When we think of the foundations of the church, our minds quickly turn to the account of Jesus, His resurrection and His ascension in the four Gospels. But the Acts 2 impartation of the Holy Spirit to the body of Christ is no less significant.
The coming of the Spirit ushered in three heightened abilities—understanding, seeing and speaking—that were not only essential to the birth of the church, but also continue to contribute to its growth today.
In the book of Acts, which I often like to refer to as the Acts of the Holy Spirit, we read about how the Spirit of God came in like a rushing mighty wind and fell upon the apostles and other believers in the meeting place. For the first time, these believers began to grasp their identity as participants in the gospel and carriers of the glory of God.
While during Jesus' life and ministry they saw "through a glass, darkly" (1 Cor. 13:12b, KJV), their eyes were finally opened to the gravity of what was happening around them. First, they heard a sound and understood that it came from heaven. Second, they saw flames, tongues of fire, and were able to see what God was doing. Lastly, they spoke in other languages through utterance given to them by the Spirit.
This Spirit-empowered perception and ability catapulted the early church from a small group of believers worshipping in secret to a worldwide movement of hundreds of millions of children of God.
Just as "Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, and today, and forever" (Heb. 13:8, MEV), the impact of the Spirit of God on the lives of believers and unbelievers is no less powerful today than it was 2,000 years ago. This past weekend, I was in the beautiful Northern Ural Mountains of Russia. Hundreds of people filled a sanctuary from all over Russia to watch the church continue to grow. They heard the voice of God; they saw the fire of God; and they were exploding in praise and worship, speaking in other tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance. It was incredible to behold.
Only the Holy Spirit can enable us to comprehend what He is doing, see below the surface and speak out what He wills. We live in a world so full of noise, it can be nearly impossible to discern the voice of God above the constant din.
With the help of the Holy Spirit, we are able not only to hear but also to understand the words of direction, knowledge and comfort He is speaking over us. Likewise, we can use our sense of sight to look at what is around us, but only the Holy Spirit can give us the ability to see what God is truly doing. Anyone can speak empty or simple words, but it is different to speak with power and revelation from heaven.
In this season, God longs to impart His Spirit to you and your congregations so that you may do more than hear; you will understand. He wants you to do more than look; you will see. You must do more than speak and teach. When you allow the Holy Spirit to speak, groan and intercede through you, you will help usher in a mighty move of God in your community, nation and around the world.
Are you ready? Are you willing?
You are beautiful! I see Jesus in you.
Have an awesome week!
Mikel French has challenged spiritual awakening all across America, where many celebrations extended into multiple weeks, and has conducted celebrations in France, Sweden, Russia, Romania, Poland, Ukraine, Moldova, Serbia, Germany, South Africa, Malawi, the Philippines, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Haiti, Japan, Singapore, India and Thailand. He conducted an outreach celebration in Manila, Philippines, reaching 200,000 teenagers with the Book of Hope. Through the generous support of partners, he has presented the message of Jesus Christ to millions of people in the nation of Russia through televised citywide soul-winning celebrations. Mikel considers it an honor to assist in conducting the annual pastor's conference, where thousands of pastors from Russia's 11 time zones come for training, teaching and equipping. Mikel and his wife, Marsha, reside in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
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