Continued from last time…
When viewing the Spirit’s activity throughout the world, we begin to see that differences such as personalities, postal codes, states, countries, and levels of faith are not hindrances to what the Holy Spirit does and doesn’t do. There is no cookie-cutter doctrine when it comes to what He is capable of. It’s simply not our call. We do not control the Holy Spirit.
All around the world you will find stories and testimonies of people who have been healed, redeemed, and rescued thanks to the Spirit of God. And while many people might sit in the comfort of their homes and say, “That’s not true,” I would encourage them to step out into the world and open up their hearts’ guidance to the Spirit of God, and not what only their minds can fathom.
Acts 2:1-13 portrays a scene I find powerful and comedic, as the Spirit takes control of a group of believers on the day of Pentecost, leaving others in confusion. The day of Pentecost comes ten days after the ascension of Jesus into Heaven, about fifty days after Easter, and is referred to by many as the birthday of the Church. The biblical account in Acts 2 tells the story:
“When the day of Pentecost arrived, they were all together in one place. And suddenly there came from heaven a sound like a mighty rushing wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting. And divided tongues as of fire appeared to them and rested on each one of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance.
Now there were dwelling in Jerusalem Jews, devout men from every nation under heaven. And at this sound the multitude came together, and they were bewildered, because each one was hearing them speak in his own language. And they were amazed and astonished, saying, “Are not all these who are speaking Galileans? And how is it that we hear, each of us in his own native language? Parthians and Medes and Elamites and residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya belonging to Cyrene, and visitors from Rome, both Jews and proselytes, Cretans and Arabians—we hear them telling in our own tongues the mighty works of God.” And all were amazed and perplexed, saying to one another, “What does this mean?” But others mocking said, ‘They are filled with new wine.’”
Even in the early days of the Church, the power and activity of the Holy Spirit wasn’t truly understood. If people in biblical times thought those who were being used by the Spirit were drunk, I can’t imagine what kinds of things people are saying in this day and age.
Not everyone is going to understand what the Spirit does or doesn’t do in your life. Initiating your life as a Spirit-filled disciple starts by first admitting that you need the Spirit to live out the true life of a real believer. True freedom, confidence, and spiritual effectiveness simply can’t exist without Him.
A Christian without the Holy Spirit is like a cheese-burger without the cheese. It’s not what it claims to be.