There have been so many times in my life where I felt that I was falling short as a Christian. I did not want to share my faith because I felt unqualified and untrained. As a Christian, I lived a life of defeat when I should have been living a life of abundance and victory. I started to care more about what other Christians said that I should be doing (going to Bible college, ministering, and leading), instead of simply understanding who I was in Christ and fully accepting the gift of the Holy Spirit. Over time, I went to seminary twice and earned multiple degrees in religion, chaplaincy, and biblical studies. However, what has made the largest impact on my faith and Christian walk is two simple things. They are knowing who I am in Christ and the fact that I stopped getting in my own way and let the Spirit lead my life. This walk that I am on did not come fast or easy, I can assure you, but through my faith in Jesus Christ, it was possible.
I was reminded of this when I was reading the book of Acts with my family. We were reading how Peter and John were performing many miracles and healings through the power of the Holy Spirit, and their foundational faith in Jesus Christ. Many felt convicted because of their boldness and many felt jealous because they were given the same power as these men of God had. The Scripture tells us that these two men were having to stand against the Jewish High Court to defend themselves for doing good (Acts 3:1-12). They healed a man through the power of the Holy Spirit within them and they were proclaiming Christ. However, the important thing that I want to address is what happened next. The Jewish High Court saw their confidence and boldness, knowing that they were “uneducated and untrained” men (Acts 4:13). Then, the Scripture continues to state that this Jewish High Court was astounded and began to recognize that Peter and John had been with Jesus. This High Court saw the fruits of their faith when they saw the healed man standing there with them and they had nothing else to say (Acts 4:14).
When I read this with my family, I started to think back about all those years I spent in seminary and the most effective tool that I have in my ministry and life is the guidance of the Holy Spirit. These two apostles did amazing things during their lifetime, however, their training and power came from their faith in Jesus Christ. They were untrained and uneducated, yet the Lord used them in mighty ways. They preached the Gospel and shared the only way to salvation, which is through Christ with everyone they met. The reason why I am writing this message is to remind not only myself but everyone reading this that we can do nothing without the power of the Holy Spirit. You can go to seminary for many years, you can study and earn multiple doctorate degrees, however, you will never be fruitful in the Body of Christ without being lead, strengthened, and covered with the Holy Spirit. It took me many years to get to the point where I am now, and I pray that this short message can help someone today. Remember who you are in Christ, and let the Holy Spirit do His job. Do not worry about what others say you should be doing, worry about what the Bible tells you to live. The rest will fall into place in your Christian walk. Do not put yourself down because you are uneducated or untrained, God can and will use you! So, give thanks for the life you live and keep moving forward!
I would like to end this message with a small prayer. Dear Heavenly Father, please allow us to see ourselves through your eyes. Help us understand that regardless of our condition, education, and training, you can use us to do your will if we are willing to do so. Father, guide and strengthen us and protect us from ourselves, our pride, our insecurities, and any lack in our faith. We know that you have always used the least of men to do many miracles and blessings, and I simply pray that you can continue to use people like us to do the same today. Amen!