Wednesday, November 24, 2010

THE WIND OF THE SPIRIT

Those who were headed for the Upper Room (see Acts 1 and 2) loved Jesus dearly. They had been taught in the school of Christ. They had performed miracles, healed the sick and cast out demons. They were compassionate, self-sacrificing, and soul-loving, but they were not yet qualified to be his witnesses!

They had been nearby when he sweat drops of blood. They had seen him hanging on the cross and had seen his empty tomb after he had been resurrected. They had eaten with him and talked with him in his glorified body. They had seen Jesus clothed in his eternal glory on the mount. They even had seen him ascend into heaven! Yet, still they were not ready to witness of him!

Why couldn't Peter go to those milling crowds in Jerusalem and immediately testify to his resurrection? Hadn't he witnessed that event firsthand? They needed the power of the Holy Spirit.
Peter made a powerful statement to the chief priests: "And we are his witnesses of these things; and so is also the Holy Ghost, whom God hath given to them that obey him" (Acts 5:32). Through the words of the Holy Ghost spoken through Peter, the priests "were cut to the heart, and took counsel to slay them" (Acts 5:33).

Stephen, filled with the Holy Ghost, preached to the religious leaders: "Ye stiff-necked and uncircumcised in heart and ears, ye do always resist the Holy Ghost: as your fathers did, so do ye.... When they heard these things, they were cut to the heart, and they gnashed on him with their teeth" (Acts 7:51, 54).

When you emerge from seeking God, full of the Holy Ghost, you can stand with boldness before fellow workers, family—anyone—and your witness will provoke one of two reactions. They will either cry out, "What must I do to be saved?" or they will want to kill you. You will speak a word that cuts to the heart.

If you look for the miraculous in a church building, you will be disappointed. Had you visited the Upper Room a few hours after the wind blew in, the fire fell, and the building was shaken, looking to experience something miraculous, you would have been disappointed.

You see, the wind of the Spirit blew all the people out into the streets, into the marketplace! You could have asked, "Where is the revival, the supernatural wind? Can I see some of those tongues of fire?" And you would have been directed outside to 120 witnesses on the streets, preaching Jesus in the power of the Holy Ghost! That's where the revival was—and always is! That's the outpouring! The wind, the fire, the Spirit—it's now in God's witnesses!