Today is the Day of Pentecost, and so this morning we looked again at the need to be filled with the Holy Spirit. (Eph 5:18) We read about the outpouring of the Spirit in Acts 2:1-21, where wind and fire are both used as symbols of the Holy Spirit, but the idea of an outpouring goes back to Joel 2:28, and the Holy Spirit is often likened to water (see John 7:38, Ezekiel 47).

Both wind and floods can frighten us, reminding us of our lack of control against the elements, but whilst we should rightly fear God (Prov 9:10), we should never be afraid of His gifts to us, which include the Holy Spirit (Luke 11:11-13). God gives us His Spirit to empower us and equip us to be His witnesses (Acts 1:8); His Spirit is the means by which we live for God. (Gal 5:22-23)

We cannot determine when God will move in power by His Spirit, but it seems from a history of revivals that prayer is a prerequisite to God moving forcefully in this way. Is 59:19 reminds us God moves at times ‘like a pent-up flood’. Prayer is a spiritual weapon which can break spiritual strongholds (2 Cor 10:3-5). We must seek God for His Spirit, for only He can break through all that stands against Him. The Pentecost outpouring changed the disciples beyond recognition. Prior to this, even after the resurrection, they believed but still doubted; they were still not really doing anything much. After Pentecost, they were bold, confident, prepared to suffer persecution and willing even to die for the Lord. They preached the gospel wherever they went; they saw God move in miraculous power, in healings, in deliverances, in ways they could have only dreamed about beforehand. This can be our experience too if we thirst for God, seek His face and turn from sin. (2 Chron 7:14)