and Wonder Woman, this isn’t exciting escapism – this is natural reality.
The Power of the Holy Spirit might just be Christianity’s best-kept secret – and that makes no sense at all. If we really do have access to the greatest power in the universe, then why do we keep it so quiet; what exactly are we afraid of? Paul knows that he’s never going to change the world with his own feeble strength; but with the Holy Spirit alongside him, there’s no limit to what’s possible.
And while it might be hard to get our heads around; this is true for us too. God invites us to experience the presence and the power of his holy spirit, and to use the incredible supernatural gifts that he gives to bless and change the world. It sounds like a children’s song, but God made us to be superhuman.
You might want to join me in praying this prayer.
Father God, I thank you for your Holy Spirit, who changes me from the inside, and gives me a share in the greatest power in the universe. I pray that you would help me to understand how to access that power in order to bring your kingdom, and that by drawing closer to your Spirit, I would become more like your son Jesus. Amen
There’s now a chance for you to pray, or listen to God, or simply be still for a few moments.
Each day we will provide you with a simple challenge; something to do which helps you put this little thought into action. Here’s today’s challenge
Today, invite God to fill you with the Spirit again, and to use you in a powerful and surprising way. Expect the unexpected; just like in a superhero movie. Gods power is real, and he puts it to work in the world, through us.
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We’ll be back with another edition of Orbit tomorrow. Thanks for taking part today!