We talk about being Spirit filled today but we rarely mean it like this!

At that point they went wild, a rioting mob of catcalls and whistles and invective. But Stephen, full of the Holy Spirit, hardly noticed—he only had eyes for God, whom he saw in all his glory with Jesus standing at his side. He said, “Oh! I see heaven wide open and the Son of Man standing at God’s side!” Acts 7:54-55 (The Message)

Rather than standing in a church with his hands raised and a serene look on his face Stephen is standing infront of people baying for his blood. I wonder how confident of the grace and mercy of God we would be in a similar situation. We claim to be filled with the Holy Spirit in our churches but God wants us to be filled every part of every day. He wants our walk and our words to reflect the gospel of Christ. He wants us to be single minded and undistracted by words of opposition or threats of violence. While not courting the disdain of others, if the gospel brings persecution, then we should keep our focus on Jesus. Christianity isn’t simply for the soft and comfortable times but for the hard, harsh, and harrowing times of persecution too. We are to keep the same disposition of the Holy Spirit at the forefront in our lives on both occassions whether we enjoy comfort or endure opposition.

May the gift of the Holy Spirit be the most precious of gifts to us and may we face each difficulty or obstacle with the same dispostion of grace that we enjoy in times of comfort. Amen.