Mark Batterson tells a great story in his book The Grave Robber. In 1939, a young man named George Dantzig was enrolled in a statistics course taught by an eminent professor. One day, young George was late to class. When he slid into his desk, he saw two problems written on the chalkboard. He wrote them down in his notebook, believing them to be the day’s assignment. He went home and went to work on those two problems. They were much harder than the usual assignments, but eventually, he solved them, and turned them in. Soon after, he heard a knock on his door. He opened it to find his statistics professor, looking very excited. He soon found out that he had not completed the day’s homework; he had solved two famous unsolvable problems. The professor had written them on the board that day to show his students, not thinking anyone would solve them. George Dantzig later earned a doctorate, worked in high levels for the US Air Force and the Defense Department, and served on the faculty of Stanford University. He won numerous awards, including the National Medal of Science. His work has shaped the way airlines schedule their fleets, shipping companies deploy their trucks, oil companies run their refineries, and businesses manage their revenue projections. But it was that day in statistics class that first convinced him he had the talent to do great things. He later said, “If someone had told me those were two famous unsolvable problems, I probably wouldn’t have even tried.”
We see unsolvable problems all around us. We see generational poverty, institutional injustice, dysfunctional families, and people who are just plain messed-up. Some of us shrug our shoulders and say, “That’s just the way it is.” Others pray and wait for God to do something. But what if the power to change the world is actually already inside you and me?If you are a follower of Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit of God lives in you, and that means you have access to unimaginable power. The Spirit’s power is not given to us so that we can do anything we want to do. His power is not for us to show off or benefit ourselves or even to change our circumstances into what WE think they should be. But as Jesus said in Acts 1:8, His power equips us to be His witnesses. His power enables us to do the life-saving, world-changing work of Jesus. Do you want to know the power you have? This Sunday, as we continue our study of the Holy Spirit's activity in our lives, we'll talk about what you and I are empowered to do.