And all that sat in the council, looking stedfastly on him, saw his face as it had been the face of an angel.
Stephen’s testimony was that he was full of faith, spiritual power, and the wisdom of the Holy Spirit. So his face shines even in the midst of the council telling lies about him and threatening him because what happens to him doesn’t change who he is. It doesn’t change his faith in God or lessen the Spirit’s influence on his life. He wasn’t afraid of what man could do to him. He wasn’t afraid to speak the truth in love. And he was able to remain faithful to God even as he was killed for his faith in Christ.
Stephen allowed himself to be full of the Spirit, not his own wisdom, his own goodness, his own words or actions. He was truly a vessel for the Spirit of God to flow through. His eyes were upon his Lord, and his heart was toward God, and he had love for these people, even as they attacked him and wanted him dead. He was so focused on Jesus that nothing could take his eyes off of Him, and that affected how he responded to this attack.
We can live our lives in such a way, too. It’s about trusting God fully. It’s about allowing His Spirit to fill us as we surrender to Him and His working in and through us. We let His love shine through us in our responses and actions, and others will be able to see it. It will be noticeable in us that God truly rules and reigns in our hearts. And we’ll be willing to share God’s truth with even those who attack and reject us.
Stephen exemplifies what living a life of faith is all about. It’s not about us, but about the Holy Spirit in us. It’s not about what we’re doing, but what God is doing through us. Stephen was willing to be a servant, to take a stand, to refuse to compromise, and to endure what would come from that. May our love for Jesus be such that we are willing to stand faithfully for Him in a hostile world. May we be willing to continue serving and living for Him no matter what. And may the light of Jesus truly shine through us and illuminate the darkness all around us so He might be known and glorified through us.