This weekend I had the privilege to again partner with The Salvation Army ministry team at the Mind, Body, Spirit Festival at the Melbourne Exhibition Centre. This is my second year of witnessing scores of people feast on a smorgasbord of spirituality in search of something to fill that 'God space' in their lives and my second year of witnessing miracles as some people allowed that space to be filled by an encounter with Jesus!
Amidst this melting pot of conflicting spiritual ideologies I felt something of the tension that the Apostle Paul might have felt in Athens:
"While Paul was waiting for them in Athens, he was greatly distressed to see that the city was full of idols. So he reasoned in the synagogue with both Jews and God-fearing Greeks, as well as in the marketplace day by day with those who happened to be there." (Acts 17:16-17)
From the group of private school students on a class excursion and the wandering Christians uncertain about their faith, to the spiritually skeptical and curious, it was disturbing to see so many people looking in all the wrong places to fill their spiritual void. But what an opportunity! Like Paul we looked for points of connection and sought the Spirit's guidance to speak into the gaps in the faith journey of these seekers.
"Paul then stood up in the meeting of the Areopagus and said: "People of Athens! I see that in every way you are very religious. For as I walked around and looked carefully at your objects of worship, I even found an altar with this inscription: to an unknown god. So you are ignorant of the very thing you worship—and this is what I am going to proclaim to you."" (Acts 17:22-23)
Into this space...
We gave witness to the power of Holy Spirit.
We spoke into peoples lives through prophetic prayer.
As we listened to what the Spirit was already saying to those seeking we discovered an openness to a revelation of Jesus Christ.
"When they heard about the resurrection of the dead, some of them sneered, but others said, "We want to hear you again on this subject."" (Acts 17:32)
Once again I find myself amazed at the spiritual receptivity of people who are searching for spiritual fulfillment. And once again I find myself wanting to awaken the church of Jesus Christ to get on the spiritual wave of Holy Spirit movement and ride a tsunami of salvation towards revival in our city!!