By Brooke Holt
“When the day of Pentecost arrived, they were all together in one place. And suddenly there came from heaven a sound like a mighty rushing wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting. ’And divided tongues as of fire appeared to them and rested on each one of them. And there were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance.” Acts 2:1-4
Do you wait well? Think about sitting in a long line of traffic or in the grocery store. I can’t think of anyone who would say they like waiting. Waiting feels so out of control. You cannot change the traffic or the number of people checking out simultaneously with you. So, what do you do? Most people pull out their cell phones. Surely you will find a text message needing a response or emails to read. Worst case scenario, you can catch up on social media. Any distraction makes the wait easier to endure!
For ten days, the disciples waited on the promised Holy Spirit. Prior to his departure, Jesus gave clear instructions: “And behold, I am sending the promise of my Father upon you. But stay in the city until you are clothed with power from on high” (Luke 24:49). These men and women knew exactly what Jesus called to do at this time – wait! Wait on the Father to fulfill the promise of sending the Holy Spirit.
With few distractions, perhaps they found themselves praying a lot, talking, and possibly pacing (what I do best). Both the timing and the way the Holy Spirit would come upon them was completely out of their control. They could only trust the words of Jesus, choose to obey his words, and wait upon the Lord.
On the day of Pentecost, a Jewish festival, the Lord fulfilled his promise and poured out his Holy Spirit. A special celebration in the life of Israel, many people made the pilgrimage to Jerusalem for it. This Pentecost would far surpass previous festivals for while they celebrated this great feast, the Lord would astound them with his presence and power. Luke says that the Spirit came down like a rushing wind and as fire. This was no ordinary Pentecost! Pentecost, once a remembrance of the day God gave the Law to the nation of Israel, now became the celebration of the One greater than the Law – Jesus, the one who perfectly fulfilled the law’s every demand. Now, the Holy Spirit would take that law and write it in the hearts of God’s people.
Now God’s people had new power to obey him, new power to proclaim his word, new power to change their hearts and to share that change with others. God now called and equipped these men and women to proclaim the Gospel, to heal the sick, to drive out demons, and to build the kingdom of God. The Lord once again demonstrated his power and presence, and these disciples would never be the same.
The Holy Spirit was worth the wait! May that same Spirit fill you today, equip you for every good work, and empower you to wait on the Lord with expectation, hope, and faith.
What about you? Have you received the Holy Spirit and are you living in this power? If so, are you proclaiming the Gospel, praying for people to be healed and set free from the bondage to sin and the demonic forces of this world? We would love to hear your thoughts in the comments.
Jesus calls the Holy Spirit a "gift" who will guide us, lead us, and empower us. Yet many believers don't experience the power and presence of the Holy Spirit in their lives. This unique Christian small group Bible study provides a space in which we can explore what it truly means to "walk in the Spirit" on a daily basis. The Spirit-Filled Life small group curriculum centers on a 6-part video teaching series examining the life-giving and creative work of the Holy Spirit in our lives. Begin to experience the gift today!
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