Have you ever been given a responsibility that you felt was over your head? Did you shrink back? Did you accept the challenge?
Today we celebrate Pentecost – commemorating the coming of the Holy Spirit upon the followers of Jesus as noted in Chapter 2 of the Acts of the Apostles.
The First Pentecost, was truly a watershed moment in the lives of the followers of Jesus -now called apostles. This group of fledgling people were transformed and were instrumental in the spreading of God’s Word in their community and beyond.
But, what “set the table” for all this to begin? On one of the last occasions that Jesus met with his disciples. He promised them that while He would be with them no longer in body, He would send His Holy Spirit. The Spirit would comfort, encourage, and to empower them. Jesus said: “stay in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high.”
While each disciple obeyed Jesus instruction, I’m sure that they were unaware of the significance of incredible event that they were about to experience. On that day, the Holy Spirit did “clothe” them with power. The Holy Spirit’s power was manifested in the ability to prophesy -as they spoke in different languages. From that day forward, the Holy Spirit empowered and encouraged the apostles to do the work Jesus had called them to do –making disciples in His Name. Author David Watson, writes: “When the Spirit came upon them at Pentecost, nothing could stop them. Despite threats imprisonments, beatings, and killings, their enraged opponents had to acknowledge that these ordinary men and women had turned the world upside down…Devoid of human resources, they were totally dependant on the Spirit of God.” Watson, Discipleship, pp. 96.
The ordinary Apostles of Jesus, could not have done anything in their own strength. But, in the power of the Spirit, they were enabled to do amazing things.
Can you imagine the implications if they had allowed fear to overrule? Or, what if they did not listen to Jesus directions and went their own way? Bringing this a little closer: What would be the implications of you shrinking back from the direction of God in your life? Is God asking of you something that you need to take up? Rather than shrink back, let us be people who make ourselves available to do extraordinary things and allow Jesus to start with us!