”But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you. And you will be my witnesses, telling people about me everywhere – in Jerusalem, throughout Judea, in Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” — Acts 1:8
Eric Liddell is one of my heroes. His amazing Olympic triumph in the 400-meter event in the 1924 Olympics was dramatized in the Academy
Award-winning movie “Chariots of Fire.” The movie also portrayed his strong commitment to Jesus Christ and his uncompromising stand against
running on Sunday, which he believed to be a violation of keeping that day holy. He was a man of conviction, of incredible inner strength, and of
really muscular faith.
Well, years later, he would die for his Lord as a missionary to China. I’ve just finished his biography which, of course, tells much more about his whole life than the movie did.
It tells, for example, how his fame grew from his athletic exploits all across his native Scotland, even before his Olympic victory. There was one
particular Scottish village named Armadale where workers had just not been able to break through with the Gospel, especially among the men. A daring
Christian leader asked young Eric Liddell to come and present his testimony, using his unique influence to reach the men of that village.
One problem: Eric Liddell was known by everyone to be a shy, quiet man who had never spoken publicly. That invitation to speak became a central turning point in Eric Liddell’s life. What God said to him might be what God wants to say to you – about something He’s asking you to do.
Eric Liddell described the invitation to talk to those people in Armadale as “a piece of work for which I was absolutely unqualified.” Sound familiar at all? He went on to say,
“My whole life had been one of keeping out of public duties, but the leading of Christ seemed now to be in the opposite direction, and I shrank from going forward. At this time I finally decided to put it all on Christ. After all, if He called me to do it, then he would have to supply the necessary power. In going forward, the power was given me. Since then, the consciousness of being an active member of the Kingdom of Heaven has been very real. New experiences of the grace of God, sense of sin, wonders of the Bible have come from time to time. All these fresh experiences have given me fresh visions of our Lord.”
Well, that was all because he had allowed God to lead him out of his comfort zone and into something for which he felt “absolutely unqualified.”
Eric concluded his reflections by saying, “The Armadale speaking engagement had seemed such a simple invitation, but saying ‘yes’ had changed my life.” Eric’s testimony really made a difference in that tough village. That ministry was the first of many, many meetings – often large meetings – where God touched lives through a man who never wanted to be up front.
As Jesus launched His disciples into a work for Him that they seemed terribly unqualified for, He said, “You shall receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be My witnesses.” That’s Acts 1:8.
I want you to claim those first four words as the promise that will equip you for that assignment you never thought you could do – “You shall receive power.” And how will you receive it? Like Eric Liddell did – “In going forward the power was given
In the words of the Apostle Paul, “I can do everything through Him who gives me strength.” (Philippians 4:13) If you stay in your comfort zone,
you’re going to miss the exciting plans God has for you – and an incredible opportunity to see what His power can do where your power is nowhere near