The other evening I watched a movie called ‘I am Number Four’. The central character is a young man who has grown up on earth but was born on another planet. The other planet was destroyed by another race but nine children escaped from the planet accompanied by guardians.
In their teenage years the children begin to develop different ‘legacies’ or gifts. Number Four is in school one day when his first legacy begins to appear. He is horrified to see that his hands are starting to glow. Nothing he does in the classroom can hide the glow and he runs out from the class seeking refuge in a dark storeroom where he tries, but fails, to conceal the increasing light from his hands. In time, and with guidance from his guardian, Number Four learns how to control and use this legacy and others. In fact he is required to use his legacies to defend himself and other people from the race who destroyed his home planet and are hunting down those who escaped to earth.
Jesus did not leave us helpless. In John 14:16-18 He promised to send His Holy Spirit. Before He ascended to Heaven Jesus breathed on the Apostles and said: “Receive the Holy Spirit.” (John 20:22). The book of Acts then records the events of Pentecost when the Holy Spirit changed the lives of the Apostles in a way that none of them could ever have imagined.
Did Jesus intend us to be any different to His first disciples? Were the Holy Spirit and all the associated gifts recorded in the New Testament meant to be restricted to those early days of Christianity? I believe that Jesus was speaking to us as well as His disciples when He said, “receive the Holy Spirit.” My problem is that like Number Four I want to exercise caution and hide the light in a dark storeroom.
When we receive the unimaginable gift of God’s Holy Spirit what should we do?
14“You are the light of the world—like a city on a hilltop that cannot be hidden. 15No one lights a lamp and then puts it under a basket. Instead, a lamp is placed on a stand, where it gives light to everyone in the house. 16In the same way, let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father. (Matthew 5:14-16)