“These who have turned the world upside down have come here too.” (Acts 17:6, NKJV) The great English preacher John Wesley once said, "Give me a hundred men who fear nothing but sin and desire nothing but God, and I do not care if they be clergymen or laymen. Such men alone will shake the gates of hell and set up the kingdom of heaven on earth." I don't know if Wesley ever found such men, but I can say that Jesus surely did. Around the First Century, Jesus called these men to be His disciples to journey along His side for three years of His public ministry leading up to His appointed time of crucifixion, death, burial and glorious resurrection. In today’s text from the Book of Acts, we see two of these men of God, Paul and Silas, described as "these who have turned the world upside down" (Acts 17:6). When that statement was initially given, it was not meant as a compliment. In fact, it was to be more of a criticism. But in a sense, that statement was a supreme compliment, because it acknowledged the indelible impact for the kingdom of God which these men were making on the world around them wherever they were led to journey. Pastor/Author John MacArthur once wrote, "’These that have turned the world upside down.’ Now, let me say that that's amazing. It's amazing, just the statement itself, that any man or any men could be men who so affected the world that the people said, "They're turning it upside down." That's tremendous. I mean, there are people who live their whole life and the world doesn't even know they're alive. There are Christians who have absolutely no effect on anything. Here were two people of whom the world said, "They've turned us upside down…” (gty.org) If there was ever a time in history when our world needed to be "turned upside down” or, should I more accurately say, “right side up for Christ,” the time is NOW! But if it is going to happen, then it will only come through fully committed believers in Christ like the ones John Wesley was looking for: “people who fear nothing but sin and desire nothing but God.” No fair-weather followers need apply. God is looking for genuine disciples who are willing to journey with Him into all the world, and that journey begins with the first step which is the willingness to journey across the room or across the street in sharing the Good News of Jesus! So what does it mean then to be one of His disciples? It means, in light of today’s text, being an “upside down sojourner” – one who takes their plans, their goals, and their dreams and places them at the feet of Jesus. It simply means saying as Jesus did in the Garden of Gethsemane, "Not my will, but Yours be done." During our first church planting season, the Lord gave me a simple way of remembering this divine truth which I have been sharing with God’s people ever since – “Doing God’s Will God’s Way!” When exercised by faith, this powerful truth will always turn the world around you ‘upside down’ (or ‘right-side up’ when viewed from God’s perspective) … heart by heart, life by life and soul by soul! One closing thought - the end of the American Revolutionary War was decided at Yorktown, Virginia, when General Charles Cornwallis of the British Army surrendered to General George Washington in 1781. This was such an unlikely outcome to the struggle for colonial independence that the defeated British army marched home to a song entitled "The World Turned Upside Down." As we know from history, the outcome of the Revolutionary War marks one of the most dramatic changes in world power that the world has ever seen. But, this change of power pales in comparison to the spiritual revolution that occurred during the First Century with the entrance of Jesus Christ into this world. The coming of the Messiah then meant that the world would never be the same again – He truly led the charge to change this “upside down world back to its right-side up orientation” through His battle cry of love from the Cross of Calvary! Today, ask God to help you answer this question in full honesty before Him – “Are you following His example in seeking to turn the upside down world around you right side up for His kingdom?” Somebody once said, "There are people who watch things happen and there are people who make things happen. Then there are people who don't know what's happening." Which one of these three types of people are You today? …Selah?
Today's Spirit-led video is by CCM artist Russ Lee and can be viewed by clicking on the on the song title, "Living Life Upside Down" - G3 for His gift of ministry thru Christian music!