I was inspired and challenged by half of a verse in the book of Acts, in the New Testament section of the Bible.
But when they did not find them, they dragged Jason and some brethren to the rulers of the city, crying out, “These who have turned the world upside down have come here too…
~ Acts 17:6
WOW! Paul and Silas’ visit shook an entire city! The first disciples were known to bring CHANGE, cause spiritual uproars wherever they went! What a wonderful testimony! The whole known world of their time heard the message. Whether people accepted the truth they preached or not, they had to reckon with it; they couldn’t ignore it or discard the instruments God had chosen to use. “These” were not perfect, they weren’t spiritual superheroes, they didn’t have it all together… They came from diverse backgrounds, had strengths but also weaknesses, moments of doubt, discouragement, fatigue, anger, frustration, fear, distraction, temptation… Just like you and me. Ordinary men and women in a tough environment, a hostile culture, limited resources, faced with difficult challenges and the choice to believe the invisible over the material, to walk by faith and not by sight.
Turning our own little world upside down – our families, our neighborhoods, our churches, our political sphere, our streets, our prisons, our shelters, our cities and our countries – that’s the kind of CHANGE we’ll talk about in this section through the Bible or real life contemporary examples, as God leads. The objective is simple: stirring our hearts and minds to push us to action, again or for the first time. Because the kingdom of God needs each and every one of us as laborers in the harvest. The clock is ticking, souls are dying without Christ and we have the remedy, the solution, the message of salvation for them! We are all potential life-changers, by God’s grace and for His glory! We are salt and light! We have been saved to be fishers of men too. We are His disciples, much like Peter, John and Paul, called to give our all for the sake of the One who gave it all for us and granted us the most beautiful calling: reaching others with the message of His love, redemption and everlasting promises, wonderfully encapsulated by the Cross of Calvary.
Paul was changed on the road to Damascus. Never to be the same again. Are you changed? Have you fully surrendered to His will and His ways? Are you willing to get out of the boat of comfort and routine? Paul and Silas endured pain and rejection. Paul went from having authority and power to destroy Christians to being a fugitive at times, a man always at risk, a pariah in certain circles. Security and popularity gone. Change comes with a cost, sometimes a heavy price to pay. But it is all worth it. “Jason and other brothers” are the fruit of Paul’s blood, sweat and tears. Our own stories still have to be fully written. Who will come to the saving knowledge of the Son of God through our witness and faith? What can you do to turn your world upside down while you still can, while on this side of eternity? All we need, as it happened with Paul, is to hear the voice of God and then decide to obey – no matter what. Ananias (Acts 9) is another great example of that: He’s the one who first took the risk to reach out to Paul (then still called Saul) despite his dangerous reputation. Why? Because God told him to do so and he trusted God enough to act upon His word. Impressive!
As for us, are we tired to see evil win? Are we desperate for a move of God in our generation? Are we ready to be used by Him to usher spiritual awakenings where we are located? CHANGE is possible. Within and without. Dare to believe. Face a giant, a mountain, an impossibility in your life; confront a lie, a fear, a doubt. Don’t settle for captivity or scrums. If you are a child of God, your inheritance is abundance and victory in Christ. Not solely for your enjoyment but because your life is to be a living testimony of the power, love and grace of the Almighty One, an encouragement for many! Shine His light in the darkness! Let Him change you more (He’s infinite) and make you the changer others are waiting for.