Back to Blog
When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them. Acts 2:1-4
This Sunday is Pentecost Sunday. It marks the fiftieth day after Passover. Jesus was crucified on Passover and after his resurrection he instructed his disciples to wait for the outpouring of the Holy Spirit.
Have you ever wondered why God didn’t baptize the disciples immediately after Jesus rose? Why did they have to wait so long. Was it just so Jesus promise would be fulfilled on an important day in the Jewish calendar?
For three years these people had been personally discipled by the Lord. During that time they had seen and heard such privileged things. Our Lord’s teachings, his miracles, his compassion towards the needy and on and on. These fortunate men and women were personally mentored by the Messiah himself! Then comes the glorious finale, they get to witness Christ’s ascension into Heaven accompanied by an angelic messenger no less.
Can you imagine it? Three years of intensive ministry and training and suddenly he’s gone. In those three years they had learned to depend on him completely. Whether they were in a storm on the Sea of Galilee or attempting to cast out a demon, the more time they spent with him the more dependent they became.
Now he was gone and the confidence and courage that came from being with him was gone too. They were alone in a hostile world where they were known to be the followers of a dead messiah. Where were they to turn now? Jesus told them they were going to be his witnesses to the world, but how? Without him they could do nothing.
So they waited. That’s what he told them to do (Acts 1:4). What else could they do, but wait.
I believe that Jesus as part of God’s plan revealed himself to those first disciples and in the process of the three years he spent with them he made them keenly aware of their dependence on him. By the time he ascended their lives would have so revolved around him that his leaving would have left a huge vacuum. A vacuum that left them feeling empty. A vacuum that would demanded to be filled. A vacuum that he intended to fill, with the Holy Spirit.
Do you want revival? Would you like to experience a fresh Pentecost? God has not changed and he desires to pour out his Spirit on Living Waters Fellowship. But we need to become aware of our absolute dependence on him. We need to feel the raw reality of our helpless and hopeless state, our complete need of him. We need to sense the void, the vacuum within us and become consumed by a hunger and thirst to be filled by him.
Revival doesn’t come to a people who would “like” a revival. It comes to a people who “need” it! Revival will come when God’s people decide they can’t live without it. When we realize that we can’t do anything without him and won’t settle for anything less than God’s promise of power to his church.
I think that Peter, James, John and the others would have felt both desperate and hopeful at the same time. They were keenly aware of how much they needed Christ and desperation in his absence would have surely been their reality. But, he told them the Spirit would come and be their teacher, their comforter, their enabler. So, they had this hope to cling to.
Are you desperate? Does your hunger for Christ consume you? That’s what it’s going to take. A desperate and hopeful church driven to its knees. A church that will not settle for any substitutes. A church that won’t be denied, determined to seek Heaven for nothing less than his glorious outpouring.
So where do we start? Let’s begin by waiting before the Lord acknowledging our absolute need and dependence on him until he reveals to us the true depth of our need. And let’s determine in our hearts that in these last days we will not be satisfied with anything less than a genuine baptism of fire from on high.
Back to Blog
Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, this he will also reap.
The law of sowing and reaping is the great overarching principle that governs the experience of all of humanity. God has ordained this law and woven it into the fabric of the both the spiritual and physical universe. Anyone who thinks they can mock God and evade its implications and outcomes, will themselves be mocked by its tireless and persistent creep. No person is exempt from this continuous and all encompassing cycle of cause and effect. There is no place to hide from it. Do not be deceived, what we sow, we will reap.
Ask the athlete how they stay in top physical condition. Ask the scholar how they have become so learned. Ask the wealthy entrepreneur how they obtained their financial success. They will all give you the same answer. They pursued a relentless and incremental path towards their goals. Day in and day out they sowed by eating healthy, exercising, studying and working diligently at the right things to reap their desired outcomes.
Unfortunately, for those of us less motivated, the law doesn’t relent. We can fool ourselves into thinking we’ll accomplish the things we desire but reality confirms the absolute truth of God’s word. I may not like the way I look or feel but if I am not willing to eat right and exercise I will continue getting the same unhappy results. Wishful thinking is a form of self-deceit and will not produce the results we want. If we don’t understand this we will be tempted to blame our misfortunes in life on circumstance and sometimes even on God. But God’s word is clear. We live in a fallen world and progress in any area of life comes from the hard work of sowing.
