“. . . and they . . .” Acts 2:4
“That spoke right to me,” is a common response to a sermon. Something happens in the communication. The words of the speaker become personalized, the listener feels as though the speaker has been spying on them all week long. In it is the Holy Spirit who’s applying the work of Jesus. This experience happens a lot for one simple reason – someone heard and received the work of the Spirit.
The Holy Spirit requires a human counterpart. It always does. We must remember the human element involved. Our soul must be receptive to the Spirit’s work. Those in the upper room were willing targets for the Spirit, and they received the fire of God.
As a result, they became passionate in their conviction, there was fire in their message, they were unusually fearless. They boldly said what needed to be said, even though their words might mean death. And above all, they were amazingly effective. People listened and were moved. This whole event is described in one single word – they.
Sometimes during an airplane flight, the flight is unable to land because of ground fog – there is an inability to see the runway. Many believers live in a ground fog so dense that the Spirit can never land in their life. The Spirit works in those who have cleared a path of receptivity. We have to be willing and inclined to accept the Spirit’s work to break through our fog.
Whenever our flesh is excessively indulged and gratified, we have placed a “do not disturb” sign over our heart, where we become comfortably entrenched in tradition, where we’ve become well-fed and unconcerned with the needs of others. We’ve locked out the presence of the Spirit. Without the heat of the Spirit, faith grows cold. The Spirit won’t work where He’s not welcomed.
Yet, we know deep down inside we need something greater than our own strength, something more than what we can produce. We know nothing can break through the hazy ground clouds until we surrender to the coming of the Spirit.
Since it is possible for the Spirit to do such mighty acts, what is preventing it now? What is in us that is blocking it?