Everyone dreams, right?
My dream was this:
Bottom of the ninth, game 7 of the World Series and the bases are loaded, 3 balls, 2 strikes. We’re down 4 to 1. The pitch, the swing, it’s a high fly ball to center field, going back at the wall… its gone! GRAND SLAM! Everyone stands and cheers.
Greg Hurley has won the game and given the Los Angeles Dodgers their first World Series in many years.
Obviously, I grew up in LA.
Saint Stephen never played baseball but he was drafted to be on a very special team. Selected by the original disciples to be a deacon in the early church in Jerusalem, you could say he went to bat on one of the greatest teams that ever played, in the greatest game ever played: that of spreading the Gospel of Jesus Christ to the world.
The power of the Holy Spirit drove him to be selected by the 12 disciples. He was a man “full of faith and the Holy Spirit” (Acts 6:5). He was full of “grace and power” (Acts 6:8).
He was a waiter—I love it! It did not matter that he had this simple job, God used him to do great things. God uses the weak and powerless to do great things so He can get all of the glory. This gives me hope.
Accused of blasphemy, Stephen got up to defend himself in front of the high priests, not knowing what the outcome was going to be. All he knew was that he was supposed to do it. This is faith! I struggle with doing what the Holy Spirit leads me to do when I can’t predict the outcome.
Those who were listening to Stephen’s speech didn’t like what he was saying. “They were enraged and they ground their teeth at him” (Acts 7:54).
At the height of his speech, with the crowd whipped into a frenzy of anger, Stephen sees that Jesus is giving him a standing ovation. “But he, full of the Holy Spirit, gazed into heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God” (Acts 7:55).
The book of Acts keeps saying Stephen was “full of the Holy Spirit” over and over again. It must be important, right?
Stephen was the first martyr of the Christian Church as they stoned him that day after he saw Jesus standing in Heaven. His last act before dying was to fall to his knees and cry out, “Lord, do not hold this sin against them” (Acts 7:60). This whole scene was supernatural, because Stephen was full of the Holy Spirit. This is the realm in which I want to live—but consistently fall short. I pray I would be like Stephen, full of the Holy Spirit.
Stephen hit his grand slam and did not get stranded at third because he was available and allowed the Holy Spirit to fill him and drive his actions.
I deeply desire a standing ovation from Jesus. How do we get full of the Holy Spirit in order to be in a position to do our most radical act for Christ?