For we know, brothers and sisters loved by God, that he has chosen you, because our gospel came to you not simply with words but also with power, with the Holy Spirit and deep conviction. You know how we lived among you for your sake. (1 Thessalonians 1:4, 5 NIV)
Here are some evidences of the Good News of Jesus landing in the heart of people. There are the words of truth spoken, but also power on display, fruit of the Holy Spirit’s activity and deep conviction. These are probably not mutally exclusive, but interwoven into the culture of a people who have been impacted by the Gospel.
The work of God is mysterious and largely unquantifiable, but there are these things that can be observed in the hearts and lives of people. It’s also a matter of degrees. The Gospel is always Good News and the Spirit is always convicting and leading people, even when it doesn’t seem like it. Then there are seasons when a large number of people are senstive and responsive to the leading of the Holy Spirit and it feels as though revival could break out. There is a strong spirit of love and unity among the church. It’s a beautiful thing!
What’s important for me, and really the only thing I can do, is to stick closely to Jesus, keeping my heart attune to His Spirit… following His leading. Am I living with deep conviction and in the power of the Holy Spirit? As a leader in my family and church I can only lead people where I have been myself. This is not to say that it is all dependent on me. The Holy Spirit can lead people to places beyond me. I have struggled to keep up at times (which is very cool!). I also must not get in the way either. Where I lead, then, is not in destinations because I will not visit every place that the Spirit wants to lead people. Where I lead is in attitude of heart and yieldedness to God.
Thank you, Lord, for Your Kingdom. You reign with no equal. Your Spirit among us is powerful. Please lead us where You want us to go… but lead me first. Thank you for forgiving me of pride and everything that keeps me from hearing You. I live for You today.