Saturday, July 19, 2014


“After they prayed, the place where they were meeting was shaken. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke the word of God boldly” (Acts 4:31).

The first time vocalist Steve Green sang at Brooklyn Tabernacle, we gathered in my office with the associate pastors to pray just before the meeting began. We prayed in unison that God would come among us that day.

When we opened our eyes, Steve had an odd look on his face. “What was that vibration I just felt?” he asked. “Is there a train that runs near here, or was that really . . . ?”

I explained that, as far as I knew, the rumble wasn’t caused by the power of the Holy Spirit; rather, it was the passing of the train in the subway that runs directly beneath our building.

For the early church in Jerusalem, however, the shaking they felt was nothing short of Spirit-induced. In that prayer meeting God’s power came in a fresh, new, deeper way. These people had already been filled with the Holy Spirit on the Day of Pentecost (Acts 2), but here they sensed a new need and God met them with a new infusion of power.

Our store of spiritual power apparently dissipates with time. Daily living, distractions, and spiritual warfare take their toll. In the words Paul used in Ephesians 5:18, we need to “be always being filled with the Spirit” (literal translation).

Whether we call ourselves classical evangelicals, traditionalists, fundamentalists, Pentecostals, or charismatics, we all have to face our lack of real power and call out for a fresh infilling of the Holy Spirit. We need the fresh wind of God to awaken us from our lethargy. We must not hide any longer behind some theological argument. The days are too dark and dangerous.

Jim Cymbala began Brooklyn Tabernacle with less than twenty members in a small, rundown building in a difficult part of the city. A native of Brooklyn, he is a longtime friend of both David and Gary Wilkerson and a frequent speaker at the Expect Church Leadership Conferences sponsored by World Challenge throughout the world.