On the Day of Pentecost, just fifty short days after the death and resurrection of Jesus, his followers received an astounding gift. Know what it was? Yes, you guessed it, the Holy Spirit!
“ . . . And you will receive the GIFT of the Holy Spirit.” Acts 2:38 (NIV)
One of my favorite things about the Christmas Season is that I get to show the ones I love how much they mean to me and how much I appreciate that they are in my life. My favorite part of gift giving is watching them open their gift. I love to see their eyes light up when they rip off the wrapping. And there’s no greater joy than to get a glimpse of them using the gift I bought for them.
But have you ever given a gift that you poured your heart and soul into, only to discover they never really used it or even appreciated it?
The Holy Spirit wasn’t just given to the followers who were there on the day of Pentecost. You and I have received Him as well (if you believe Jesus died for you).
This was a present like none other, a gift that God the Father poured his heart and soul into for us! The Spirit was given to be our helper (Romans 8:26), our power (Acts 1:8) and our comforter (John 15:26),and our guide (Galatians 5:16).
But I wonder . . . have we set this precious gift on a shelf in our closet to collect dust with all the other well meaning gifts we’ve received over the years and never really used it?
Maybe it’s, because we’re afraid that He will ask us to do something we don’t really think we can do. Or maybe, it’s because we are comfortable right where we are and we don’t want to be moved out of our comfort zone. Or maybe, it’s just plain laziness or indifference.
Look what Ephesians 4:30 says, “Don't grieve God. Don't break his heart. His Holy Spirit, moving and breathing in you, is the most intimate part of your life, making you fit for himself. Don't take such a gift for granted.” (The Message, emphasis added)
It is not enough to just have the Holy Spirit in our lives. He longs to give us comfort, to be our guide and empower us to live the life he has called us to. Are you choosing to settle for so much less than this?
I also wonder . . . did the followers of Jesus who were at Pentecost, struggle with taking the Holy Spirit for granted like I do today? Was it easier for them than it is for me to be controlled by the Spirit? Did they struggle with being fully surrendered?
Surrender is never easy, no matter who you are!
But the unexpected surprise with surrender is that it sets us free and opens the door to the Holy Spirit’s incredible work in our lives.
Mark Batterson in his book Wild Goose Chase equates following the Holy Spirit to just that, a wild goose chase. It isn’t pointless like the wild goose chases we’re familiar with but it can be wild and crazy, unpredictable and probably will take us places we never dreamed we would go!
If we never surrender, we will never experience the adventures God has waiting for us.
The Holy Spirit is God’s precious, astonishing, astounding gift to you! Will you set this amazing gift on a shelf to collect dust or will you step out in faith, fully surrender and enjoy the adventure of a lifetime?