Download PDF version HERE.
The story of Christianity does not end with the Resurrection of Jesus. It begins there. Jesus told His disciples to wait until they received power from God. Your story is the same as theirs. You will need power to live as a citizen of the Kingdom of God upon this earth.
Acts 1:14-15 (NLT) They all met together and were constantly united in prayer, along with Mary the mother of Jesus, several other women, and the brothers of Jesus. 15 During this time, when about 120 believers were together in one place, Peter stood up and addressed them.
Wait In Prayer
Prayer is about needing and having a God, not being one. If we have a God that is able, then all we have to do is keep asking, knocking, and seeking. Right! After all, either Jesus is right or not.
How do we live without prayer? A life without prayer reveals trust in a false gospel of self-reliance, effort, failure, guilt, and shame. Do you ever find yourself wondering when the “more than conquerors” promise kicks in? But, are we relying ON CHRIST or resting IN CHRIST, where that victory abides? How could we pray more without making it all about effort and guilt? Could we start by simply talking to Jesus?
Prayer is about obeying the commands of Jesus. What if we learned to LOVE Jesus’ commands? We could start with our thoughts. We could start by just considering the Man who delivered those commands. Jesus gave and sacrificed so much to seal them.
He said to love your enemies. How could we love that? How could we start just by loving the idea of that? Jesus said to honor and respect others. He even said to BLESS them. He also commanded us to avoid lust, greed, and the desire for fame, or approval.
It shouldn’t take very much reflection to discover that Jesus’ way completely frees us. His commands free us from money, lust, expectations, and many other things. Jesus sets us FREE.
John 6:63-64 (NLT) The Spirit alone gives eternal life. Human effort accomplishes nothing. And the very words I have spoken to you are spirit and life. 64 But some of you do not believe me.”
Wait For Power
The Holy Spirit is a non-negotiable for a Disciple of Jesus. It’s almost as if Jesus is saying, “It’s better to do nothing than try to accomplish My mission without My spirit.”
Acts 2:38-39 (NLT) Peter replied, “Each of you must repent of your sins and turn to God, and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. Then you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. 39 This promise is to you, to your children, and to those far away—all who have been called by the Lord our God.”
The New Testament authors spoke of the Holy Spirit often. They believed the Holy Spirit was essential to the Christian life. The idea of a believer who didn’t know if they had the Holy Spirit was beyond them. So we must settle the issue of the Holy Spirit’s presence in our lives. But How?
Do not Pursue an Experience, Pursue Belief. Being filled with and/or baptized with the Holy Spirit is not about an experience. It cannot be found by seeking an experience.
Those who received an experience in the New Testament were not seeking one. The Disciples did not know what to expect while waiting for power to come upon them. There is no record that the 3,000 saved that day demonstrated the same “symptoms” of the Holy Spirit as the disciples. But, we know that they were filled and baptized in the Holy Spirit. The experiences of those filled in the New Testament are very different. The Apostle Paul’s experience was unique. Scales fell from his eyes. The Ethiopian Eunuch expressed so much joy that he didn’t care that Philip had vanished. Cornelius and company had no expectations. They were just obeying God, not looking for an experience.
But, the experiences have one common thread, and it’s not tongues or miracles. It was so much belief, that people acted. The disciples waited as they were told. Ananias went to Paul and Paul waited for him because Jesus said. The Eunuch believed the gospel and was baptized because Jesus said. Cornelius sent for Peter, Peter went to him both because Jesus said.
So, How can I believe Jesus more? How can you believe Jesus more? If you have concerns regarding whether or not you have the Holy Spirit, then pursue belief, not an experience.
Acts 2:42 (NLT) All the believers devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching, and to fellowship, and to sharing in meals (including the Lord’s Supper), and to prayer.
What Does Baptism of the Holy Spirit Look Like? If you read Acts 2:42-47, you see a very clear picture of what it looks like. Notice there was a hunger for connection with God. They couldn’t get enough of God and the Good News. There was a craving for community and fellowship. There were no loners. They were in it together. And, everything became worship.
We all need to believe and know that we are filled with the Holy Spirit, and that realization or belief must come from God. No one else can define or identify that for you.
Acts 1:11 (NLT) “Men of Galilee,” they said, “why are you standing here staring into heaven? Jesus has been taken from you into heaven, but someday he will return from heaven in the same way you saw him go!”
Wait For Jesus
Jesus is Coming Back. Going Home to Heaven sounds good. Congrats, you picked the winning team! You may be underdogs on earth. We may even look like we’re losing often. But keep your Jesus in perspective. So know this…
Revelation 19:11 (NLT) Then I saw heaven opened, and a white horse was standing there. Its rider was named Faithful and True, for he judges fairly and wages a righteous war.
This is who we are waiting for, the King of Kings, my Lord of lords. Demons tremble at the mention of his name.
Acts 2:40 (NLT) Then Peter continued preaching for a long time, strongly urging all his listeners, “Save yourselves from this crooked generation!”
That is a Joy for every Believer, but it’s a dread for everyone else. People need to be saved. There is no other way to say it. They don’t need reformation, improvement, resources, or even help as badly as they simply need to be SAVED!