Most of us can recall mighty windstorms that have hit parts of the US, as well as our own area, leaving behind a path of destruction in both places. Wind in these instances was powerful but destructive.
On the other hand, wind can be beneficial. Wind power has been harnessed for years. Holland is known for its windmills, often pictured surrounded by a field of tulips.
The prairie farmer has pumped water from deep within the earth’s surface by windmills for over a hundred and fifty plus years. These are images that come readily to our mind when we think of wind used by man to provide a source of energy.
The scene described in Acts 2 is of a powerful wind. That wind is the Holy Spirit empowering all who were present. We are told that when a powerful wind came into the room where they were, fire appeared above each one’s head as the Spirit was given to each.
Overcome with this power or “Filled with the Spirit” they rushed out into the streets of Jerusalem. Suddenly everyone was talking and communicating with everyone.
To the outsider looking at this event, they thought these folks had hit the liquor early but Peter quickly told them that that was not the case; it was only 9 a.m.
What the onlookers were witnessing was the birth of the Church. For these men who were now proclaiming the message of salvation to anyone and everyone they met were the same men who a few days before had been hiding away from the Jewish authorities.
In a city that was filled with travelers from all over the known world, everyone who heard could understand what was being said because the Spirit was speaking through the disciples. The tongues of fire that had descended on these early church leaders had given them the power to speak in tongues.
People were in Jerusalem to celebrate Pentecost, which is actually a Jewish festival to celebrate the early harvest, but God had a different harvest in mind.
So persuasive were the speakers that over 3,000 gave themselves to Christ. A new creation, God’s Church was born on that Pentecost Day.
We see in this story God using the wind as a conduit for the Spirit and a Jewish Festival to be the forum in which 1000’s would be present to hear the message. What a plan, eh?
Jesus had tried to explain to His disciples what the role of the Spirit would be before His ascension. That event took place before Pentecost.
At that time, Jesus imparted the Spirit to them & told them that they would have the power to forgive sins. Unfortunately, they honed in on the power and thought in terms of earthly power, or the victory of Israel over its conquerors.
Scofield in his commentary says, “The risen Lord’s unique action in breathing on those present and imparting to the Holy Spirit was probably for their spiritual quickening in preparation for their full endowment with the Spirit at Pentecost.”
A spiritual quickening… a foreshadowing of what was to come.
When I read that description, I thought of someone preparing for the big race by taking that short distance run. Not that I ever do that…but I’ve heard that is what is done. That full power is described in Acts 2.
Here we see for the first time in Scripture, individual believers being baptized with the Spirit. Scofield describes it as being baptized “into a unified spiritual organism” or the Church. Christ at its head, the Spirit as the guiding force.
Scofield also noted that the Spirit had been present from the beginning of time. It was the Spirit that descended in the form of a dove at Christ’s baptism. But here we have the Spirit being given to the people.
Having received it, the disciples go forth boldly to tell others of Jesus Christ. As people heard, they either accepted Him and thus were saved or they did not. That is what Christ meant when He, before His ascension, told His followers they would have the power to forgive sins.
The Holy Spirit we see at Pentecost was a Spirit of boldness, of strength. That was needed to stir the disciples to action so that God’s Church on earth could be created.
What a power source we have to plug into. That same Spirit that created the Church 2,000 years ago is available to you and me today.
Do you feel overwhelmed by life’s responsibilities? Does the phrase Burnt out have special significance to you?
I think that you might want to go to the power source. Unlike Potomac Edison there is never a rate increase. The rate is simple: accept that Christ Jesus died for you and repent.
If you have already given your life to Christ but find yourself in need of an energy boost, then go to the Power Source by praying.
Billy Graham in his book “The Journey” says that “when we come to Christ, God Himself comes to live within us by His Holy Spirit.” He goes on to say that the Spirit will empower us to live life with a new purpose. We were not meant to live the Christian life in our own strength.
Rather, we are to rely on the power of the Spirit that is within us. Our job is to go to the source of power, the Holy Spirit, and follow the leading. If we all do that, we will be renewed just as those on the day of Pentecost were. o