And everyone present was filled with the Holy Spirit and began speaking in other languages as the Holy Spirit gave them this ability. Acts 2:4 (NLT)
If you’ve been a Christian for any length of time you might have heard about having the baptism of the Holy Spirit or being filled with the Holy Spirit. It’s something that all of us as Christians at some point have thought, “I want to have that. I need to have that demonstration and power of the Holy Spirit in my life. I want it now.” When the Holy Spirit comes, you’re gifted. You’re given the gift of the Holy Spirit and while not everyone is going to speak in tongues like this verse says, people are going to be able to have a powerful presence of God come out of them. You’re going to be able to do mighty and amazing things through God as the Holy Spirit works in you.
I want to know that I’m moving and acting through the power of God as the Holy Spirit works in me, just like this happened to the disciples in Acts. But this moment, you have to understand, happened not because of what was described in Acts 2:4. It actually happened before. For those of you who are who are new to the Bible, the Book of Acts was written by a man named Luke. And Luke wrote another book before this one. It was actually a letter he was penning to a friend. He wanted to tell him the story of Jesus. He wrote the book of Luke and then he also wrote Acts as a follow up. Well, look what Luke wrote in chapter 24 of his book in verse 49. This is this is Jesus speaking to his followers:
“And now I will send the Holy Spirit just as my father promised. But stay here in the city until the Holy Spirit comes and fills you with power from heaven.” (Luke 24:49 NLT)
Okay. So Jesus gave them instructions for what they needed to do, and guess what? They did it. And it comes down to a word that we don’t like to use much in Christianity anymore, but it deserves our attention.
Ooh. Some of you went, “uh, obedience? I don’t like that word.” We don’t like that word because it feels controlling. Our parents might have told us, you’ve got to obey or else. This word feels controlling for some of us because we lived in a burdensome religious situation where we were told, either directly or indirectly, that the way you get the love of God is by obeying him and by earning it. Then we learned later that’s actually not the truth. The truth is that the love of God is always available to you. You don’t earn your salvation. You accept Jesus Christ as your personal savior and you receive salvation. And that’s great! That’s freeing, but we still have to obey.
I grew up in that kind of burdensome religious reality and system. And I just had to learn to change the terminology. Obedience really is just following God’s leading in your life. It’s not about a list of things you have to do. It’s about allowing God to lead you and move you towards His will. When Jesus told them, “Wait in Jerusalem because the Holy Spirit’s going to come,” they didn’t say, “Oh, we must obey.” They just said, “Jesus is telling me what to do. I’m going to do it.” And when I understood that, that’s when it made sense that I am poised to receive the Holy Spirit when I follow the will of God.
To hear Chaplain Milton share more on this subject click on this link: https://youtube.com/live/XJD3Zz9KM-c