Where Is The Holy Spirit In All This?

Where Is The Holy Spirit In All This?

The Answer Might Surprise You

* Entire communities seething with rage
* Massive campaigns of distortion and misinformation to sway public opinion
* Christianity shut down at every turn
* Rampant turmoil throughout the landscape
* Opposition parties plotting to overthrow the world’s superpower
* The 10 Commandments torn down from the public sector
* Mob rule becoming the order of the day

Set against this disruptive backdrop, who could have guessed the Christian faith would not only survive but thrive like never before? Well, that’s precisely what happened in 30 AD through the widespread stirrings of God’s Spirit.

In Acts chapter 1, the initial groundswell of the Gospel’s expansion was slow going. The number of adherents was capped at 11. By chapter’s end, an additional member was added, Matthias, bringing the grand total to 12 mere followers. Even worse, this ragtag crew of “evangelists” hid in an Upper Room with zero intent of venturing out. That’s when everything began to change in the most dramatic of fashions. Historically, the Gospel tends to favor the unlikeliest of settings for growth, similar to those recounted above (I.e., campaigns of misinformation, entire cities seething with rage, persecution of loyalists to Jesus of Nazareth, etc.).

Jesus had prophesied explosive growth was at hand: “You will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth.” (Acts 1:8) The seismic upsurge of Christianity in the days to come could not be overstated. It was like an earthquake—Jerusalem at the epicenter; primary and secondary shockwaves spreading throughout Judea and Samaria; tremors felt at Earth’s remotest parts. Then, on the Day of Pentecost, as recorded in Acts 2, Jesus’ promise of Another Helper—The Comforter —came to pass as The Holy Spirit magnificently descended from Heaven:

“When the day of Pentecost had come, they were all together in one place. And suddenly, there came from Heaven a noise like a violent rushing wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. And there appeared to them tongues as of fire distributing themselves, and they rested on each one of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit was giving them utterance.” (Acts 2:1-4)

As the dust settled, devout men from every nation under Heaven “continued in amazement and great perplexity, saying to one another, ‘What does this mean?'” At which time, Peter “took his stand with the eleven, raised his voice and declared to them: ‘Men of Judea and all you who live in Jerusalem, let this be known to you and give heed to my words . . .” (Acts 2:14) The Greek way of saying “took his stand” is technically “one who holds his ground and does not hesitate or waver whatsoever.” This is exactly what Peter and John did as hostile governing authorities commanded them to “stop speaking and teaching at all in the name of Jesus.” How strong was their defiant reply: “Whether it is right in the sight of God to give heed to you rather than to God, you be the judge; for we cannot stop speaking about what we have seen and heard.” (Acts 4:19-20) And they were just getting started.

As the Good News of Jesus took root, or “turned the whole world upside-down,” it reminds me of a sweet memory from childhood. Our house had a vacant lot next door. Since it was springtime and windy, and since the handfuls of dandelions near the street had already caught my eye, it only made sense (at least in my mind, not my mother’s) to snatch the dandelions and start blowing all the seeds out. Watching the crosswinds scatter them about was such a spectacular display; how could any kid resist? Of course, my mother came out fussing about “weeds” or something of the sort, but after she returned inside, I resumed scattering seeds for the better part of an hour. A few weeks later, her comment about “weeds” became evident: I have never witnessed more dandelions in my entire life than I did that day.
To return to where this blog began, “Where is the Holy Spirit In All This?” especially as it relates to our world today? The answer remains the same as it did in 30 AD when Jesus asserted: “But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all the truth; for He will not speak on His own initiative, but whatever He hears, He will speak; and He will disclose to you what is to come. He will glorify Me, for He will take of Mine and will disclose it to you. All things that the Father has are Mine; therefore, I said that He takes of Mine and will disclose it to you.”
Given the various crosswinds sweeping through our culture, Jesus lovers simply cannot retreat to a modern version of the Upper Room, hunkering down and hiding as if defeated. Instead, I strongly suggest we mimic our spiritual forefathers by speaking a message of 3 R’s like that found in Acts 3:19: “Therefore Repent and Return, so that your sins may be wiped away, in order that times of Refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord.”
Much like blowing dandelions anticipating future blooms, join me in scattering God’s word, trusting He will bring about a mighty work again!

For those who have ears to hear, let them hear

My new book “Inerrancy” is an unashamed affirmation of the truth of Scripture and its importance to the future of God’s Church. It’s also a reminder that compromise is a slippery slope. Order now on Amazon! Or grab the first chapter free here!


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