By Not Known
Judges 13:24b-25 has an intriguing statement, “[Samson] grew and the LORD blessed him, and the Spirit of the LORD began to stir him…” What did this spiritual stirring look like? For Samson, the Spirit of the LORD gave him supernatural physical power to destroy Israel’s enemies (14:19; 15:14). Apart from the Spirit, he was very much a man like anybody else, given to vengeance and mischief.
The Bible and church history give us other examples of people who were filled with the Spirit of God.
In Matthew 16:16-17, Peter confessed Jesus as the Christ, the Son of the living God. He was enabled to do so by the Spirit (1 Corinthians 12:3).
Following the arrival of the Spirit on the day of Pentecost (Acts 2), Peter and John performed works of healing and proclaimed Christ powerfully. The Sanhedrin could not deny that they had done an outstanding miracle, and that people were praising God (Acts 4:16, 21). Stephen was another man who was full of faith and of the Holy Spirit (Acts 6). He preached powerfully and was fearless in the face of martyrdom (Acts 7:55, 59).
Following a series of sermons by Jonathan Edwards, a Protestant preacher and theologian, (1733-1735), a Protestant revival began in Northampton, Massachusetts. Within six months, nearly 300 were baptised and joined his church. These revivals were known as the First Great Awakening which Edwards attributed to “a divine and supernatural light, immediately imparted to the soul by the Spirit of God”.
George Whitfield was similarly a Spirit-filled open-air evangelist and preacher who contributed to the Great Awakening in the 18th century. He was known for his powerful voice that enabled him to preach to an estimated 30,000 people in the open.
What are some observable similarities between these “Spirit-stirred” men in the Bible and in church history? Centrally, they proclaimed Christ and preached God’s word powerfully. Some were empowered to perform supernatural deeds that served to confirm rather than to confuse the proclamation of Christ and his salvation. [Whether miracles have ceased is a topic for another day.]
I mentioned earlier that the natural Samson was very much a carnal man. It must follow that a “Spirit-stirred” person must also demonstrate holiness and godliness by the transforming power of God (Galatians 5:16-26).
Are we a Spirit-stirred community at ORPC? Let’s be committed to boldly proclaim Christ, preach God’s word, pursue holiness, and godliness.