Turning The World Upside Down

In Chapter 17 of Acts, the disciples have reached Thessalonica and are teaching in the Jewish synagogue. Paul is preaching the word of the Lord, that Jesus is the Christ, having suffered and died, only to rise from the dead. Jews, Greeks and women were all being convicted and converted. They didn’t just pass through town with their heads down, hiding their faith so no one could identify it. They were openly on fire with the need to share the Gospel. Can you name one time in the past week when you’ve been observed in that condition, let alone felt that way?

Verse five explains that the “Jews who believed not” were envious of Paul and Silas’ results, and conspired to attack the house of Jason where the men were staying. In verse six, we learn that the disciples were not there, so they brought Jason and his brethren before the city’s leaders to complain. What a tragic turn of events for these non-believing Jews. They have committed their life’s work to the church, and now Christians are infiltrating their people and undoing their teachings. They feel their loyalty to Caesar has been attacked by these preachers who say Jesus is the true King. They must believe that the disciples’ arrival spells nothing but doom for their beliefs and practices. They have heard about the changes happening in other towns as the word of God is spread throughout the people. They have been told about worship services and gatherings of Christians that must have compared to our modern revivals. And just imagine what would happen if numbers attending their own synagogues fell off as Christ moved into His new converts’ hearts. 

And when they found them not, they drew Jason and certain brethren unto the rulers of the city, crying, These that have turned the world upside down are come hither also. Acts 17:6

These that have turned the world upside down are come hither also!

“These people,” believers in the true and living God, were clearly present. Once just stories of what was happening outside their own city walls, the reality was now in their midst. The words of truth they were working so hard to deny were now in the ears of their own people. Now think about the early days following your salvation. Remember the fire, the passion, the need to tell others of the saving grace that had moved into your life. This was the fear of the Jewish leaders – that Jesus’ fire, passion and love would burrow into their community one believing heart at a time. It meant disrupting a way of life, going against tradition and thinking the clear thoughts of the truth of Jesus Christ.

Talk about upside down! Our world today cringes at the thought of changing their way of life when it is not their own idea. Tell them that Jesus is the Way, they explain that they’ve gotten by this long without Him. Try to show them that Christ is the Door, and they tune you out. They are living the life they have been told is perfect – live for yourself, enjoy the day and die happy. The Christian life doesn’t even enter into this picture … it is the exact opposite of the world’s concept. It is completely upside down!

That is the same fear that faced the Jewish leaders watching the disciples teaching their followers. They could clearly see the changes taking place. There was no mistaking the attitude adjustments as new Christians began to put God first, then others, then themselves – an upside down view from the world’s perspective. The “Me Generation” is now raising little “Me’s,” little girls who learn about spending money and wearing skimpy clothes instead of how to share the miraculous grace of God.

Today is our opportunity to take the world by storm and turn it upside down! We are in the middle of a lost and dying world every day – shopping, working, enjoying fellowship. How many of the people you interact with today will not be Christians? What are their concepts of a Christian life? Have they even heard the Gospel? More importantly, are they seeing Christ through your words, actions and attitudes?

I want to challenge you to do four very specials things in the upcoming weeks. The first is to take a look at the way you pray for your faith-life. It is our responsibility as Christian women to turn our world upside down. We start this life-changing work by jump-starting our own lives from within. Are you in a tired, old routine at church? Has it become a drag getting ready to go to the church house? Pray the whole day before the service – you can’t do this alone! Ask God to come into your heart anew and set off some spark you haven’t felt for a while. Pray for strength and motivation. Prepare your mind for the Word to be preached. Pray that God will work through the preacher, giving him the words he needs to fill the souls on those pews. Are you looking for something miraculous to happen, and are disappointed when it doesn’t? Maybe you need to be praying with an open heart and mind, with true belief in the power of the Lord.

Second, we are commanded in the Bible to be constantly growing in the Word. We can never stop searching the Bible, reading other women’s views on life and fellowshipping with other Christian women. If we let our lives become stagnant, decide that we’ve learned all there is to learn, we run out of joy to pass on to other women who are also searching. The younger women spoken of in Titus 2:4-5 might not ever hear the words that would turn their world upside down or see life-changing actions if we are not prepared to be examples of Christ’s teachings.

Third, I would ask you to find a younger woman in your church to be a Titus older woman for. I guarantee that there are girls of all ages, even girls in their 50s and 60s, who need a Christian mentor desperately at this moment in their lives. Is there someone who has just learned she is pregnant that would value your support and advice? Have you noticed a teenager who doesn’t join in with the crowd that might enjoy going out to lunch with you some weekend? Maybe a new church member feels like an outsider and would love an invitation for coffee and fellowship. Your interest and consideration can turn another Christian woman’s world upside down if you are willing to go outside your comfort zone and routine.

And lastly, I challenge you to refocus the way you step out into the world. Everyone you come into contact with, Christian or nonbeliever, should be fully aware of your passion for the Lord. The woman checking your groceries at the store this week may never receive a smile or a kind word while she is at work. She may wonder what is so different about you that makes you take time to ask how she is today. Most people may hurry by her, see her as a necessary checkpoint on their daily schedule, but to you, she must be a soul treasured by our God. Imagine hearing of a woman someday who turned the world upside down for God because another woman spoke to her in the checkout line about how much Christ loves her.

These that have turned the world upside down are come hither also! Are you one of them?


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