A few years ago, I treated my daughters to a trip to Ireland. I’ve ministered there with my dear friends, the Sambrooks, and love that beautiful land, as do my daughters. They spent 7 days driving through the countryside and the city streets, acquainting themselves with the foods, folklore, and beauty of Ireland. They had a lot of fun driving on the left side of the road and immersing themselves in the life of this enchanting land. The two of them loved being there and even today, feel they have a deep connection to this captivating country.
Growing up, I knew nothing of the true meaning of St. Patrick’s Day other than it was associated with Ireland. St. Patrick was a fifth-century Christian missionary and bishop and is widely considered the founder of Christianity in Ireland. Legend credits Patrick with teaching the Irish about the doctrine of the Holy Trinity using the shamrock, a small three-leafed plant, as an example to illustrate the Holy Trinity. The shamrock has since become a symbol for St. Patrick’s Day.1 This day meant to celebrate a man of holiness and sacrifice has sadly been turned into a day for partying and drunkenness. My friend Jacquie Tyre shares the following thoughts and insights regarding Saint Patrick.
“I have been considering the parallels between the days in which we live and the times of Saint Patrick. In many ways, they are vastly different. However, there are growing similarities, especially regarding the dark, pagan, barbaric culture rising in our day.
“Patrick lived in an age when marauding parties would pillage the land and take captive the young and strong, while destroying the weak and vulnerable. At age 16, Patrick was taken captive by one of those bands of raiders and spent the next several years as a slave on the hills of Ireland, tending his master’s flocks during the inclement and often brutal weather of the Irish hillsides. By his own admission, even though raised in a home of spiritual leaders and the comfort of a nobleman’s home, he neither knew God nor feared Him. Yet, in the place of danger, captivity, and isolation, Patrick encountered God and came to know Him through much prayer, sometimes throughout the night.
“Years later, Patrick was supernaturally delivered from captivity and eventually returned to his homeland. Once home, the Lord called Patrick to return to the land of his captivity, carrying the love of Christ to his former captors. He did so in hopes of bringing them into the life he had found in Christ.
“In his season of preparation leading up to the incredible impact he had on Ireland, Patrick endured suffering, dangers, loss, trauma, rejection, accusations, betrayals, delays, denials, and persecutions. Through it all, he rejected bitterness and anger, allowing Holy Spirit to use every difficult situation to fashion him into an instrument worthy of the Master’s use.
“Once Patrick returned to Ireland, God used him mightily to set spiritual captives free amid a dark, pagan, and barbaric culture. His was a life of absolute consecration to the Lord. Patrick had come to know who God was, and by His grace became, not just a believer, but a disciple - a matured, radical, servant, and devoted minister of the Gospel.
“Patrick and the early Celtic Christians, following in the steps of the first-century church, lived lives fully surrendered and consecrated, set apart for the purposes of the Lord. They allowed the work of Holy Spirit to bring them to a place of death to self, fully manifesting the life of Christ. His life in them was truly their life (Galatians 2:20). Therefore, fear had no grip on them; nor did self-preservation, self-promotion, self-defense, self-satisfaction, self-exaltation, or any other self-centered motivation. They denied self and became carriers and conduits of the presence and glory of Christ.
“The Celts were people of worship and intercession, opening the way for heaven to invade earth. Through them, God’s glory impacted nations revealing the presence and power of Holy Spirit, and advancing the culture of His Kingdom. They discipled, trained, equipped, empowered, and sent mature believers to take the love of Christ to the world with signs, wonders, and miracles. As true disciples, they produced disciples. The culture of their day was radically transformed by the power of God working in and through them.
“We should not romanticize the life they lived, minimize the price they paid, or forget the dangers they faced as they followed Christ in the barbaric, pagan culture of their day. We, too, are called to minister the transforming love of Christ to an increasingly godless and pagan culture. Like Patrick, we must know who Christ is, who He has created us to be, and determine that we will allow Holy Spirit to mature us through every situation. We must trust that He who is in us is greater than those who are in the world, whether they be natural or spiritual enemies.
“Saint Patrick was used by God to radically touch lives and impact the world for generations, by conforming to Christ’s nature. His brokenness produced a capacity to birth multiplication and transformative power. Today, in a world seeking to put out the fires of Christ and His Church, we too, must determine that we will keep the fires of purity, passion, and power burning in our hearts. We must fan the flames of revival personally and corporately!
“It is often said that those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it. However, repeating some portions of history is a blessing. There is much to learn and emulate from great women and men of the past. Saint Patrick is one of them. God wants to pour out His Spirit and glory again and again. Though some methods change, His nature does not. Let’s seek Him for a new era of glory-awakening that can be seen as a wonderful repeat of history!”
As you may wear green today and think of the shamrock, remember the man for whom we celebrate this day, Saint Patrick.
In the words of Paul Harvey: And now you know the rest of the story.
Pray with me:
Father, thank you for the stories and legacies of all the mighty men and women that have gone before us, men and women who were history makers, bringing the Gospel of the Kingdom into the earth in power. Thank you for those, like Saint Patrick, whose lives provide us with countless examples of how You can, and do, work through adversity and to bring forth Your purposes.
Forgive us, Lord, for the times we have operated in self-motivated behaviors and choices. Forgive us for when we have failed to embrace Your grace to learn, grow, and mature through whatever circumstances we face. Far too often, Lord, we have chosen anger, resentment, bitterness, defeat, hopelessness and agitation. At times we’ve embraced an identity of victimhood, rather than allowing Your grace to work in and through us for Your Kingdom purposes.
Lord, ignite within us as Your people, a holy fire of consecration, with the boldness and tenacity to go and do Your will regardless of what it requires. Enable us to impact our world with the purity, passion, and power of the Gospel of the Kingdom.
Loose holy boldness through Your people to ignite fires of revival and awakening in the midst of a dark world that is increasingly pagan, and being held captive to the perversions and debaucheries of this age. As believers of previous ages overcame the evil rule of their day boldly proclaiming Christ with signs, wonders and miracles, empower us to do the same. As they saw radical transformations of individuals and entire regions, we ask You to let it be again in our day!
Lord, make us carriers and conduits of Your love, grace, and glory, and use us to be History Makers who advance Your Kingdom. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
We decree that God is raising up a company of radical disciples who are igniting fires of awakening all across our land.
Jacquie Tyre is a contributing author for today’s post. Some of the information was taken from the book entitled Chosen, by Kevin Sambrook. You can learn more about Jacquie or purchase the book on her website or on Amazon.