The Holy Spirit is Waiting

Let’s be honest, but for the Holy Spirit, there would be no Church.

Moments before the Holy Spirit descended upon those who were seated in the upper room, the people were together, sitting there. Scripture says they had been “together constantly in prayer” (Acts 1:11) both men and women, but they were inside together not outside in the world. They were being obedient and heeding the words of Jesus found in Acts 1:4–5, “Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift my Father promised which you have heard me speak about. For John baptized with water, but in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit” and Acts 1:8, “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”

They had no idea “a few days” would actually mean ten days.

Sometime over the ten-day period between Jesus’s ascension and Pentecost, Peter took care of some “church” business. They needed to call a twelfth disciple to replace Judas. They nominated a couple of men and then cast lots. Matthias came out the winner. (Acts 1:15–26).

Jesus told Peter the Church was going to be built upon Peter (Matthew 16:17–20). Jesus placed Peter in charge of the natural, but the Holy Spirit was necessary to produce the supernatural and ultimately birth the Church. It wasn’t men who started the Church; it was the Holy Spirit. If men were to be the ones who started the Church, they wouldn’t have needed to sit around and wait for the Holy Spirit to come. They couldn’t build the Church without the power from the Holy Spirit.

It wasn’t until the Holy Spirit fell upon those in the upper room that tenth day were they able to speak in the different languages known to the many who were gathered in Jerusalem for the Feast of Weeks. It also wasn’t until the Holy Spirit descended upon the disciples were their tongues effectively prepared to be the witnesses Jesus had said they would be and communicate the Gospel.

When the crowd heard the people speaking in many different languages, they assumed the disciples were drunk. Peter, who had denied knowing Jesus just fifty days prior to Pentecost confidently stood before the crowd and preached the first Gospel message of the Church. He said, “Save yourselves from this corrupt generation” (Acts 2:40). Three thousand people put their faith and trust in the Lord that day. Three thousand! He didn’t have a sound system or teleconferencing abilities. He had the Holy Spirit’s power leading his speech and the simple truth he preached “cut to the heart” (Acts 2:37). You can read the exact words of Peter to the crowd in Acts 2:14–41.

The Church has an incredible opportunity during this pandemic, but it can’t be done without the power of the Holy Spirit.
I have a Bible that was given to my husband and I in April of 2008. I never opened it until recently. It isn’t the Bible I use on a daily basis but for some reason, I’ve been led over the past week or so to open it and read from it. As I was preparing for this blog post, the notes on Acts 1:6–8 jumped out at me (see photo below). They jumped out so much that I even grabbed the Bible I do use on an every day basis to see what the notes said on the same section (see photo below). They weren’t even close. I know the Holy Spirit nudged me to open my not-touched Bible for this time right now.
We can’t do anything without the Holy Spirit. Run ahead of God and the plans are messy, maybe even doomed. Run in your own strength and it isn’t going to work out. Be obedient and follow the prompting of the Holy Spirit and His plan will work out. Each one of us has a different plan, but the same path to follow. Complicated, I know.

Our path is to be His witnesses wherever we are (at home, at work, in our neighborhood, in our church, on social media, at the grocery store…wherever you go). The word “witness” in Acts 1:8 in Hebrew is martys. This word witness means in the legal sense, the historical sense, and the ethical sense. We die to self (yes, the word martyr should be ringing in your head right now) so that we can live fully for Him.

Jesus promised the Father would send believers a “gift.” That gift is the Holy Spirit. Jesus even said He had to leave so the Holy Spirit could come (John 16:7). He said people didn’t believe in Him, but the Holy Spirit would come to convict the world of guilt with regard to sin (Acts 1:8–9).

During this season of the doors of the Church being closed, don’t shut out the Holy Spirit. Even as churches scramble to get creative on how to conduct small groups, church services, and help other churches reach their members, do not lose sight of the power of the Holy Spirit. Do not run ahead of Him. The main goal of the Church is to proclaim the Gospel. We often complicate it, but God, maybe He’s given us this opportunity to uncomplicate His Church.

Prayers are being sent out around the world for healing and an end to the epidemic. I’ve watched the videos of medical staff at hospitals on their knees praying on the rooftops and in the hallways of the hospitals. They are encouraging and filled with hope.

A movement requires power, not human power but Holy Spirit power. The world changed on the day of Pentecost because the Holy Spirit was given by God to fill the men and women who believed in Him. The Holy Spirit isn’t for some; it is for all who repent and believe. Peter said, “You will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. The promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off—for all whom the Lord our God will call” (Acts 2:38–39).

His power hasn’t changed over the years, but perhaps our perceived need for the Holy Spirit has cooled.

No more. Ignite it—today.

Erin Olson

Founder and CEO of Sandalfeet Ministries

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