A Stirring of Our Spirit

Acts 17: 15And they that conducted Paul brought him unto Athens: and receiving a commandment unto Silas and Timotheus for to come to him with all speed, they departed. 16 Now while Paul waited for them at Athens, his spirit was stirred in him, when he saw the city wholly given to idolatry.

The devil is not quiet.  Day in and day out he’s stirring people’s spirits to drive them further and further from God.  He uses his apparent success to discourage us.  It seems like every other day something happens and it scares us.  We wonder if it is safe to go anywhere.  God’s people are intimidated, shocked and awed by what’s going on.  What we hold back on is allowing what goes on around us to stir our spirit.  I remember the time when people were stirred and burdened.  They sought God.  Before a stirring of the Holy Spirit, there has to be a stirring of our own spirit.

Paul was in Athens, Greece.  He sent word for Timothy and Silas to join him.  As he waited for them he found himself on Mars Hill.  He saw the idols of the Greeks.  They worshipped the sun, moon, and water.  I’m glad to know the God who made all those.  They made statues, likenesses, to all the gods they worshipped.  Paul saw all these and then saw an empty pedestal with no likeness.  It had an inscription to ‘the unknown God.’  He saw the total lack of morality.

This view—vision—that God gives us ought to stir our hearts.  There is no time to sit back and relax.  The lost are still as lost as they were.  The wicked are still wicked.  The devil hasn’t taken a day off.  When Paul saw the people worshipping what God made, he couldn’t help but be stirred in spirit.  God can’t be factored into other religions.  When the unknown God was mentioned, Paul knew he wasn’t missing.  He wasn’t unknown.  He’s knowable and reachable.  Others were awed by the sculptures and statues and ignored the pedestal with no image.  Today people worship fashion, celebrities and celebrity-hood.  They worship religion all the while putting aside Christianity as an empty pedestal.  The Greek’s unknown God is the reason for it all.  He’s not the made up imaginations of man.  The God they said was unknown is very knowable.  Paul preached Jesus and commanded all men everywhere to repent.  His heart was stirred by all he saw and while waiting on Timothy and Silas he took time to witness and shine his light.

There is still time to for us to be concerned.  We’re not to go to the bus stop and wait on Jesus to come.  The Bible says blessed are those found doing God’s will while we wait on Jesus.  The apostles were not silent as their lives were taken.  No doubt Paul preached till his head hit the ground.  If you want to witness you can.  The Spirit of God can still use us like he did when we were first saved.  Today is the day of salvation and sinners need to know it.  There is a real God, not one in our imaginations.

Paul could have just been impressed by the architecture and the philosophies.  The Greeks have long been considered well educated.  God sent Paul to Athens and while by himself he did his best work.  He stared the statues down.  Everything people follow today is no more alive than those statues were.  God cannot be reduced to marble and stone.  He’s the infinite God of Glory.  He doesn’t cater to us.  He tells us to repent.  He wants to stir our spirit, stir us of our own sin, our laziness, and lukewarm hearts.

We want to live for the Lord as we choose.  Before I can talk of the sins of others I need to look at myself and get right with the Lord.  Paul probably kicked himself for waiting.  He saw the need of those in Athens.  Before being stirred about those 100 miles away, get concerned about the one 5 miles away.  Be concerned about family and friends.  Paul preached and stirred up the people.  Some got mad and called him names.  Don’t worry about names others put on you.  Worry about what God will say.

The only way is for God to stir us.  He can only use those who are first willing to work on themselves.  Not everyone in Athens got saved but some did.  When Timothy and Silas got there they would have seen what Paul had done.  This wouldn’t have happened if Paul had only looked at what he saw and went on.  He saw through God’s eyes the shape the people were in.  He stirred his spirit.

Don’t sit back and wait for the Lord to do the stirring.  He might use a two-edged sword.  He wants us to get out our sticks and stir.  Ask him to move the Holy Spirit over you.  I’m tired of getting stirred by the world.  Reach out and stir for God.  Then the miracles will happen.

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