During the August heat of 1891, R. G. Dyrenforth arrived in Midland, Texas, determined to blast rain from the sky. Known as a “concussionist,” he and his team launched and detonated huge balloons filled with explosive gases, fired cannons, and exploded piles of dynamite on the ground—shaking both earth and sky. Some believed he made it rain a little, but most said all he caused was noise. The explosive power was impressive but ineffective.

When the early church needed overseers, they sought people with a different kind of power. They chose “seven men of good reputation, full of the Holy Spirit and wisdom” (Acts 6:3) to manage the daily distribution of food. One of those was Stephen, a man “full of faith and power, [who] did great wonders and signs among the people” (v.8). When disputes arose, those who argued with Stephen “were not able to resist the wisdom and the Spirit by which he spoke” (v.10).

The Bible makes it clear that Stephen’s spiritual effectiveness came from being filled with the Holy Spirit, who gave him the right balance of faith, wisdom, and power.

God’s Spirit in our lives today replaces the loud noise of self-interest with His gentle, life-giving rain.