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Friday, September 16, 2011

The Holy Spirit: Power Presence and Purpose Part 47

The Advent Part 39

Acts 2:6, “And when this sound occurred, the multitude came together, and were confused, because everyone heard them speak in his own language.”

One of the many things that I’ve learned throughout my years of ministry is that when God purposes a thing, when He initiates a plan, no matter the obstacles, no matter the seemingly impossible hurdles, God brings His plan to pass. Often times it is due to our doubt, and our unwillingness to step out in faith that God’s plan is hindered, and like Israel of old a journey that ought to have taken us forty days, ends up taking us forty years instead.

The more we mature, the more we grow in God, the more we walk with God we learn the paramount importance of obedience when it comes to doing His work. Human reason will fight us, the flesh will whisper that we have been set about an impossible mission, but it is our duty to overcome the whispers of the flesh, to see with eyes of faith that which the eyes of flesh cannot see, and walk boldly in the calling that God has called us to.

If someone would have told the disciples and those gathered in the upper room that devout men from every nation under heaven would be made to hear the Gospel, as one, simultaneously in their own language, chances are that they would have spent a considerable amount of time wondering just how this was going to occur.

‘Do we find interpreters? Do we find someone to translate for us? How is this possible? How will this happen?’

All valid questions, but often times when God reveals the finality of a plan to us, the way in which He brings that plan to completion and the way we envisioned He would bring it to completion are as far removed from each other as the earth is from the heavens.

Although the house in which the disciples were gathered was filled with the sound from heaven as of a mighty rushing wind, those who were outside heard the sound, and were confused. First, the multitudes were given to hear the sound, that their attention might be captured, that they might be drawn to this nondescript home, then they were given to hear the disciples and the others who were gathered speak in their own language.

One could only imagine the crowd that had by now gathered in front of the home, one could only imagine the whispers, and the confusion on the faces of these devout individuals, seeing these men and women speaking to them in their own language.

There is a question I would like to pose, one that given the ‘little gods’ era we are living in might be offensive to some, but what could those who had gathered in the upper room possible have done in and of themselves, absent the advent and the power of the Holy Spirit to draw such a crowd and witness the Gospel to them?

The answer is of course, nothing! There is nothing those individuals could have done, although they were gathered in prayer, although they were in one accord, although they were being faithful to the command of Jesus to wait in Jerusalem, to draw the crowd that had gathered, or witness so effectively without the presence of the Holy Spirit.

So often we try to do things on our own only to see ourselves fail time and again. We try to speak when God is silent, we try to remain silent when God is speaking for fear of offending the influential or being labeled a zealot, we think we know better than God, or have a more comprehensive way of reaching the lost than simply being a living testimony of Jesus.

Seeing all our plans and growth projections and future outlooks come to naught, we then grow frustrated and angry, not at ourselves for having stepped out of the will of God, not at ourselves for trying to do on our own only what God could do, but at God Himself because He didn’t see the brilliance of our strategies and cause them to succeed. We become as spoiled children, bratty and precocious stomping our feet and wringing our hands, because things didn’t happen the way we thought they would, nor in the timeframe we had allotted for that particular project.

Here’s a novel idea, why not let God be God? Why not shake off the notion of being a ‘little god’ or of being entitled to having everything you ever wanted, and just answer when God calls you, follow where God leads you, speak when He tells you, and be unconcerned with the details of how it will all work out. Be in the moment with God, go about performing the task He has entrusted you with wholeheartedly and to the best of your ability, and whatever fruit will come of it, whatever hearts you might reach, however many souls might come to know the Christ through your ministry or your labors will be something that God and God alone can and will keep track of.

It still saddens men when I see preachers glory in how many commitment cards were signed at a given crusade, or how many people came up to the altar, as though the number in and of itself justifies their ministry, or gives them some sort of credibility equity. It is God that stirs the heart, it is God that calls the soul, it is God that makes the way, and all the glory for the work He does, all the praise for the hearts He stirs, are due Him and Him alone.

Those gathered in the upper room went on the be used of God in mighty and wondrous ways, seeing thousands converted in one sermon, seeing miracles, and signs, casting out demons, and walking in authority, but throughout it all they knew it wasn’t them. The memory of that upper room, the memory of the sound as of a rushing mighty wind, the memory of the tongues of fire, and the tongues in which they spoke to men who had come from every nation under heaven would remain fresh on their mind, and whatever was done through them, they never ceased to give all the glory to God.

With love in Christ,
Michael Boldea Jr.

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