“But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” Jesus, Acts 1:8
Thus begins the evangelization of the nations. The Apostles would spread the word throughout the ancient world, poor fisherman became great orators, the lame were healed, and even the dead were raised. We’re in Germany today because Christ told his followers to be “witnesses … to the ends of the earth.” But how often do I expect the Holy Spirit to really act with power in my life?
Last month, God sent a colleague and I to Bulgaria. We heard many people were coming to Christ around a little town just north of the Greek border. We went because we felt called, but had no idea what we were in for.
Over the next eight days we tried to capture the life of a man, who met Jesus in a dramatic vision like the Apostle Paul, left behind his successful secular career to become an evangelist, lives modestly on the income from selling his paintings, and has visions from God guiding him nearly every day. We’re not talking about generic dreams that could be interpreted a variety of ways, these are specific directions from God to be performed immediately in most cases. At one point, while we were with him, God shared the names and in one case the personal story of some Turkish laborers on the side of the road that he was then able to use as an avenue for sharing the Gospel. At another point (not while we were there), Jesus appeared physically to this man and gave him instructions. To me, even as I write this, it brings to mind the televangelist charlatans we are all too familiar with and yet this was the furthest thing from that. We saw how time and time again, the directions he was receiving from the Holy Spirit led specifically to a specific individual who was open. Through this man, many Bulgarians are coming to know Christ. It was a fascinating, and challenging week. When we asked him why so few believers hear from God, he said he thinks they’re not listening, because it is impossible that God should be silent. As i considered how difficult it often is for me to hear from the Lord on major decisions, I was stuck by the simple faith of a man who listens to God for direction on every tiny step. Could it be that it’s so hard to hear from the Lord simply because I don’t wait for Him to make every decision, but only let Him make the big ones? Is the struggle simply that I don’t practice being a good listener?
We’re now working on taking the material we shot and creating a documentary sharing a little piece of this man’s story. We hope you’ll join us in prayer that his story will lead many people to more fully commit themselves to living for Jesus, and listening to the guiding voice of the Holy Spirit.