An icon of the Pentecost, from the Greek Orthodox tradition. (Credit: Phiddipus)
Yesterday was Pentecost, the day that Christians commemorate the pouring out of the Holy Spirit (as told in the book of Acts) and celebrate the birth of the Church. My church has been walking through the book of Acts during our Wednesday night Bible class. We spent a good deal of time developing an understanding of the Holy Spirit’s interactions with the New Testament Church. I’ll summarize it briefly because the rest of the post relies on a clearer understanding.
In a nutshell, all who have accepted Christ as Lord and Savior have the Holy Spirit living inside of them. Unfortunately, not all believers allow themselves to be influenced by the Spirit. (In Acts, the apostles experienced both.)
We get excited about “signs and wonders” or the manifestation of the Spirit, but what do we do after the experience? Jesus referred to the Holy Spirit as the Comforter (some translations use “Advocate”). Yes, the Spirit is available to comfort us and advocate on our behalf, but an encounter with the Spirit should always prompt action on our part. The Spirit equips us to build up God’s Kingdom – to proclaim the Good News, to set free those who are in bondage, to open the eyes of the blind (Isaiah 61, Luke 4) . . .
For those of us who identify as Christians, here’s a question for you: When was the last time you yielded and allowed yourself to be influenced by the Holy Spirit? We often talk a good game; but at the end of the day, we act out of our own ability instead of looking to God for guidance.
Yesterday evening, I found myself listening to a favorite song from my childhood (“Available to You”), a classic performed by the Thompson Community Singers (a.k.a. The Tommies). I was immediately reminded of how easy it is to go through life without pausing to listen to the Spirit and allowing ourselves to be used by God. The next time you’re thinking about “signs” from the Spirit, maybe you should consider this one:
I hope you can set aside a few minutes to listen to the song (the video is posted below). My prayer is not just that you would make room for the Spirit but that you would also yield to how the Spirit wants to move in your life.
Bonus: Here are two other videos to encourage you to allow yourself to be used by God.