In the Middle of a Game Changer

Middle Places Archive

Originally published May 19, 2013 on Middleplaces.com

Have you ever thought you knew just how things should proceed and then theLORD just rocked your world?

Gamechangers come in many shapes and forms. 

Marriage…

Divorce…

Job offer…

Transfer…

Job loss…

Pregnancy…

Diagnoses of …

Church growth…

Church revitalization…

Church split…

Empty Nest…

Death of a loved one…

What they have in common is that they turn everything upside down.  The story of Pentecost may be familiar (if not, read about it in Acts 2but have you ever stopped to really think about what happened? 

 And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and they began to speak with other tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance.  Acts 2:4  

The disciples had gathered to celebrate the Jewish feast of Shovaut, known in the Greek as Pentecost.   We have already discussed the relation of Pentecost to the Passover 

CHRIST had died, risen again and taught them for forty days but they were still going about through the same motions, celebrating, hanging out with friends, attending to responsibilities.

CHRIST had given them the commission to go into all the world and preach the Good News but HE told them to wait.  

What do you do when the LORD reveals a promise for the future but says, “Not yet.”  I’m sure some were planners, others worriers and a few were just excited to get on with the adventure.  As they gathered, perhaps, they discussed dreams and possibilities, goals and vision for the future.  We do not know what happened before that moment when the violent wind and tongues of fire filled the room but nothing would ever be the same afterward. 

Suddenly they were divided, unable to communicate with their friends, alone and misunderstood… seeking out others who could understand them…   

That is often the after effect of a “Game Changer” 

The question for them was… what now?  

It is the same for us.  What will we do when the fire and the wind comes and offers to make or break our opportunity to make a difference for the KINGDOM? 

Peter was ready. 

He knew the Scripture and was ready to give an explanation for something so miraculous.  The others went out and began to communicate with people who shared their language.  Perhaps they moved into their neighborhoods, or journeyed back to their respective countries.

The point is that they took action.

They did not insist on remaining together, trying to overcome their language barrier.  They did not try to “fix it” or change it back the way it was before.

Believers in Christ, today, share the Great Commission Call.

How many times has the LORD sent a “Gamechanger” into your life?

How did you respond? 

What did you do right? 

How could you have improved your response? 

How can you prepare for your next opportunity?

Because of Pentecost, we do not even have to wait for a “Gamechanger” to occur.  As believers in Jesus Christ we are uniquely equipped in a way that the disciples, before that moment, were not. 

We have the Holy Spirit ready and available to us.  We do not have to wait but are able to go forward with confidence that the Holy Spirit desires that we follow after Christ.  We must be plugged in, committed and ready to go forth at the urging of the Holy Spirit.

Examine your heart today as we celebrate the coming of the Holy Spirit. 

Do you feel a peace within your heart and mind that inexplicably comforts and yet prompts you to action?

If not, perhaps you need to ask the LORD for guidance. 

If you feel that motivation; what are you going to do about it? 

Pray that the LORD will guide you toward those to whom you are intended to minister and give you the words to say that will draw them unto HIM. 

In the middle of waiting for the Holy Spirit…

Middle Places Archive

Originally published May 5, 2013 on middleplaces.com

The Middle Places theme for May is Celebration!  We celebrated CHRIST’s Birth at Christmas and walked with HIM to the Cross at Easter.  We waited for HIM, rejoiced when HE arose! We cried with the disciples, “He is risen, indeed!” …now what?  Where do we go from here?

The Book of Acts records that CHRIST spent forty days with HIS disciples teaching them about the Kingdom of God. An important part of this time was the Great Commission, as Christ commanded them to go into all the world and preach the Good News…

but they were to wait…

for the HOLY SPIRIT to come…

How often we get a message for the LORD and we are ready to charge out the door…

but HE commands us to wait…

wait for the Power,

wait for the fullness of time,

wait for HIM!

The LORD created time and uses it at HIS WILL to signify and connect things for us. Most associate the term Pentecost with the coming of the HOLY SPIRIT described in the second chapter of Acts and this is correct but the richness of the time is so much deeper!

Jesus’ celebration of Passover with his disciples is a traditional part of HOLY WEEK but most are unaware of the Old Testament significance of Pentecost and its relation to Passover. Pentecost is the literal Greek translation for “the fiftieth day” and the Jewish celebration of Shavuot or the “Festival of Weeks”.  Shavuot commemorates the day Moses came down Mount Sinai. This is often referred to as the conclusion of Passover because the purpose of the Passover was not just to free the Israelites physically from the Egyptians but to reunite them spiritually to YHWH as HIS Chosen People. The Giving of the Law signified this unique relationship and the completion of the Passover Purpose.

So for those of us counting and considering the significance of Sacred Time: Jesus died, arose and taught HIS disciples for forty days before ascending back to heaven.  He told them to wait for the HOLY SPIRIT. The Pentecost was celebrated fifty days after the second day of Passover. Jesus taught his disciples for forty days so the celebration of Pentecost occurred about ten days after Jesus returned to heaven.

The disciples were assembled and celebrating Pentecost (the giving of the Law) when the HOLY SPIRIT came down and filled them.

There are significant similarities and differences between the two Pentecosts.  Both are evidences of the LORD coming down with a mighty rushing wind and fire but the second time was not upon a far off mountain where the people could not approach.  The SPIRIT filled their room and actually rested upon the worshipers within the walls of their celebration.  The first time there was One Voice from the mountain; the second time there were many voices and they spoke in multiple and diverse languages, confirming the command of the Great Commission to go and tell the Good News!

This year Pentecost falls on May 19, 2013.  For those of us counting the time, waiting for HIS RETURN let us be ready… Easter was not the end but only the beginning of this adventure… Are you still walking with HIM?  Are you still seeking HIM as you did in the days leading up to Christmas and then to Easter?  The gift of the Holy Spirit signified the beginning of the Great Commission and the opportunity for most of us (Gentiles) to be included in the covenant.

Walk with the HOLY SPIRIT during these days coming up to the celebration of Pentecost. Ask HIM to reveal to YOU the GRACE FULL balance of the Old and New Testaments and the significance of Sacred Time devoted and holy to HIM.  Continue with our celebration of May, the Good News and God’s love for you today!