We need a suddenly from heaven.
We need the power of the Holy Spirit.
We need a greater baptism.
But I’m not sure the church is convinced of this.
The evidence for such a claim is found in the time she spends doing other things.
This is why I believe you will begin to see the church pray more and talk less.
I am certain that we will start to see ‘upper room’ moments… times when groups of people of one mind will gather around their need for a greater baptism in the Spirit and continually devote themselves to prayer until they receive the promise of the Father.
You can tell the church is persuaded when she waits and prays.
Tarrying is the mark of someone who sees their need for God.
The suddenly of heaven has a way of suddenly transforming us.
We need to look no further than the lives of Jesus’ disciples to fully appreciate such a statement.
We must continually remind ourselves that there is no book of Acts without the Holy Spirit.
He is the central figure within the early church.
He is their guiding force… their center of all activity… their source of power… the voice they hear… the One whom they obey.
They were not equipped to fulfill the mandate of Jesus until they received the baptism in the Holy Spirit.
Jesus Himself said, “…you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses…” (Acts 1:8).
Power is the byproduct of the baptism.
Being a witness is the byproduct of the power received through the baptism.
In other words, you cannot effectively be Jesus’ witness without the power of the Holy Spirit.
The power of the Holy Spirit is the fuel in the engine of being a witness.
It’s the rudder on the ship.
And it’s this power that transforms you.
It suddenly changes you.
The 120 gathered in that upper room were changed in a moment.
When the day of Pentecost had come, they were all together in one place. And suddenly there came from heaven a noise like a violent rushing wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. Acts 2:1-2.
They were cowering in an upper room… SUDDENLY they were emboldened.
They would argue over who was the greatest among them… SUDDENLY they were willing to serve and be the least.
They were susceptible to denying Jesus… SUDDENLY they were willing to die for Him.
They didn’t fully understand all that was happening… SUDDENLY they were able to quote scriptures that helped explain what was taking place.
They didn’t have the ability to fulfill the great commission… SUDDENLY they began to see thousands added to their number in a moment.
They lacked the power to perform signs and wonders… SUDDENLY they saw the sick healed, the dead raised, and demons cast out.
If the Holy Spirit is the promise of the Father (see Acts 1:4-5) and if Jesus said it was to our advantage that He’d leave so the Holy Spirit would come (see John 16:7), how is He not our greatest need?
The greatest temptation that the church faces today are the distractions that the enemy is seeking to use to derail us from this pursuit.
God is wanting to gather us together to cry out for a greater baptism, but the enemy is doing all he can to get us off the scent.
He wants peripheral issues to be our focus.
He wants our disagreements and need to be right to be the point.
He wants to divide us through our opinions regarding political matters.
In other words, he wants distractions to matter more than what ultimately matters most.
It’s not that it’s wrong to be passionate in areas of interest and to have causes you align yourself with, but we need the baptism in the Spirit to be an effective witness in those areas!
No matter how you slice it, we need an outpouring of the promise.
We need to unify around this ONE thing.
Jesus’ final word to His disciples before He ascended was this: WAIT.
Oh how we need to do that more than ever.
Oh how we need to obey the command to wait in Jerusalem until we receive power.
The moment of Pentecost changed those men and women in a moment.
They became someone they never were before and were capable of doing what they never could before prior to that moment.
They received the commission… but they needed the power.
If they needed it then, how much more do we need it today?
Until we become convinced of our need, we’ll never wait and pray.
Help us to see our need, Lord…
Help us to tarry until we receive.
- Brian Connolly, Faith Like Birds
Check out the previous blog!