4And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other languages, as the Spirit enabled them to speak. — Acts 2:4
If you’re expecting a devotional on the gift of tongues, you’re going to be disappointed. I’m more interested in the response.
What is your response to being filled with the Spirit? Personally I think we can receive a special measure or special experience with God’s spirit many times in our lives. I can certainly recall any number of times when I have felt the Spirit moving. The question is just what we’re going to do.
People have many reactions. Sometimes they pray. Sometimes they will speak out. Others will be still in God’s presence. The reactions are as varied as the people. That’s not a problem; it’s OK to have our individual response. But what then?
It’s quite possible that we just turn around, go home, and perhaps talk to a few friends and neighbors about what we have experienced. â€œWasn’t that a great church service!â€ someone asks. â€œWasn’t that a powerful prayer meeting! I wish I could do that every day.â€ Then the experience fades into the background and we go on with life as usual.
The disciples, on the other hand, starting talking. They didn’t just talk to people that they knew, the folks who were gathered in that one room. Imagine what would have happened had the disciples and the 120 stayed in the room and simply talked to one another about the wonderful experience they had. It’s important to testify to other believers, but in their case, they pretty much had all the believers in the room. If they had just talked to one another, the Christian church might have ended right there.
But they went out where they could be heard, a crowd gathered, and they spoke to them. Notice that there was no evangelism committee, no plan, no tracts, no publicity. It was just a matter of 120 or so people speaking â€œas the Spirit gave them utterance.â€ I translated that above as â€œas the Spirit enabled them to speak.â€
Most of us would be very uncomfortable with this program. There isn’t enough of a plan. We don’t have equipment. Our church isn’t ready to accommodate new members. I’d be more comfortable if I just had a tract, so I won’t stumble over presenting the message.
The difference between Pentecost and the way we do itâ€”or don’tâ€”is related in verse 41. Three thousand people were added to a 120 member church. Take that and figure out the logistics, administrative board!
How can we get on this program? It’s simple:
- Learn to listen for the Holy Spirit.
- Learn to obey the Holy Spirit.
- Speak when the Spirit leads.
The Spirit moves and . . . move with him!