Day 1: The Outpouring
“When the day of Pentecost arrived, they were all together in one place. And suddenly there came from heaven a sound like a mighty rushing wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting.” Acts 2:1 (ESV)
I feel led to share my perspective both on what I feel is needed for myself, and things God’s family needs to do if He chooses to repeat a mighty outpouring of His Spirit as was done at Pentecost. In this day and time, we need a special outpouring of His Spirit, and for some reason I feel that He wants to show us that He still does things like this. Before I share this perspective, I need to share how my viewpoint was derived. You need to know this, for I do not want you to stereotype me into a doctrinal position that leans a certain way, for I think there is a mystery that surrounds the Holy Spirit, and my mission is not to remove that mystery but rather to know Him and His work better.
Through the years I have heard the different positions. In every camp and opposing views, I have seen and heard wonderful teachers and godly people who have shown me the Holy Spirit through their lives, and I gained better understanding of Him. This helps me know that there is more to the work of the Holy Spirit in a life than a certain doctrinal view owns. Indeed, He spreads Himself around and reminds us of His mystery while convincing us there is something more that He wants to do in our life.
Although all Christ-centered churches and denominations are on equal ground before God, I will say that there are some churches and denominations where the Holy Spirit is sought, respected, loved and enjoyed more than others. Even so, some also get out of bounds and need the influence of another point of view to find the truth. This connection with Him that I speak of is available to all Christians, but not all experience Him this way. What a shame, for the Holy Spirit gives us a sense of God’s heart and a vital connection with Him that permits all of His family members to enjoy Him more deeply.
Why are there some people who come closer to the Holy Spirit and those who stand far off? I think it is because of those doctrinal distinctions I speak of, and the fear of being misunderstood or seen as “way out there or uninformed.” The truth is I might be misunderstood in writing this devotional series. I know this. But I hope for some of you it will be helpful in opening your eyes to the truth of the Holy Spirit’s presence and work and why we need more of His leadership and our awareness of Him in our life. So let me begin with those things that might be misunderstood.
I am not Pentecostal. However, I have many Pentecostal friends that I love, and I respect their knowledge of the Holy Spirit. I think they bring to the Body of Christ and me sensitivity and joy in Him that is very special. They have helped me gain understanding of the Holy Spirit, but some of them have also scared me off. I do not think a true representation of the Holy Spirit in a person will scare off a follower of Christ.
I am not a Calvinist, but I lean heavily on a Reformed point of view. I am not a Baptist, but so much of my spiritual roots come from this denomination, and they are solid. I am not a Dispensationalist, but I understand where they are coming from. Like James taught in the Bible, I believe that we show our faith in Christ by our labors for Him. But, like Paul said in the Bible, I believe that grace, and not works, saves me. I believe that God chose me to be His child. But I also believe that I must have faith in Jesus to accept and bind His gift to me. I believe the Holy Spirit walks with me and is actually in me. But I believe that I must be willing to submit to and follow His leadership.
My point of view has been formed by what I have read in the Bible and applied to my life along with the inspiration that godly and learned teachers from every denomination have filtered into my life. So what is my point? I want to know the Holy Spirit better, and if there is more of Him that He wants to reveal and more of me that He wants to fill, I am asking for it. If there is a special outpouring that He wants to give to the Church and myself, I want it. Will you join me this week as we seek to come closer to Him and possibly find what may be missing in our life?