On the day of Pentecost around 2000 years ago, the followers of Jesus were filled with the Holy Spirit and this involved the presence of a mighty wind. High winds are disturbing. They move and shift things that are in their path. So why does God use this as a symbol and sign of his presence?
Christianity in our western culture has become very consumerist in nature and it’s possible that we have lost sight of who God really is. Some people wrongly assume that God is here to meet our needs and to do what we want. If this is what we believe and God doesn’t comply with our plans then we naturally complain in the way that any customer would. As we complain we might even wonder if God knows anything about customer care? After all, if you don’t keep your customers happy they could go elsewhere. We may want a God who serves us and who keeps things nice but God is like a mighty rushing wind that disturbs things wherever it goes.
Some Christians want the Holy Spirit, but they don’t want God messing with their lives. This is ironic because God is our designer and creator and he knows and sees everything which means that he has a better perspective than us.
We choose to cling to our limited knowledge and experience rather than wholeheartedly trusting the one who has limitless knowledge and experience. How clever are we?
On the day of Pentecost the followers of Jesus were together and praying but when the Holy Spirit (the presence of God) filled them they were so affected that they rushed outside and started to tell people about Jesus. They were so changed that they almost couldn’t help themselves! The Holy Spirit had moved and disturbed them which meant that things were different.
On that day, Peter told the assembled crowd about Jesus who was sent by God and how he gave his live to save us. Many people wanted to respond and when they asked how, Peter replied that they needed to repent and be baptized for the forgiveness of sins and then they would receive the Holy Spirit.
Repentance means to turn around or to change your way of thinking. It involves turning from our way of living and choosing to make God the Lord of our lives. It’s a little like a sports player who leaves their club and signs for a new one. They have turned away from allegiance to one employer and are under contract with a new one. They are under new management and their lives are different. Christianity at it’s most basic involves Jesus being our Lord and it has nothing to do with us being his customer!
Baptism is a symbol of being cleansed from sin and starting a new life. In the UK, people are often more familiar with babies being baptised but in the New Testament, people believed, repented and then they were baptized as a confirmation of their faith.
You will receive the Holy Spirit: In other words, you will receive the power of God and then your life will be disturbed as well. The Holy Spirit brings change to us as he helps us to live out the promises we made to God when we repented. The presence of God is not just for Christian leaders, it is for every believer. The Old Testament was written in Hebrew and the word used for the Spirit is Ruach which means breath or wind. The Spirit wants to blow into our lives bringing life and change.
We should be Holy Spirit seekers! I really hope that we don’t put signs up saying that our lives are closed to God due to the levels of his presence disturbing us being too high!
Read the account of the giving of the Spirit for yourself in Acts 2.