“And look, I am sending you what My Father promised. As for you, stay in the city until you are empowered from on high.” Luke 24:49 HCSB
Today is Pentecost Sunday, the day the promised Holy Spirit ripped through the heavens with the sound of a roaring violent wind, with tongues of fire falling upon all who were waiting for Him in the room (Acts 2). The church was born that day! We celebrate His presence today because He came 2000 years ago. This same Holy Spirit has never left us, but operates where He is wanted and welcomed through surrendered vessels. Gordon Fee calls the Holy Spirit God’s empowering presence! He still releases signs, wonders and miracles (Mark 16:17), tongues, prophecy and more, plus He is always drawing and pointing people to Jesus. Jesus said that the Holy Spirit had to come to continue teaching and doing the things Jesus had begun (John 16). He is the Spirit of wisdom and revelation that helps us grow in knowledge and intimacy with Jesus (Ephesians 1:17). He is the Spirit of truth (John 16:12), who leads us into all truth and exposes deception. He is the Spirit of glory (1 Peter 4:14) who reveals the Father’s glory and splendor. And He is the Counselor (John 16:7), who comforts and leads us through difficult times. And these are just a few of His roles! He releases boldness to live and share our faith (Acts 4:31). And He prays with and through us, amplifying the effectiveness and power of our prayers because He knows what is on the Father’s heart (Romans 8:26-27). His work is desperately needed today in our lives, our church and the world. Yet it is possible to quench the Holy Spirit and put out His fire (1 Thessalonians 5:19), to grieve Him (Ephesians 4:30), even blaspheme Him (Matthew 12:31-32). Sadly, He is not welcome or acknowledged in many churches or “Christians” lives!
Thank Him for what He has done in your life, even in places where you are unaware of His working. Thank Him for always working according to the Father’s will and pleasure, and that everything He does is good! Ask Him to show you any place where you have quenched Him, grieved Him or blasphemed Him and quickly repent! Ask Him to reveal any place where there is deception in your life! Thank Him for His forgiveness and ask Him to fill up completely. Surrender to Him, and tell Him He is welcome to do whatever He wants to do in and through your life! Invite Him to work in your pastor and through your church. Ask Him to give us a new Pentecost across our city, that Athens Georgia would be filled with God’s empowering presence!