By Jordan West

CLEVELAND, Ga. (TMNews) –Dr. Mel Blackaby, Senior Pastor of First Baptist Church of Jonesboro, Ga., joined Truett-McConnell at the school’s weekly chapel service on November 5 to share the significance of God’s spirit in the lives of believers.

Looking without seeing

Blackaby began his message with several questions: “Can you look for God and not see him even though He is right in front of your eyes? Can God be at work in your life and you not recognize Him, even though He is plainly in sight?”

As the congregation thought, Blackaby gave his answer: “I think it happens all the time.”

He reminded the students that it was not too long ago in history when people saw the work of Jesus and did not see Him. Blackaby said,  “The greatest miracle of all of human history – God became flesh and dwelt among us. The religious leaders looked straight in His eyes and didn’t recognize He was God.”

Blackaby continued: “The very ones who knew the Scriptures, memorized Scriptures, taught the Scriptures, the very ones who had longed for the coming of the Messiah and prayed for the coming of the Messiah…what happened when he came? They crucified Him. They fought against Him and nailed Him to a cross.”

He implored the students with a valuable query: “What’s more significant, what you are doing, or what God is doing?”

Encouraging and full of faith

Blackaby referenced TM’s theme verse for the semester, Acts 11:23-24, and emphasized the way Barabbas is described: “a good man, full of the Holy Spirit and of faith.”

He described Barrabas, saying, “He had a ‘kingdom mindset,’ and you sense the presence of God in his life. [To have a kingdom mindset is] to see things that others cannot see, to be aware of the activity of God when others are oblivious to it, to hear the voice of God guiding you to rise above the mundane and experience the divine as God’s activity around your life is overwhelming.”

Blackaby encouraged, “It’s to be in tune with God, to be responsive to God.” He described faith as: “the result of action of walking with Christ.”

Living born again

“To be born again is to be born of the Spirit,” he shared. “His spirit dwelling in you is what it means to be a Christian. In 1 Corinthians 3, Paul says, ‘Why do you act like mere men? You’ve been born again!’”

Blackaby continued: “You need to live like one who has been born again.”

As he opened the Bible to 1 Cor. 2:9-16, Blackaby emphasized: “The things that are on God’s heart can be made known through His spirit that dwells within us.”

Blackaby explained, “There’s a spiritual reality all around your life. Your physical eyes cannot see it, your ears cannot hear it, but the spirit that God has given you can help you walk through and understand the kingdom of God.”

He reminded the congregation of the power the Lord gives to those who believe in Him. He said: “The Lord would say to men like Joshua ‘Don’t be discouraged, don’t be afraid, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.’ What an encouraging word, and that can be said of you!”

Blackaby then directed the words of Scripture at believers, saying, “Don’t be discouraged, don’t be afraid, take courage. God is here. God is walking with you, He has gone before you.”

Focusing on revival

He then referenced the New Testament, in John 16:7, when Jesus tells the disciples that he had to leave, but that the Spirit of God would be with them.

Blackaby explained that he fears the world distracts believers far too much. He asked, “Do you see the enemy, or do you see the activity of God? My question is, where is your focus?”

He said: “Sometimes Christians may be praying for something that is completely opposite of what God is wanting to do. Sometimes the older generation is saying ‘We want the good old days.’ They say ‘We need revival because I want a comfortable lifestyle again.’”

Blackaby continued, “Do you realize that God has never brought revival out of prosperity? Never. But he has brought revival through persecution.”

Humble yourself and pray

As drew his message to a close, Blackaby emphasized the need for willing hearts, saying, “We desperately need young people that love God and are filled by the spirit to have that faith to go after it, and the courage to say, ‘Lord, use my life.’”

He referenced 2 Chronicles 7:14, which says, “If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.”

Blackaby encouraged believers to do just that – humble themselves and pray, asking for God to use their lives. He said, “In your life walking in the Spirit, there’s no limit to what God can do through you.”

He explained: “He doesn’t need your best. He wants His best to work through your life. Then people can see far more than what you can do, they see what God can do. His spirit can work through us to do the Father’s work.”

Blackaby looked across the room at hundreds of college students and said, “I’m absolutely convinced, in a room like this, that we can change the world. Your life can matter for eternity.”


Jordan is a senior English major and is an intern for the Communications Department.

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