The Advent Part 40
Acts 2:7, “Then they were all amazed and marveled, saying to one another, ‘Look, are not all these who speak Galileans?’”
When the Holy Spirit fills an individual, it is clearly and immediately visible. Both friends and enemies alike will see the transformation, will see the change, and it is undeniable.
A true believer cannot remain hidden, for he is as a bright torch in the heart of darkness. You can’t help but notice that there is something different, something unique, something peculiar about a true child of God, and though the world might hate us for it, though the enemy might rage against us because of it, as children of God it becomes our nature, we become that new creature into which we have been transformed by the saving grace of Christ and the power of the Holy Spirit.
We are not what we once were, we no longer desire what we once desired, we no longer aspire to our former aspirations, we no longer conduct ourselves in the manner in which we once did, we no longer pursue what we once pursued because now the Holy Spirit is dwelling in us, and is guiding us, and is teaching us. It is not the believer who uses the Holy Spirit, contrary to popular belief, but the Holy Spirit who uses the believer. The Holy Spirit is not at our beck and call, there to impress whenever we want to show the extend of our tongues prowess, but we are at His disposal, ever ready to be used in whatever manner or fashion He sees fit.
We speak, as the Holy Spirit gives us utterance, we walk as the Holy Spirit guides us, and we labor as the Holy Spirit instructs us, because He is the gift of the Father to us, the Comforter and the Helper which Jesus promised us, reassuring us that He would not leave us orphans, that we would not be left to wander aimlessly and absent an established goal.
It is not we who teach the Holy Spirit, it is the Holy Spirit who teaches us, it is not we who demand what gifts to receive, but the Holy Spirit distributes the gifts as He sees fit, for the glory of the kingdom of God. What is required of us, is total submission to the will of God, an absolute emptying out of ourselves, that we might be filled with power, that we might walk in authority, and that we might know the full extent of what God has in store for His children.
It was not the first time that individuals marveled and were amazed, nor would it be the last. While Jesus still walked among them, He went to His own country and taught them in their synagogue, and we see their astonishment, as they wondered, ‘where does this Man get this wisdom and these mighty work? Is this not the carpenter’s son?’
Later in the book of Acts we see Peter and John the Apostles of Christ standing before the religious rulers, elders, scribes as well as Annas the high priest, Caiaphas, John, and Alexandar and as many as were of the family of the high priest, and upon seeing the boldness of Peter and John and perceiving that they were uneducated and untrained men, concluded that it could only have been Jesus, and the fact that they had been with Him that would cause such words to flow from their lips.
Yes, it was Jesus, yes they had been with Jesus, but it was also the Holy Spirit dwelling in them giving them utterance, inspiring them and telling them the words they must speak in order to confound even the most illuminated religious minds of the time. It was the Holy Spirit working in them and through them that was able to confound the high priest and those who had gathered, it was not the intellect or scriptural know how of Peter and John.
It was because they understood what was being said that the devout men who had gathered in Jerusalem from every nation under heaven were amazed, because one can be moved, amazed, and marvel at only that which they can perceive or understand. The Word of God is not complicated, the will of God is not complicated, the purpose for which Jesus came and took on a body of flesh, suffered, died and rose again is not complicated, and any man who attempts to complicate the Word of God or make it difficult to understand is doing God as well as the Body of Christ a disservice. These men understood the words that were being spoken, they were being spoken in their own language, and in such a way that they perceived the words they were hearing originated from somewhere other than the minds of the Galileans who were standing before them. In your physical appearance you can look like a Galilean, or an America, or a Canadian, or a Romanian for that matter, but if the Holy Spirit is dwelling in you, if the power of the Holy Spirit is flowing through you when you speak they will not be the words of an American, or a Romanian or a Galilean they will be the words of God, words that will have an effect and bear much fruit. The Spirit of God and the Word of God within the heart of an individual changes and transforms them. Truth will transform you into truth, light will transform you into light, and if the fire of God is burning inside you it will transform you into the selfsame fire.
It is the fire, it is the light, it is the truth that stirs consternation, discomfort and even hatred within the hearts of those still dwelling in darkness, and Jesus forewarned us that this would happen. Take heart dear friend if the world hates you, because it first hated Him; take heart dear friend if the world despises you, because it first despised Him. If Christ dwells in us, then the world will invariably have the same reaction to us as it did to our Lord.
With love in Christ,
Michael Boldea Jr.