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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.