There is this idea out there that only extraordinary people can do extraordinary things. Well… allow me to burst that bubble for you by stating this: there is no such thing as extraordinary people.
Oh, sure there are! You might argue.
What about Sir Isaac Newton and Galileo and Walt Disney?
Those are just ordinary people. Ordinary people who did extraordinary things. And the beautiful thing about the church is that it is filled with ordinary people who are able to do extraordinary things. And not just some of them… all of them!
If you were to look back at the historical roots of the church, you’d have to go as far back as the book of Acts. Contained within the book of Acts is 28 chapters that cover nearly 30 years of history; specifically, the 30 years that followed Jesus’ ascension into Heaven. And the story that is told in the book of Acts is a story of ordinary people who did extraordinary things by the power of the Holy Spirit working in them and through them.
What kind of things did they do?
They were so committed to meeting the needs of others that they sold their own possessions in order to bless others. Some even sold their homes! They saw blind eyes open, sicknesses healed, jail doors opened, and they even saw a dead girl being raised to life! I don’t know about you, but I would call those extraordinary acts!
How did they do these extraordinary acts? Did they use the right words in their prayers and muster up as much spiritual resolve as they could in order to make these things happen? Did they achieve a level of spiritual maturity that enabled them to perform supernatural acts and walk in the miraculous? No. Truth be told, the extraordinary things these ordinary believers did had very little to do with them, and everything to do with the power of the Holy Spirit at work in them.
In Acts chapter 2 the early church experienced something that forever changed how those who believe in and follow after Jesus would live their daily lives. In Acts chapter 2—on a day of Pentecost—the Holy Spirit showed up. And when I say “showed up,” I don’t mean He made a meek and quiet entrance onto the scene. On the day of Pentecost, the Holy Spirit showed up with a sound like a mighty rushing wind that filled the entire house where 120 believers were meeting, and He was seen with their physical eyes in the form fire that appeared on each of the 120 disciples (Acts 2:1-3).
Now you and I weren’t there, so it might be hard to imagine… but all I can say is that must have been quite the scene. Nobody in the room was left to wonder if the Holy Spirit had made His entrance. He was there… and everybody knew it.
And ever since that day, the Church of Jesus Christ has never been the same. Now, don’t get me wrong—the church is still a group of ordinary people. We weren’t promoted to some super-human position or made superior to those outside the church. When the Holy Spirit is poured out upon us, we remain ordinary people. And yet, ordinary people who are enabled to do extraordinary things because of the Holy Spirit at work within us.