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Anticipation and the Holy Spirit

 

SPRINGFIELD, MO. — Most of us have attended religious events dominated by hype. Speakers take center stage and perform to the crowd’s delight, at times resembling an act befitting the Las Vegas strip. Relegating the Holy Spirit to a bystander, they substitute human commotion for His presence.

Conversely, as Pentecostals, we have attended services where there is an authentic move of God. There is no need to embellish or fabricate. The worship, music and message direct all attention to Jesus Christ. Hearts are convicted; lives are changed.

There is undeniable power when believers gather in unity, their hearts filled with anticipation for the authentic work of the Spirit. Perhaps because anticipation and enthusiasm are important elements of faith.

On the Day of Pentecost, Jesus’ followers possessed anticipation. They gathered in one place awaiting the gift of the Holy Spirit. Jesus said, “Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift my Father promised. … For John baptized with water, but in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit” (Acts 1:4,5, NIV).

In Acts 2:4 they received what Jesus had promised: “All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them.”

But what if they had not waited in Jerusalem? What if they had entered the Upper Room reluctantly, then made a hasty exit once their obligation had been met? What if anticipation and enthusiasm turned to pessimism, and the Upper Room became a chamber of apathy?

Perhaps some would have missed out on God’s gift.

This Pentecost Sunday, may we examine our own level of anticipation. By our attitudes — when we enter the sanctuary of our church — are we extending an invitation to the Holy Spirit to move among us? Or, are we missing out on some of God’s blessings because we lack enthusiasm?

On your next Sunday drive to church invite the Holy Spirit to increase your anticipation for what He desires to do in your life and that of your church. It may make all the difference in the world.

Hal Donaldson

E-mail your comments to pe@ag.org.

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