When the day of Pentecost arrived, they were all together in one place. And suddenly there came from heaven a sound like a mighty rushing wind. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit. Acts 2:1-2, 4a
You know what I want? I want to know the same impact of the indwelling Spirit of God that the apostles knew at Pentecost. When Jesus told his disciples that He was going away but that He wouldn’t leave them as orphans, I think I can imagine their panic. He had been with them for three years. He had been teacher, provider, guide and comforter. For Him to leave meant losing their footing in every way. But Jesus went on to explain that what would happen after his death would exceed the experience of having Him beside them in person. He would come again, but instead of coming as a person, the way they had known him, He would come as a Spirit and live inside each of them. This would be better, He assured. Because Jesus could only talk with one person at a time while on earth, disciples had to wait their turn to have His attention. But now, each would have 100% of Him, all the time. They would also have the power of Christ resident inside.
On the day of Pentecost, Jesus came back as He had promised, in Spirit-form. He came as a rushing wind and entered each believer, including the disciples who had keenly felt His absence. At that moment, what was their sense of His arrival? Did they feel the full impact of the person of Jesus again – except now on the inside? Did they have to strain, at all, to hear His voice, to sense His direction, to discern His comforting presence? I would bet not. They had the advantage of having known Him in the flesh.
The Spirit of God came to me at my conversion. I was only seven. But I didn’t have the frame of reference the disciples had. I hadn’t spent three years in His company. I hadn’t heard His voice, discerned His tone, or taken in His facial expressions. I was starting from scratch in my relationship with Him through the pages of scripture. At times, it’s been hard to feel Him and hear Him speak but I’ve been on an upward learning curve. Ultimately, I want to learn what the disciples knew – because Jesus told them. They didn’t leave the upper room until the Spirit came. They dared not work, teach, or heal until they were equipped with the power and the presence of God. If I have erred in anything over the course of my ministry, it has been to churn out kingdom work without tapping into Christ for power and presence. By His grace, I have seen the other side and know the vast difference between the two.
Lord Jesus, I want to continue to feel the impact of Your presence internally just as your disciples felt it. They must have felt the power of Your arrival just as if you’d knocked on the door of their homes and walked in again. Let me live with Your indwelling as they did. Joy, power, and confidence will result and no one, not even my enemy, will be able to steal it. Amen