Waiting for the Wind
“And, behold, I send the promise of my Father upon you: but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high.” (Luke 24:49)
“And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. 2 And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting.” (Acts 2:1-2)
When God’s Divine power comes, and individuals are Spirit filled, there will be an ebullience of the excited. There is room for religious commotion in the Church. Those who come to faith are often found to be overcome with great joy as the woman of Samaria, and the man who was born blind (John 4:7; Luke 18:35). The power of God that falls fresh from heaven is wonderful and thrilling and yet, the power of God is never unseemly or out of control (1 Cor. 14:32).
Those who are fully possessed by the Holy Spirit, those who are filled with the Spirit, have a wonderful ministry to others. It is for others that the gifts of God are given.
In Luke 1:15 it is said that John was to be filled with the Holy Spirit from his mother’s womb. As far as the record shows, John ministered to others. His whole life was given to telling people to “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”
In Luke 1:41 the Bible plainly teaches that Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit and she began to bless another by saying to Mary, “Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb. And whence is this to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me?”
In Luke 1:67-69 we read that Zacharias was filled with the Holy Spirit. He began to prophesy or speak by the power of the Spirit. What he had to say was designed to be a source of blessing to others. “Blessed be the Lord God of Israel; for he hath visited and redeemed His people, and hath raised up a horn of salvation for us in the house of his servant David.”
In Acts 4:8 Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, began to preach a Sermon. The filling of the Spirit caused others to be blessed with the gospel. By reviewing what happens scripturally when people are truly filled with the Holy Spirit, a common point becomes plain. The filling of the Spirit is something that becomes a source of blessing to others because the things of God are proclaimed in a wonderful way.
So what does it mean to be filled with the Spirit? The scriptural answer is simple. To be filled with the Spirit is to be completely controlled by Him. To be filled with the Spirit is to be endued with power from on high for the work of the ministry.
According to our text this power is for both men and women, young and old alike. There were 120 disciples in Jerusalem who met for prayer (1:14). Each of them enjoyed the filling of the Holy Spirit (2:3). Does the Spirit still fill Christians today? The simple answer is yes. But observe whom the Holy Spirit fills.
First, the Spirit fills those who are born of God. To seek the power of God apart from regeneration is to perish (Acts 8:20). All those in the Upper Room were born again. No one should ever seek the power of Pentecost who is not a child of God and sure of salvation.
Second, the Holy Spirit fills those who pray and invite His presence. The Spirit does not go where He is not wanted. Rejection brings grief and sorrow. We can appreciate that. Very few people want to go, or be, where they are not wanted.
When the gospel is preached and it is discovered that it is not wanted, what is to be done? When Jesus sent out His disciples He said to them, “And whosoever shall not receive you, nor hear your words, when ye depart out of that house or city, shake off the dust of your feet.” (Matt. 10:14)
This is not completely a personal matter, but a practical one. Time must be redeemed. Go where you, and the gospel, are wanted. So the Holy Spirit is listening to the prayers of people to discern if He is wanted.
Whatever faults and abuses are found in the Charismatic movement, one fact seems obvious. Many people in that movement want the power and the presence of the Holy Spirit.
Then third, the Holy Spirit fills those who wait for Him to come in faith. Charles Spurgeon instructed His people in London, England to prepare for the Spirit of God. “Do not pray for it and then fold your arms and say, ‘Well, perhaps he will work.’ We must prepare in faith.”
The early Church tarried in Jerusalem because the disciples believed Jesus would fulfill His promise. They knew that Jesus would never lie. Day by day the disciples lifted up their hearts to heaven expecting a great blessing from God. They were not disappointed. Nor shall any Church be disappointed when the promise of the Lord is believed and three things happen:
First, the Church prays to be filled with the Spirit.
Second, the Church expects the Spirit to come. Faith says that since God has promised something, the heart will get ready to receive the promise.
Third, there is a measure of spiritual obedience to prayer. The disciples met to pray with one accord (Acts 2:1). And when they prayed, the Spirit came, the gospel was preached and people were saved.
The most vital and glorious days of any Christian assembly are not in the past, but in the future when the Spirit comes upon those who are found waiting for the Wind.