The Holy Spirit At Work

Kefa Sempangi was pastor of the large Redeemed Church of Uganda. Easter Sunday 1973 was his first serious brush with death at the hands of Idi Amin’s goons.

After an all-day worship service he went exhausted to the vestry to change clothes—too exhausted to notice the five strangers (government secret police goons) following him into the room:

They stood between me and the door, pointing their rifles at my face.

For a long moment no one said anything. Then the tallest man, obviously the leader, spoke. “We are going to kill you,” he said. “If you have something to say, say it before you die.” He spoke quietly but his face was twisted with hatred.

I could only stare at him. For a sickening moment I felt the full weight of his rage. We had never met before but his deepest desire was to tear me to pieces.

My mouth felt heavy and my limbs began to shake. Everything left my control. They will not need to kill me, I thought to myself. I am just going to fall over dead and I will never see my family again.

From far away I heard a voice, and I was astonished to realize that it was my own. “I do not need to plead my own cause,” I heard myself saying. “I am a dead man already. My life is dead and hidden in Christ. It is your lives that are in danger; you are dead in your sins. I will pray to God that after you have killed me, He will spare you from eternal destruction.”

The tall one took a step towards me and then stopped. In an instant, his face was changed. His hatred had turned to curiosity. He lowered his gun and motioned to the others to do the same. They stared at him in amazement but they took their guns from my face.

Then the tall one spoke again. “Will you pray for us now?” he asked. I thought my ears were playing a trick. I looked at him and then at the others. My mind was completely paralyzed.

“Father in heaven,” I prayed, “You who have forgiven men in the past, forgive these men also. Do not let them perish in their sins but bring them into yourself.”

RESPONSE: Realizing I am dead in Christ brings boldness to proclaim truth even in fearful situations.

PRAYER: Lord, help me to trust You in times of fear and challenge and allow Your Spirit to take control of every situation.

1. F. Kefa Sempangi, A Distant Grief, Glendale, CA: G/L Publications, 1979, pp.119-120.

THE HOLY SPIRIT

“If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!”Luke 11:13

Imagine the Christian movement in your country suddenly cut off from all those who are now its leaders! In the period of confusion that immediately follows a takeover, some small groups of Christians may be able to move to a different locality and become underground churches, but they must leave their “institutional forms” behind.

But who would lead such groups? Who would provide leadership for “house” churches and “family” churches? God, through the Holy Spirit, would raise up and equip leaders for His church in such circumstances, as He always had in the past. The members of a home fellowship must be prepared to accept the leadership of the Spirit and of those through whom He chooses to minister.

When regular lay Christians actually begin to understand that they can pray directly to the Lord, when they can take a passage of Scripture, written or memorized, and understand it under the direction of the Holy Spirit, they are then on the road to surviving victoriously in whatever set of hostile circumstances that may come along. One exciting discovery will lead to another. These Christians will begin to let the Holy Spirit use them to touch the lives of others and minister to their needs. No authority on earth can destroy this kind of spiritual church!

In China, a Christian woman was in charge of security at a coal mine. The woman suddenly felt the Holy Spirit urging her to pull the alarm lever, even though there was no apparent reason to do so. Although everything seemed quiet and normal, she obeyed the prompting within her. The whole mine was evacuated as a result of the alarm sounding, but when all the men had assembled on the surface, it seemed as if a huge mistake had been made. Just moments later the ground beneath their feet shook and a large section of the mine collapsed from the earthquake.

Because of this sister’s sensitivity and willingness to obey God’s Holy Spirit, everyone’s life had been saved. Additionally, however, 400 of the miners surrendered their lives to Christ after recognising that God had miraculously saved them from death.[1]

RESPONSE: Today I will thank God for the gift of His Holy Spirit.

PRAYER: Lord, use me today through Your Spirit to touch the lives of others and minister to their needs.

1. Patterson, p. 193.

via Bible Gateway