Suddenly a sound like that of a violent rushing wind came from heaven, and it filled the whole house where they were staying. And tongues, like flames of fire that were divided, appeared to them and rested on each one of them. Then they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in different languages, as the Spirit gave them ability for speech.
This should be the easiest, most straightforward depiction of the Spirit’s coming. It’s the most familiar, and is often used as the prototypical example of how the fullness of the Spirit enters into humanity. First, there was a violent wind-like sound. Then the fire fell. Then the Holy Spirit filled the believers and they spoke in the languages He gave them’seems like a good plan and even a formula to follow.
I’m not a big believer in formulas when it comes to the Holy Spirit. I think He teaches us how He normally does things, but in the end, it is His choice how to make things happen. In John 3:8, we saw Jesus teach that there is no predicting when the Holy Spirit will come or what He will do. I bet all one hundred and twenty people gathered together in the upper room had no clue this was the day they would all become a part of God’s plan to shift humanity back toward Him. None of them woke up knowing what would happen! I’m not trying to write or rewrite doctrine, but I do think it is imperative we adopt an attitude of giving Him the space to lead the way.
I do know that when the Spirit comes, there is a tangible shift. When we are willing to let Him do what He wants, He does nothing short of filling us up to overflowing with enabling, loving power that can work miracles. The timing and method isn’t necessarily the same for everyone, but the end result of a changed life is remarkable to see.
In yesterday’s passage, Jesus gave His disciples their first dose of this all-consuming perfect love, setting the stage for the disciples to be cured of fear. In this passage, I believe we see that work finished. The Holy Spirit has not stopped giving those who ask what is needed. As awesome as this historical Pentecost moment is with the wind, fire, and supernatural linguistic abilities, knowing what I have experienced, there could be another point to this passage.
The point could be about the arrival of endowment of God on His children. Not since the garden of Eden had humankind been this close to God. Not since the world was perfect—when we were created blameless and without sin—could we walk and talk with the Lord this intimately. Not even Abraham, Moses, or King David had this level of communion with the Lord. He became available to be on the inside and so filled them with Himself that they became able to live in and for the purpose He designed.
The Spirit still works like this in believers. He conforms us into the image of the Son. He overcomes our flesh and puts calls on our lives to act for His purposes’that level of work requires unnatural power. He desires all creation to be immersed in His Spirit. Ask Him for His presence today.
Come, Holy Spirit. I ask for Your presence and Your power to come into and upon my life. Help me to surrender to the mighty force of Your will moving me into pleasant places of purpose and the empowerment to do it in Your strength. Show me how to trust Your perfect timing in everything. I eagerly await what You will do in my life today. In Jesus’ name, amen.
Has the wait for the Holy Spirit been worth it for you?
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