We just recently celebrated the anniversary of the first moon landing. I still remember two things about that night 47 years ago:
- Stretched out on the floor watching our 19″ black-and-white TV from Sears, I watched Neil Armstrong step on to the moon, and I thought, “Dang. This is a big deal.”
- We skipped Sunday night church to watch the moon landing. (Yeah. I grew up in one of those houses. I don’t regret it, although I never saw Bonanza or Walt Disney’s Wonderful World of Color.)
The moon landing really was a big deal, and as I look back, it is even more remarkable that all the years of preparation and the journey itself were done using computers with less combined processing ability than resides in my smartphone.
We look back today and wonder: How could they do so much with so little? Yet …
- Moses led an entire nation out of Egypt with a stick.
- Samson busted a few hundred Philistine heads with a donkey’s jawbone.
- David defeated a giant with a rock.
- The early disciples had nothing but their feet and their verbal witness, and they changed the world.
We have so much more than they had. We’ve got all this amazing technology and resources—social media, television, cars, planes—but are we really making a difference in people’s lives?
More than relying on all these things, maybe we should rely on the same thing the early disciples did: the presence and power of God’s Holy Spirit.
Paul wrote: “And so it was with me, brothers and sisters. When I came to you, I did not come with eloquence or human wisdom as I proclaimed to you the testimony about God. For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and him crucified. I came to you in weakness with great fear and trembling. My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit’s power, so that your faith might not rest on human wisdom, but on God’s power (1 Cor. 2:1-5).
In the end, it’s not my clever remarks or my well-crafted PowerPoint presentations (and they are really good, thank you very much) that make a difference. What makes a difference is when I let the Holy Spirit work through me and people see Jesus in me.
I wonder what would happen if, instead of relying on our clever gadgets and Bible study tools, we did what the early disciples did—rely on the Holy Spirit?
We don’t need an app for that. Not even a 1969 NASA computer.
Lynn Pryor is a team leader for adult resources at Lifeway. He and his wife, Mary, lead a Bible study group for young adults and have survived raising two sons to adulthood. A graduate of Southwestern Seminary, Lynn has previously pastored and served churches in Texas. Follow him on his blog at lynnhpryor.com.