Acts 2:1-4 1 When the day of Pentecost arrived, they were all together in one place. 2 And suddenly there came from heaven a sound like a mighty rushing wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting. 3 And divided tongues as of fire appeared to them and rested on each one of them. 4 And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance.
How have you experienced the Holy Spirit of God in your life? If you are uncertain, you might ask yourself why. You may come before God in prayer and ask Him, “I want to receive your Spirit. Show me, God, how to prepare myself for this amazing outpouring from you.” In this passage, we get some hints as to how. In other passages of Scripture, we get some hints as to why and what for.
First, let us look at how. Jesus had commanded His followers to gather together because He wanted to give them a gift. They were obedient to His command and so gathered and worshipped God. As they were doing this, God fulfilled His promise and poured out on them, like rain, the Holy Spirit. God’s Spirit gave them special abilities to speak and share the love of Jesus with cultures all over the world. We do not just receive the Holy Spirit in the gathered community of worship, although powerful there, we position ourselves to receive God’s Spirit whenever we are obedient to what God asks us to do. Jesus instructs us in the Bible numerous commands like loving neighbor, caring for the poor and broken, making disciples, worshipping God, etc. The Holy Spirit of God will come upon us and fill and equip us when we are carrying out these instructions from Jesus.
Second, let us look at why. In passages like John 14:26, Jesus wants to give us the Holy Spirit so that we might have the mind of God, so that we might remember God’s promises and be empowered to do what Jesus instructs us to do as His followers. How important that is in this world. The world can be so confusing. Who should we follow? What is right and what is wrong? What is truth and what is not? We do not have to worry about any of that when the Holy Spirit of God is upon us. The Holy Spirit instructs us in all truth and shows us what is right or wrong and teaches us how to love our neighbor, break down divisions, elevate the value of all God’s people. It is impossible to walk in truth and to love and care in these ways without the Holy Spirit. When our hearts are filled with the Holy Spirit, the outflow of our love and selflessness looks different from the world. That difference is evidence that we are covered in the Spirit of God, standing in His presence, obedient to His commands, faithful to His calling and equipped for His service.
Gracious God, thank you for giving us the gift of your Spirit. Draw us to yourself that we may receive a fresh anointing of your Spirit each day. Through your Spirit, align our wills to yours. Open our hearts to greater love. Purify our thoughts and actions. Help us serve the world in your name.