What about our relationship with God? Is it subject to this law as well? It most assuredly is. If we wish to grow spiritually we must sow to the Spirit (Gal 6:8). A healthy relationship with Him requires the intentional prioritizing and practice of the daily spiritual disciplines of prayer, meditation, reading and study. Not because these ‘works’ gain us favour with God, but because if we don’t sow to the Spirit we will die spiritually and we will reap spiritual destruction. By daily communing with God through prayer and his word, he creates in us spiritual hunger ad crucifies our sinful carnal desires. It is no accident that the bible uses the words disciple and Christian as synonymous terms. Without the disciplined work of spiritual sowing, our sinful natures overwhelm our spiritual desire. Again, some might accuse me of promoting legalism or works, but nothing could be further from the truth. Daily devotional time doesn’t make God love us more or save us. But without it a Christian will not grow in their relationship with the Lord. Without it God cannot pour his Spirit into us. Without it we will not hide his word in our hearts. Without it we will not experience intimacy with him. We won’t overcome habitual sin or experience victory in our daily walk with Christ. We’ll miss out on the blessing of answered prayer and spiritual insight. We won’t live our earthly lives with Heaven’s perspective and his joy will not be our strength. The inevitable result will be backsliding into a Laodicean state and eventually even turning our backs on Christ completely.
Let’s make it our goal to enjoy a vibrant and dynamic relationship with the Lord Jesus. Let’s count the cost and be realistic about what it will take to have this kind of relationship with him. And, lets purpose in our hearts to sow to the Spirit and deny the flesh so that we will experience personal and corporate revival in these last days!
Back to Blog
“The Lord’s bond-servant must not be quarrelsome, but be kind to all, able to teach, patient when wronged, with gentleness correcting those who are in opposition, if perhaps God may grant them repentance leading to the knowledge of the truth, and they may come to their senses and escape from the snare of the devil, having been held captive by him to do his will.”
2 Timothy 2:24-26
It’s fair to say that most of the people of this world are in opposition to God. Even many who claim to be Christians today are teaching things that are in direct opposition to His word. Of course this shouldn’t come as any surprise to us. Jesus and the Apostles were opposed by the world and two thousand years later the world is still hostile in its defiance towards Christ and his truth.
I don’t know about you, but sometimes this makes me angry. And, I don’t mean the righteous kind of anger... sometimes I just get plain mad at the people themselves. Maybe you can relate? Do you ever find yourself getting a little heated at someone who expresses their ungodly opinions? Maybe you’ve had to bite your tongue once or twice when your unsaved in-laws reaffirms their “pro-choice” stance. Perhaps you’ve even responded harshly to a neighbour or friend when they have acted in a less-than-Christian manner towards you or your family.
I can assure you you’re not alone if you have, but Paul’s words to Timothy are a good reality check for us in those moments. The people of this world are held captive by the devil. Satan is a liar and those under his control are deceived by him. They say and do what they say and do because “the God of this world has blinded their minds” (2 Cor 4:4). It is in light of this that the Apostle instructs us to respond with kindness, patience and gentleness. Jesus prayed for the people of this world while he was on the cross, “... they know not what they do.”
We are to correct when we have opportunity, but always from the place of love, not anger. We were once blind to the truth. Had we not been saved by his lavish grace, we too would be living in rebellious opposition to the Lord. If we had not been brought into the marvelous light of the gospel, where would we be today?
So the next time a politician says something that you find offensive, instead of arguing with the tv, take a moment to pray for them. When your neighbor’s unwholesome language offends you remember he is in bondage and your kindness and compassion in Christ could be the keys to his freedom. When that family member that doesn’t know the Lord calls you a “science-deny-er” because you believe God is our Creator, don’t forget that God looks beyond their foolish arrogance and loves them, as should we.
It’s easy, when we hear people’s words and witness their behaviour to mistake them for the enemy. But, our battle is not against flesh and blood, but the spirit of wickedness that controls the thoughts of men. Instead, “...be kind to all, ..., patient when wronged, with gentleness correcting those who are in opposition,” and “...perhaps God may grant them repentance leading to the knowledge of the truth, and they may come to their senses and escape from the snare of the devil.”