If you were an alien from Mars who had just landed on planet earth last Monday, you could be forgiven for thinking that the biggest threat to the future of the world was Sepp Blatter and the evil empire of FIFA. If you had arrived the previous Monday, it might have appeared that David Cameron, Nicola Sturgeon, whoever the next leader of the Labour party is, Nigel Farage or some other political eminence grise, was just as lethal as Herr Blatter.
In fact, the really deadly action is taking place in the developing world and the Middle East, in the shape of largely unreported atrocities.
It all depends on what is reported and how it is reported. And that is what shapes the news and our perception of what is really important. Narratives come and go. Politicians, journalists and broadcasters change the narrative all the time.
When we read through the book of Acts we find that there is someone who is continually shaping and changing the narrative. No, I am not referring to Dr. Luke. I am referring to the Holy Spirit. Just consider these examples for a moment.
On the day of Pentecost, He changes the narrative. Edgy disciples are transformed into empowered disciples. They grow from one hundred and twenty to over three thousand – in one day!
In Acts 8, Philip goes into the spiritual twilight zone that was Samaria, and finds an overwhelmingly positive response to his message. Then the Holy Spirit moves him on to the road to Gaza where he leads a chancellor of the exchequer to Christ and almost immediately finds himself translated to Azotus!
The Holy Spirit changes the narrative again in chapter 9. This time the church’s number one enemy gets converted!
And so the story of the young church unfolds, with the Holy Spirit changing the narrative again and again.
It’s might be easy to think that the Holy Spirit is only interested in the big stage, big picture narrative of Acts.
However, when we turn to Ephesians 5 and Paul issues his command to be filled with the Spirit, the immediate application is that of every day life in the home and at work.
The Holy Spirit is able to – and wants to – change the narrative of our every day lives. He provides an ongoing supply of fresh power for every challenge we face. He brings about and enables us to take opportunities to share our faith. He fills our lives with joy. He gives us the ability to be a positive influence on those around us.
The Holy Spirit is not just interested in changing the big picture narrative along the lines of God’s purpose. He is also concerned with the narrative of your life. With changing you. And with enabling you to be a person of His influence on the people around you.
If you think your narrative, your story needs changing, why not ask the Holy Spirit to write some new headlines in your life this week?