It’s hard for me to imagine the day that the Spirit came upon the church in power. To hear that sound of a rushing wind (was it just as sound, or was there an actual wind?) come upon that house, and to see tongues of fire rest on each person there as each was filled with the Spirit of God.
Then to see them go out into the streets declaring the praises of God in languages they had never learned to the shock of the Jewish proselytes that had gathered from all over the world. I would have been wondering too, “What’s going on?”
But Peter proclaimed,
This is what was spoken by the prophet Joel: “In the last days, God says, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your young men will see visions, your old men will dream dreams. Even on my servants, both men and women, I will pour out my Spirit in those days, and they will prophesy.” (16-18)
Peter then went on to proclaim the gospel, and 3000 people got saved in a single day.
It’s easy for us to look back on that and marvel and say, “Why isn’t this happening now? Why doesn’t the Spirit act in the same way?”
I would argue that he does. Peter told the people,
Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. The promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off-for all whom the Lord our God will call. (38-39)
Peter said the promise of the Spirit was not just for his generation. It was for the next generation. For peoples of every land. In fact, it was for ALL whom the Lord would call unto salvation.
The church I attend here in Japan was started because of a literal dream God gave my pastor at a time when his life was falling apart. I can look back on my life and see God speaking to me through others. I remember at a time when I was seeking the Lord for direction for my life, a friend of mine, who had no idea what I was praying, said out of the blue, “You know Bruce, I can’t see you working behind a computer at some office somewhere. I see you doing ministry.” And I can look back, not only at people’s words to me at that time, but things God did in my life that caused me to leave my comfortable life in Hawaii to come to Japan.
I can say with confidence that it is because of the Spirit that I am here today. And I’m realizing more and more that I need his leading in my life so much more. Too often, I have been going on my own wisdom and strength. A lot of what I said a couple of blogs ago, I can say about me. But I don’t want that anymore. I want to be filled with his Spirit as the church was 2000 years ago. Do you?
Father, fill me with your Spirit. It’s the gift you promised the church long ago. And you said it’s for ALL whom you have called. I’ve seen your work in my life before. I want it even more now. I said it before, and I say it again now. I’m tired of living on my own wisdom and strength. I need you now. Fill me. In Jesus name, amen.