Each year Pentecost needs to be more than just a day in the Church calendar. It must be an ongoing reality.
Each year Pentecost is an opportunity to pray for and to receive anew the empowering gift-giving work of the Holy Spirit for defeating evil, growing the Church and advancing the Kingdom of God.
For Christians to be empowered witnesses to Jesus Christ, Acts 1:4-8, Pentecost cannot just be the remembrance of an historical event!
What does this empowering work look like?
This past week, one of our staff prayed with a young woman who sees the lostness of the people around her.
She does not know how even to start a conversation with them about Jesus.
We prayed that she would be filled with the Holy Spirit and that He would empower her to hear and see people’s area of need, then be able to share how Jesus can fill it.
What about you?
Our local church is going through a time of transition. Several key staff have left.
We see this as an opportune time for God to lead us into new or improved areas of ministry.
But how will we know where He is leading? How will we know how to respond?
We need the Holy Spirit to empower us to receive vision and then carry it out. What about you and your church?
As each of us look at the state of our individual nations, we see much to distress us.
It is easy to become discouraged and feel helpless when faced with systemic hurt and evil. But Jesus told us to pray, “Father, thy Kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.”
How can we be directed in praying effectively? We need the Holy Spirit to empower us to focus on His agenda, pray with insight and perseverance.
What is the Lord calling you to bring to Him in prayer? What action is He asking you to take?
Psalm 24 says, “The earth is the LORD’s, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it; for he founded it upon the seas and established it upon the waters.”
As we pray for His Kingdom to come on earth, we go beyond individual nations to pray about what is happening in the world.
We need the Baptism with the Holy Spirit because the method the Father has chosen to advance the Kingdom of God is by sending successive waves of the Holy Spirit (based on Johnathan Edwards’ teaching and practice).
The Baptism with the Holy Spirit is for more than just our own personal empowerment and gifts; rather, it is a matter of us being caught with members of the Church into Kingdom-advancing waves.
Current great waves of the Holy Spirit moving worldwide are like rivers. The only way into these great rivers of God is by the Holy Spirit falling upon us for power and gifts.
But even as these waves of the Spirit move across the earth, there is great opposition. I and many others are convinced that we are in another such period of a “gathering storm,” much like where we were in the 1930s with the rise of Nazism, Fascism, Communism and Japanese Imperialism.
Today Satan is building the demonic strongholds of Radical Islam, and Chinese and Russian Nationalism – which may well represent the gathering forces of a future world conflagration.
He is also relentlessly growing and extending the reach of the stronghold of Liberal Progressivism that is destroying the Church of Jesus Christ from within by continuing to build the fortification of apostasy, moving away from our foundation of the Bible, the Word of God Written and thus the Word of God Incarnate, Jesus Himself.
Throughout the Western world, this stronghold is destroying Judeo-Christian values, the foundation of our pluralistic culture and free democratic governments.
I am convinced that all of this can and must be stopped! And indeed I am convinced that the one bulwark against this onslaught of evil is the Church of Jesus Christ.
No one else in the world has been given the power and authority of the name of Jesus Christ to defeat Satan’s plans.
And no one else has the spiritual weapons needed to defeat the powers and principalities of evil building the strongholds of death and destruction. No one! Christians have been given both the keys to the Kingdom and also the call to pray, “Father, Thy Kingdom Come!”
I believe Pentecost is the key for us, the Church of Jesus Christ.
Based on the historical truth of the Holy Spirit poured out in power upon Jesus’ disciples 2000 years ago, and continuing to this day to empower Jesus’ disciples to build His Church, we must rise freshly to the occasion, to step into the gap as intercessors, to pray and work for the defeat of Satan’s strongholds.
In other words, it is only in the power, gifts and guidance of the Holy Spirit that the Church of Jesus Christ is able to work with the Lord to do our part in defeating Satan. It is not enough to have good doctrine and good intentions! We must have the power of the Holy Spirit!
From Jesus’ own example of the Holy Spirit falling upon Him for empowerment to complete his earthly mission, we affirm that Acts 1:4-8 is the essential equipping needed for every Christian for participation in advancing the Kingdom of God.
This is the only way to access the power and gifts and guidance to defeat the demonic strongholds of Radical Islam and to take the Gospel to Muslims.
Amid the deceptions of Liberal Progressivism, it is the Holy Spirit alone who brings people to know Jesus as the “Way, the Truth and the Life and the only way to the Father.”
Still more, the Holy Spirit mediates His agape to create koinonia in Jesus’ Church from which believers are sent to grow God’s Kingdom.
This Pentecost, it is urgent that each of us who loves Jesus and cares about the future of humanity, pray for both ourselves as well as the Church Global to be empowered by the Holy Spirit. Pray for a great outpouring to restore the Church. Together, let us pray in power, “Father, Thy Kingdom Come!”
P.S. For more on how to be filled with the Holy Spirit or for resources for your church about Pentecost, go to Pentecost Resources.