Receiving THIS to Proclaim the THAT
In my last post I wrote about a statement in Acts 2:16. Dr. Luke pointing to the Holy Spirit writes, “this is that.” He’s clearly saying that the appearance of the Holy Spirit is rooted in the foundational Truth of the past as he quotes the Prophet Joel.
The Holy Spirit in our lives is transformational and one question we face is how we can receive more of the Holy Spirit (The This) and be more effective communicating the Gospel of Jesus Christ (The That). Let me share three mindsets with you that I feel will help us answer this question:
Obedience. In Acts 1:4 Jesus commands the disciples to wait, and they obeyed. They obeyed Jesus and waited, not ten minutes, not ten hours, but ten days. God seems to respond to obedience. He looks for people who are willing to seek Him and then patiently wait for Him.
Joyce Meyer wrote, “When we obey God we are blessed. People miss out on the blessings because they don’t obey what God clearly tells them to do. God lays out a good plan for our lives so that we an walk in it . . . God wants a body of people who will obey Him, and He wants people who will obey quickly.”
If you want more of The This in your life so you can do The That, obedience is a spot-on first step.
Hunger and Prayer. The disciples were obedient and waited for ten days. Literally, this was a 10-day prayer meeting. They spent ten days praying and hungering for God. They spent ten days praying and thirsting after God. They realized Jesus didn’t give them a choice. They realized as they prayed that, “We can’t go do That without This. I will pray and wait until This happens.”
Martyn Lloyd-Jones wrote, “People who hunger and thirst after righteousness know what it is to spend time in prayer and meditation reminding themselves of what they are in this life and world and what is awaiting them.”
When we hunger for God and diligently pray, he brings more of This into our lives so we can go out and do the That.
Receptive. When the Holy Spirit came with rushing wind and tongues of fire the disciples didn’t freak out. When they could suddenly speak languages they’d never spoken before, the disciples didn’t run. They were receptive.
The Apostle Paul wrote in 1 Thessalonians 5:19, “Do not quench the Spirit.” When the Holy Spirit begins moving in our lives, we cannot shut Him down. He wants to take the Truth of That and he wants to make us more alive in This. At that moment, we can’t stop and shut down what He’s trying to do in us and through us.
R. T. Kendall wrote, “If we develop sensitivity [if we are receptive] to the Spirit, we will hear Him when He speaks and thus avoid quenching the Spirit. In that way we can see the glory of God manifested in our lives and, hopefully, in the church.”
It seems very clear to me that if we will obey, hunger and thirst and pray, and then, if we are receptive, He is going to respond favorably and supernaturally He is going to change us. He is going to change people with whom we come in contact. He is going to fill us with the Spirit (The This) so we can be effective taking That (The Truth) to everyone.