Back in those days, as the number of the disciples kept growing a situation came up which led to the twelve taking a decision of not occupying themselves with the serving of tables but to the preaching of God’s word and prayers effectively.
It is of utmost importance for all ministers’s to constantly pray and feed on God’s word as these are key to the growth and advancement of ministry.
Men who desire to be used to by God must be they that dwell in the secret place; me who engage in continuous chewing of the word and consistent praying.
There is no one who can truly know or experience the power of God unless he/she partakes of the Word i.e. constant studying at every chance one gets rather than indulging in unprofitable chats. It is advisable that a willing follower of Christ always have a time to pray even after the study of the word so as to keep up with the moves of the Holy Ghost.
Psalms 91: 11 reads “Thy words have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee”. This scripture as expressed by the psalmist meant and still means that as long as one hides God’s word in one’s heart, the easier it becomes to live His desired life. The word quickens the faint heart thereby building up one’s faith in God as we receive with meekness. Enough strength is gathered to face challenges as one continues in the fellowship.
Shortly after the decision of the disciples to attend to the ministry of the word and not serving tables, they instructed the rest to choose seven men among the rest who were known to be full of the Spirit.
These were not just men who were filled with the Holy Ghost and wisdom but of good reports also.
Taking up a position in God’s vineyard doesn’t mean one must be learned or outstanding in the cultured way. Irrespective of how skilled a man is, what the Lord desires in a man to fill His position is no other thing than a yielded, consecrated and holy life blazing with the fire of the Holy Ghost.
These seven who were chosen to serve the tables were doubtlessly faithful in the task given but the Lord had so much a great delight in two of them which were Philip and Stephen. Philip was a man full of the Spirit that he had revivals wherever God placed him.
Men who are humble in performing the given task are favoured by God as a chosen vessel of His. Men chose these two to serve tables but the Lord had plans of using them to win souls into His kingdom.
Impossibilities are not words or expressions of men who are filled and powered by the Holy Ghost; it is beyond the comprehension of flesh and blood. The Lord confirms the work of these ones wherever they go [Matthew 16:20].
When you are filed with the Holy Spirit, it becomes so easy to recognise the voice of God [Acts 8:26-29]. He speaks to His own any day, anytime and anywhere as long as they are willing to submit His authority.
There have been men who have suffered for years but as soon as they gave in to the Holy Spirit, the sickness vanished. Wherever the invited to operate, he liberates everyone and things present there.
Likewise Stephen, he was just ordinary in the face of they who chose him but the Holy Ghost was in him; full of faith and power and great miracles and wonders were wrought through him among the people.
However, there is always one thing that comes looking for men who carry the presence of God which no other than persecution. Whenever we are persecuted it brings about purity as it is a blessing to a church. It was so with the Lord Jesus Christ himself shortly after He finished preaching in His home town, they wanted to throw him down from a hill.
Same was with the twelve disciples too, they had persecutions after their infilling of the Holy Ghost on the day of Pentecost in which some landed in prison. If you notice, these persecutions didn’t come before they were baptised but after they were empowered, the devil and the religious people started hunting them.
So, men who desire to be empowered by the Holy Ghost must be ready for persecution.
The Lord Jesus came to bring peace and soon after you get peace within, you get persecution without. If you remain stationary, the devil and his agents won’t disturb you much but as soon as you desire to take another step; going the whole length with God the enemy begins to have you in mind as a target.
But God will always vindicate you in the midst of the whole thing.
Men who seek the baptism of the Holy Ghost are entering the place of persecution. Those whom we esteem as the best of friends would neglect us but it is worthwhile. We enter into a realm of light by and through the power of the Holy Ghost.
In conclusion, men who have decided to let go of all for the Holy Ghost become so filled and wise that no being or force can withstand the presence they carry.
The wisdom and spirit with which Stephen spoke were not resisted by the Jews and so full of rage, they took him to the council.
In the seventh chapter of the book of Acts we were told about the confidence Stephen had while he spoke to them, without fear he tells them, “Ye stiff necked and uncircumcised in heart, ye do always resist the Holy Ghost.” And when they heard these things they were cut to the heart which led to his persecution.
Being filled with the Holy Ghost also helps you to express God’s kind of love apart from the wisdom and empowerment to wrought signs and wonders as Jesus did at Calvary and Stephen also while was he stoned to death. Furthermore, there is a reward that awaits the persecuted on behalf of the kingdom [Matthew 5: 11-12].