We certainly are living in strange times.
I find some interesting parallels as we started out the year 2020.
Quarantine began and we had our first online service on March 29th We had our third online service on April 12th which was Easter Sunday and the week of April 8-16 was Passover week
Do you remember the story of Passover? God sent an angel of death to kill the firstborn sons of the Egyptians. God told Moses to tell the Israelites to sacrifice a lamb, sprinkle the blood of the lamb over the doorposts of their home, STAY IN THEIR HOME, and the angel would pass over. I do find it odd that we were encouraged not by God, but by our government to stay in our homes. Nevertheless, we were “somewhat” quarantined to our homes the week of Passover. Fifty days after Passover was Pentecost.
The only reason I bring this up is because today, May 31st is Pentecost Sunday. Right before Jesus ascended, He told the disciples to wait in Jerusalem until they received the gift of the Holy Spirit. I believe Jesus intended for His followers to live life in the Spirit the way He did. I remind you that the Holy Spirit has always been active prior to this. He didn’t just show up on the day of Pentecost.
- The Spirit hovered over the face of the water. (Gen 1:2)
- The Spirit came upon David. (1 Samuel 16:13)
- Jesus was conceived by the Spirit. (Matt 1:18)
- Jesus told the disciples, “You know the Spirit and He has been with you.” (John 14:17)
The disciples had already experienced the power of the Spirit. They had already cast out unclean spirits and they had healed the sick. But there was this “richer, deeper, gooder, better” relationship that the disciples began to experience on the day of Pentecost.
When we read through the book of Acts we see their life in the Spirit was anything, but normal. Here is my concern. Shouldn’t the life in the Spirit that the disciples experienced be normal? Now before you get too excited about that keep in mind that they had to pray for boldness because their lives were being threatened as well. And remember, the Spirit led Jesus into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. Keep in mind that how the Spirit moved in Jesus’ life and the life of the disciples is not a mandate of what must happen – in identical ways – in our lives. The good thing is we live post Pentecost. We don’t have to go to Jerusalem and wait. We can experience a “richer, deeper, “gooder”, better” relationship right now.
My encouragement to you on this Pentecost Sunday is to ask the Father to give you a “richer, deeper, gooder, better” life in the Spirit. Paul said to be filled with the Spirit. That isn’t a onetime filling, but a continual filling of His Spirit. Jesus said to His disciples to come follow Him as He carries out His kingdom agenda. It was Jesus intention that what He did and what He taught would become an integral part the life of His followers. Once we begin to understand this, we can begin thinking about participating with Jesus in His kingdom agenda. Participating in Jesus’ kingdom agenda should become normal as we go “deeper, richer, gooder and better.” Gordan Fee a Bible scholar said it best, “Life in the Spirit for Paul was not automatic. One must sow to the Spirit as well as be led by the Spirit.”
Would you pray with me this prayer on Pentecost Sunday?
Father, I want to experience life in the Spirit in a much deeper way. I want to be led by your Spirit. I ask you to fill me with your Spirit today and tomorrow, and the next day, and the next day, and the next day. Immerse me in your Spirit. In Jesus’ name, Amen!
Put on your seatbelts!!! Because life is about to get interesting!
Have a blessed Pentecost Sunday!