“And they were not able to resist the wisdom and the Spirit by which he spoke.” – Acts 6:10
There are a few words business people love; one of them is synergy. Synergy is defined as “the interaction of elements that when combined produce a total effect that is greater than the sum of the individual elements.” In other words, businesses strive to find those two things that work, and that when you put them together, their outcome increases exponentially.
As I sit here and meditate on this verse, I see synergy. Stephen’s human intellect and God’s divine empowerment collide and worked together through him to the point where those disputing with him could not resist him. Could not resist him? Yes, no matter how well educated these men were, they could not outsmart the wisdom of a man empowered by the Holy Spirit. There is so much power in that. So much more can be accomplished if we collided with the Spirit of God more often and allowed Him to create that kind of synergy within us.
We see it in Solomon. He asked for wisdom “behold, I have done according to your words; see, I have given you a wise and understanding heart, so that there has not been anyone like you before you, nor shall any like you arise after you” (1 Kings 3:12), and with God’s divine empowerment, he was the wisest and richest man on earth, “thus Solomon’s wisdom excelled the wisdom of all the men of the East and all the wisdom of Egypt” (1 Kings 4:30), “so King Solomon surpassed all the kings of the earth in riches and wisdom” (1 Kings 10:23). The two of them, God as the source of all good things and Solomon as the physical vessel willing to be used, could do more together than any man on this planet could.
We see in in the prophet Elisha. He asked Elijah for a double portion of his spirit “Elijah said to Elisha, “Ask! What may I do for you, before I am taken away from you?” Elisha said, “Please let a double portion of your spirit be upon me.” So he said, “You have asked a hard thing…”” (2 Kings 2:9-10). Later in the book, we see how the King of Syria was making war against Israel, and because of Elisha, it seemed like Israel was always a step ahead, “the king of Syria was greatly troubled by this thing… “Will you not show me which of us is for the king of Israel?” … “None, my lord, O king; but Elisha, the prophet who is in Israel, tells the king of Israel the words that you speak in your bedroom.” (2 Kings 6:11-12). How would Elisha know what the King spoke in his bedroom other than by revelation from God? in that same passage we see him lead the entire Syrian army to Samaria, feed them, and the raiders stop going to Israel (2 Kings 6: 16-23). The two of them together, God as the source of power and Elisha as the physical vessel willing to live by faith, were able to do more together for Israel than any king, or Elisha himself, could have done without God.
We see it in Paul. He was a very well educated man who persecuted the church, “…he spoke to them in the Hebrew language…“I am indeed a Jew, born in Tarsus of Cilicia, but brought up in this city at the feet of Gamaliel, taught according to the strictness of our fathers’ law, and was zealous toward God… I persecuted this Way to the death, binding and delivering into prisons both men and women… went to Damascus to bring in chains even those who were there to Jerusalem to be punished” (Acts 22:2-5). After he converted on his way to Damascus, “immediately he preached the Christ in the synagogues, that He is the Son of God… Saul increased all the more in strength, and confounded the Jews who dwelt in Damascus, proving that this Jesus is the Christ” (Acts 9:20-22) and what God did through him is incredible. The two of them together, God as the source of forgiveness and redemption and Paul as the vessel willing to live in reckless abandon for the Gospel, were able to do more together and save more souls than Paul could have imagined.
God’s Spirit collided with these men to create a synergy they probably had no idea was possible, as their testimonies still change lives and save souls today. The only reason that is possible is because the Word of God is alive (Hebrews 4:12) and these men, much like Stephen, were willing to use their human abilities and let them collide with God’s Spirit to create exponential results. I believe God wants to do the same with us today. If we allow his Spirit to take over our human intellect, we too, could have a greater impact on this planet for His Kingdom than if we tried on our own. God is the source of everything, we just need to be willing vessels, and He will do the rest.
What are your human abilities that you most rely upon, and are you allowing God to use them? Are you honestly allowing the Spirit to collide with all of your mind and heart? Are you letting Him increase the outcome you produce, or are you trying to do it on your own? We have to ask God more of Him and for opportunities to see Him and us come together to do something greater together than we ever could by ourselves.