Jesus told his first group of disciples that they would be his witnesses on earth after he left them on their own. They would take the Good News of grace and redemption around the world to all people everywhere. But Jesus knew that they couldn’t do what he was asking of them by on their own. He would have to send the Holy Spirit to give them the boldness and power they lacked to fulfill this impossible task.
Even a casual reading of the Book of Acts reveals just how effective Jesus’ plan was. On every page you find ordinary people doing ordinary things but with extraordinary results. God doesn’t ask us to do the hard stuff, he takes care of that part of the arrangement. He asks us to the ordinary things. Ordinary things like connecting with people, showing kindness, sharing what Jesus means to you or praying for hurting people, the kinds of things all of can do. It is the Holy Spirit that takes the simple things we do and does amazing things with them. He takes our ordinary and does extraordinary things with them.
My father was invited to church by his sister when he was a young husband and father. He didn’t know Jesus and was very turned off to church in general. He was cocky and tough little guy who always and a flask of whisky in his back pocket. He would declare that that was all the spirit he needed. But his older sister kept relentlessly pressing him to go to church with her. That was the first ordinary thing the Holy Spirit used to reach my dad; a simple and persistent invitation from someone who cared. He finally gave in to his sister’s full-court press and announced that he would go to church with my aunt, but just once and she would have to stop nagging him about church after that. But God had a different plan.
You see, the second ordinary thing that happened was that an ordinary man met my father at the door of the little church the first night my dad attended the revival service. The man greeted may father with a genuine and heart-felt handshake. How ordinary is that! My father would later testify of that handshake that it was as though the man was holding his heart in his hands. He would never be the same. The Holy Spirit took that ordinary handshake and squeezed my father’s heart in an extraordinary way.
The last ordinary part of my father’s divine encounter was an ordinary preacher laying out the basic Gospel message with a simple invitation for people to accept Jesus as their Savior. Again, how ordinary is that! Actually, my dad never once mentioned that pastor by name, but remembers that he couldn’t wait to run forward and commit his life to Jesus.
What was the impact of this ordinary-extraordinary partnership between ordinary people and the Holy Spirit? Well, when my father finally crossed heaven’s gate, he had spent 70 years of his life doing all he could to reach people just like he has been reached. His life testimony was that he was an ordinary man with extraordinary God. He was a living witness to what can come from ordinary people doing ordinary things trusting that the Holy Spirit will the extraordinary part. Never despise the ordinary. God uses ordinary. Ordinary people doing ordinary things can change the world if the Holy is there to do the extraordinary.