Send The Fire!

“When the Day of Pentecost had fully come, they were all with one accord in one place.  And suddenly there came a sound from heaven, as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting.  Then there appeared to them divided tongues, as of fire, and one set upon each of them.  And they were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.”  Acts 2:1-4 NKJV

Lets take a look at the significance of Pentecost.  Pentecost was one of three feasts that Jewish men had to go to Jerusalem to celebrate during the year.  “Three times a year all your males shall appear before the LORD your God in the place which He chooses: at the Feast of Unleavened Bread, at the Feast of Weeks, and at the Feast of Tabernacles: and they shall not appear before the LORD empty handed” (Deut. 16:16 NKJV).  This annual festival, known as the “Feast of Weeks” or the “Day of First fruits,” a celebration of the first buds of the harvest, was observed on the 50th day or 7 weeks after the Passover.  It was a festival of good cheer, a day of joy.  Free-will offerings were made to the Lord, and it was to be marked by a liberal spirit toward the Levite, the stranger, and the orphans and widows.

This old Jewish festival obtained a new significance, for the Christian church, by the promised outpouring of the Holy Spirit.  “Nevertheless I tell you the truth.  It is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if I depart, I will send Him to you.  However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak, and He will tell you things to come” (John 16:7, 13 NKJV).  The Holy Spirit descended in answer to the explicit promise of the glorified Lord, and the disciples had been prayerfully waiting for its fulfillment.  “And being assembled together with them, He commanded them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the Promise of the Father, “which,” He said, “You have heard from Me; for John truly baptized with water, but you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.  These all continued with one accord in prayer and supplication, with the women and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with His brothers” (Acts 1:4-5, 14).

The disciples were in one accord.  We too need to be in one accord as we seek renewal and growth in our own lives and in our church.  The Greek word for being in one accord means being unanimous, being in agreement, having group unity, and having one mind and purpose.  In all of its occurrences, being in one accord shows a harmony leading to action!  Being in one accord is a dominant trait of New Testament leadership.  Whenever the early church leaders gathered in Jerusalem, it is said that they were in unity and harmony, with each other and with God. “So continuing daily with one accord in the temple and breaking bread from house to house, they ate their food with gladness and simplicity of heart, praising God and having favor with all the people.  And the Lord added to the church daily those who were being saved” (Acts 2:46-47 NKJV).  They met often to pray, revealing not only relationship with each other but their total reliance on God.  “And they continued steadfastly in the apostles doctrine and fellowship in the breaking of bread, and in prayers” (Acts 2:42).

In order for the Holy Spirit to move in a mighty way within the body of Christ, we need to be in one accord.  We do not have time to be sweating the small stuff.  We as the church need to be praying together seeking God and His glory.  The disciples prayed and sought God for the promised Holy Ghost.  Yes, when we are saved, we have the Holy Spirit living within us, but He can be stirred up within us, setting us on fire.  When we are on fire for Christ, we will be passionately in love with him.  When the church is on fire, Satan has to flee, souls will be won to the kingdom, and we will be a passionate people.

Not only were the disciples in one accord, they were in one place.  The disciples were commanded to wait for the Holy Spirit in Jerusalem.  “And being assembled together with them, He commanded them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the Promise of the Father, “Which,” He said, “you have heard from Me;” (Acts 1:4 NKJV).  Tradition says that the disciples were in the Upper Room where days before they were fellowshipping and praying together.  This is significant.  Jewish custom says that the Feast of Weeks also celebrates Moses receiving the law on Mount Sinai.  When Moses was on top of the mountain, he was in the Glory of the LORD.  When he came down, he had to cover his face because the people of Israel could not look at him for he was shining with God’s glory.  WOW!  May that be our prayer that we too would be shining God’s glory that others cannot mistake us for whose we are.

The Israelites stayed at the bottom of the mountain.  They spent time “sweating the small stuff” and missing out on God’s glory.  They murmured and complained.  They only saw God from afar.  Oh may we not be like the Israelites.  May we want to be like Moses and the disciples who were able to see God first hand.  May we see His glory and power fill this church.  Lord set us on fire!

The Spirit came upon them as “a power from on high.”  God the Holy Spirit proved on Pentecost His personal existence, and the intellects, the hearts and lives of the apostles were on that day miraculously changed.

Once the Holy Spirit came down, the disciples were filled with His glory.  They began to speak in other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.  Then they went into the mission field and thus the early church began to grow.  It was fulfilled as Jesus said before His ascension, “But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be my witnesses to Me in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth” (Acts 1:8 NKJV).

Do you want to see renewal and growth in yourself and in the church?  Are you passionate for Christ or have you lost that flame? Don’t be afraid of the Holy Spirit. He is a gentleman. He will only set you on fire and fill you to overflowing if you ask him. He’s not here to confuse you. He’s here to empower you.  Ask God to fill you and renew the fire in your heart. He can and His power can set you on fire to do great things.

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