Stories, thoughts and reflections on the Bible from the WSFC Staff.
Last Sunday morning was a remarkable gathering of our church. It was one of those mornings.
The occasion marked 50 days after our most recent Easter celebration. Corresponding to the flow of scripture, Pastor John preached from the Book of Acts, chapters 1 and 2. On the Bible calendar, Sunday was the Day of Pentecost and was very special among us at West Salem Foursquare this year. It is possible that we will experience a new liberty in both the comforting assurance and the empowering presence of the Holy Spirit.
Do you know that the Church was born on the Day of Pentecost, Acts 2:1 – 42? Those who had begun to believe and obey Jesus Christ as Lord of their lives, 120 of them, were simply gathered together. They were together because Jesus’ last words to them were that they should stay together in Jerusalem until they received “the promise of the Father.” Jesus had appeared in various ways and places among them for 40 days after He was resurrected, then He ascended back to His Father. After that, the believers just had each other, and the instructions Jesus had given them.
Jesus told them two things: 1. Go into all the world (Matthew 28:20); but, 2. Wait right where you are (Acts 1:4). Wait, Jesus said, until you receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you (v 8). They couldn’t know much of anything about how that would happen when it would happen, or how it might feel. All they knew was that they should wait. It takes a bit of courage and wisdom to wait when the world doesn’t share your point of view, and your own human nature says get up and run to safety somewhere else. What anchored them was that they had seen and experienced Jesus, both before and after He was resurrected. They trusted and obeyed Him, and they waited together.
After 10 days, God the Holy Spirit came upon them with the wind and fire of His presence. They spoke with a heart of praise, and it came out in languages that God caused to communicate to the diverse people who heard the sound of the believer’s voices. All the disciples did was overflow with a Spirit-filled heart of worship to God. Many people began to believe and follow Jesus that day because they heard the wonderful works of God spoken in praise by people who had been waiting on the Lord.
I believe it is our time, once again, to wait upon the Lord for His presence and power. Will anything other than the Father’s promise, presence, and power meet the real need in your life? Let me encourage you: Wait on the Lord in the Word, in prayer, and in fellowship with believers. Have courage to obey Him in everyday things. It’s up to us to wait. It’s up to Him to strengthen us. And the evidence will be that we will begin to speak of His wonderful work.
It could get windy around here.