Not so very long ago, someone we know suffered a break in. Not actually into his house you understand, but into a storage area situated nearby. The thieves had obviously done some homework as, hidden away, he had a number of pieces of scrap lead that had been left over from roofing repair jobs that he had been involved with over the years. These pieces, or bales as he referred to them, are very heavy! Naturally, he was extremely annoyed as he fully intended to sell them and fund a small holiday he was planning. It was the work of but a moment from that point on, to take ‘appropriate precautions’ (his words, not mine) so that such an event never happen again!
Several days later, as I happened to be passing, he called me over to observe one of the simple yet effective ‘precautions’ that he had assiduously undertaken. An ingenious, yet almost invisible trip wire had been installed that was linked to a striker mechanism, which in turn housed an agricultural crow banger. By treading on the wire, an explosion of near Biblical magnitude would be released, thus announcing to the entire village that miscreants were operating in the vicinity. Of course, he only explained his warning system to me after he pulled the wire! My reaction was instant. The world record for the standing high jump was smashed in that second. After my heart had recovered from the nasty collision with my front teeth, and all the laughter had died down, he showed me the spent cartridge of the unit that made such a powerful bang. I was so surprised. I was expecting something of the size of a dustbin filled with gunpowder – and yet, the offending article was about the size of an AA battery – but wow, what power!
In today’s passage, often referred to as the choosing of Stephen, I recall to mind that humorous debacle namely because, the Holy Spirit power that Stephen was filled with (v8), is translated as dynamis in the Greek, and is where we derive the word dynamite. In Acts 1:8, Jesus told His disciples that before they would be able to evangelize the world, they must receive the dynamis of the Holy Spirit. Just look at the results: those that sort to resist and frustrate the apostles work were stymied because of the ‘wisdom and Spirit by which he spoke’ (v10) As I get older, I find myself longing to speak with that same power. This is not some sort of megalomania born of a desire to control and brow beat others into my way of thinking, but to genuinely connect people to an amazing Father God. Holy Spirit Dynamis cuts right through clever arguments and entrapments, exposing the real issues that need addressing.
‘Father God, would you fill me with your Dynamis this day. Would you put your words in my mouth and your thoughts in my mind so that in whatever situation I find myself, I can be a faithful ambassador for you. Amen’