Power, Mighty Wind, and Fire
6 When they were together for the last time they asked, “Master, are you going to restore the kingdom to Israel now? Is this the time?”
7-8 He told them, “You don’t get to know the time. Timing is the Father’s business. What you’ll get is the Holy Spirit. And when the Holy Spirit comes on you, you will be able to be my witnesses in Jerusalem, all over Judea and Samaria, even to the ends of the world.”
Acts 6-8 The Message
In the first chapters of Acts we read the account of how the disciples were waiting for the promised comforter Jesus would send. While waiting they were praying in one accord. Suddenly a great and mighty wind blew through and tongues of fire rested on each of them.
1-4 When the Feast of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. Without warning there was a sound like a strong wind, gale force—no one could tell where it came from. It filled the whole building. Then, like a wildfire, the Holy Spirit spread through their ranks, and they started speaking in a number of different languages as the Spirit prompted them.
Acts 2:1-4 The Message
We can get lost in the promise of Acts 1:8. We can be crying out for the anointing not realizing the mighty wind that blows, and the fire that burns. The anointing is free, but costly. There are a few things we can glean from the first and second chapters of the book of Acts.
The first is that there was a promise, and the disciples were obedient to wait for it. They had faith in what Jesus had spoken to them. Sometimes God can tell us what He is going to do and we get tired of waiting, or we question how long it is going to take. This leads us to the next principle.
The second is that they were not just waiting. They had inducted another disciple to take the place of Judas. They were crying out to God as they waited, and they were determined to be one, and to add to their ranks. They were doing what they could as they waited.
They were praying and of one accord. What good is the anointing if you don’t know what to do with it? What good is it if you are all alone? In response to these two questions I say it’s worth nothing. The power of God is no good if you have no direction.
Praying for the anointing and waiting on the promise of it, without including the need for guidance, is like giving keys to a child and telling them to drive a vehicle without instruction. It will only end in destruction. Also the gifts and callings of God are without repentance meaning that once they are given they are yours. Would you give eternally to one who would misuse the power? Also, if you have been gifted it is not for yourself. It is for the benefit of the kingdom.
If you lack unity then you lack the ability to use your gifting for kingdom purposes. So wrong motives for gifting need to be assessed. Remember James and John? They wanted to call down fire from heaven to consume the Samaritans. That was an example of destruction and misuse of power that Jesus rebuked them for.
55-56 Jesus turned on them: “Of course not!” And they traveled on to another village.
Luke 9:55-56 The Message
The third thing we can learn is the wind that blows. When the wind blows it blows where it will. There is no bottling it. There is no taming it. It is wild and free and furious when it wants to be. Is our crying out for anointing a plea with a sting attached. “God I want the anointing, but I want it my way.” Essentially that is putting the Holy Spirit, who is God, in a box. Then asking Him to let you pull Him out to perform at will. Not gonna happen. We must know the Holy Spirit is in control, and surrender to it. He will come and go as He wills in the lives of those born again. Although He never leaves us His presence will be soft and subtle on occasion, and powerful and frightening on others. (See in the passage of Acts 2:1-4 that the disciples spoke when prompted.)
7-8 “So don’t be so surprised when I tell you that you have to be ‘born from above’—out of this world, so to speak. You know well enough how the wind blows this way and that. You hear it rustling through the trees, but you have no idea where it comes from or where it’s headed next. That’s the way it is with everyone ‘born from above’ by the wind of God, the Spirit of God.”
John 3:7-8 The Message
The fourth thing we glean is that when the Holy Spirit comes we can expect fire. Fire burns. Like the process of refining silver it draws the dross off of us. Dross are the impurities that do not allow the reflection of the refiner to shine. It burns up the chaff and leaves the wheat. A usable part that becomes a feast for others. It purifies us. But it can hurt. The process can be intense. So we may be crying out for an anointing we already have because we fail to recognize the fire upon us.
Do you see what I’ve done?
I’ve refined you, but not without fire.
I’ve tested you like silver in the furnace of affliction.
Isaiah 48:10 The Message
Beloved I pray this encouraged you and helped you find relation to God the Holy Spirit today. Next Tuesday we will look at Power in the Wilderness. If you have been blessed by this devotional would you please share it with someone you know who needs encouragement. Or just share it in general and let the wind of Spirit blow where it will? <3 Melinda