We read in Acts 2:1-4-1 When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. 2 Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. 3 They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. 4 All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them.
That Pentecost Day, the believers received something that Jesus had promised they would receive. He had told them in Acts 1:8 8 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” What Jesus had promised to them, He delivered on Pentecost.
Are you waiting for a move of God in your life?
Waiting can be difficult, can’t it? I married on my 29th birthday and Thom was almost 31 when we tied the knot. Waiting to meet the right person wasn’t easy. You know what they say, “Sometimes you have to kiss a lot of frogs before you find your prince.” Well. It’s true. But meeting and marrying my sweetheart was worth the wait.
Once I found out I was expecting our children, waiting nine months to meet them was like an eternity, and the waiting time with filled with complications during both pregnancies.
This past Spring, I had a health issue that required a biopsy. I didn’t share the news publicly because I didn’t have anything to share until the biopsy came back. Everything came back just fine, but waiting for results was tough.
120 believers had been in the Upper Room praying and waiting. They were waiting for what Jesus had promised. For ten days they gathered and prayed and waited. 10 days is a long time to pray and wait and hang out with the same 120 people, especially when everything had changed for them with Jesus having departed from their midst. Those believers saw Jesus ascend into Heaven. He said the Holy Spirit would be coming to take His place. I’m not sure they knew exactly what they were waiting on, but they knew the instruction was that they should wait. Without the power of the Holy Spirit, the message of Jesus couldn’t have gone out in power on the Day of Pentecost. It was the power of the Spirit that provided the convincing evidence to those gathered in Jerusalem that what they were hearing was from God and it resulted in mass conversion. 3000 people were saved!
God is at work in the waiting. He is lining things up for maximum impact. He will always do what He has promised. Wait on Him, and I guarantee the result will be worth the wait. If you are waiting on God to move in your life, and you are prayerfully seeking Him, you won’t be disappointed.
The second question I would ask you today is:
Are you withered and washed out spiritually?
In Ezekiel 37, God took Ezekiel in a vision to a graveyard. Sometimes in order to see what we need to see we have to see and acknowledge some difficult things. This was the case with Ezekiel.
It wasn’t a pretty sight. The dry, dismembered bones represented the nation of Israel. They were dislocated from God and were dislocated from their homeland. They had been carried off into exile by the King of Babylon. Here they were, the people of God, slain like an army in a wasteland. And the big question was voiced in verse 3: “Can these bones live again?” Only God knew.
God promised that the bones would come together. God promised that new life would enter the bones. God promised the nation of Israel would be restored and would be spiritually alive again. And we know, God always keeps His promises.
And so we have another Breath of God or wind of the Holy Spirit experience. As Ezekiel prophesied to the scattered bones there was a rattling sound. I’ll call it the sound of Pentecost, as the bones came together. They were reconnected to each other, and they were covered with flesh. The bones came together and stood up as a vast army as the breath of God entered them. Verse 14 tells us without a doubt that what was accomplished in this vision was a work of the Holy Spirit: I will put my Spirit in you and you will live.
Are you in a valley of dry bones? Do you feel spiritually dehydrated? Are you disconnected from the breath of God in a way that gives you spiritual life and vitality? Do you need God to show you just how bad things have gotten with your spiritual health? Do you feel like you are lacking spiritual vitality? God wants to pour out His Spirit on you! Life without the Spirit is a defeated life. Life without the Spirit is a decaying existence. Life without the Spirit is a life dislocated from your God-given purpose and destiny. Life without the Spirit is a life of exile. God wants to bring you back to Him!
Even when the bones came back together, even when they had a body, they didn’t have life until they experienced the breath of God. Listen, you can look put together. You can appear from the outside that everything is good, but without the Spirit of God breathing on you, you are just a dead man walking. You are just going through the motions, but you don’t have true life.
There are lots of reasons why our spiritual selves become dry. Here is what I know: Pentecost means dry bones can live again. God hasn’t run out of breath, and you are here today because He wants to breathe new life into your parched and tired soul.
Your old life can be put together in ways that make it better than it ever was. You can encounter God in new ways because the Holy Spirit can possess you fully which will take you to places in Christ you have never known and only dreamed were possible. You don’t have to die in the Valley of Dry Bones! You can live again!
Pentecost means new life is possible.
New life came to the House of Israel in that vision and in the years that followed. They actually got to return home. They got to rebuild. There was a re-connection with God and a time of joy and rejoicing. Those who were converted on the Day of Pentecost were saved from sin and were saved to enjoy a brand-new life in Jesus. 2 Corinthians 5:17-Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!
Pentecost means God has a plan for the church to be an army who will preach the Gospel and occupy the land in the name of the Lord.
I don’t know how long it takes to develop an army, but I know in one vision, 3000 soldiers were raised from the dead and in one Pentecost moment in Jerusalem, 3000 soldiers for the Lord were born. God always had a plan to use Israel, not just to love Israel, not just to Shepherd Israel, but to use Israel as a light, as a symbol for the rest of the world to see what a love-relationship with God looked like. Since the day of Pentecost and the birth of the church, that baton was handed to the church. You and I have been commissioned to carry the torch, but we can’t do it without being baptized in the Holy Spirit. We can’t do it without the breath of God.
Every person who calls themselves a Christian is in active duty. God’s plan to reveal His love to the world was Jesus. God’s plan to reveal what Jesus has done is the church. We have the awesome privilege and responsibility to go to this “valley of dry bones” in Putnam and surrounding counties and to prophesy to people about the Word and works of God. Are you living to bring Pentecost to those around you?
Two different stories. One army was brought back to life. One was given life for the first time. Both had a purpose in the plan of God to change the world. Pentecost happened for Ezekiel and Israel in a graveyard. Pentecost happened for the early church in the streets of Jerusalem. Listen, the Holy Spirit is everywhere and can work anywhere people are willing to wait for the Lord and want Him to be at work in Him.
Don’t live defeated. Don’t live disconnected from God and your purpose. Don’t live spiritually dead. Don’t live in your own power and operate on your own timing. Don’t live without courage or conviction. Pentecost means God is in the restoration business. Pentecost means God is in the resuscitation business. Pentecost means God is in the recreating business. And He wants to be at work in you. That is what Pentecost means.