The Pouring Out of God’s Spirit
Open Your Bible
Isaiah 32:14-18, Isaiah 44:3-4, Ezekiel 39:29, Joel 2:28-32, Acts 2:1-47
On the day of Pentecost, God’s presence was poured out on believers.
Do you ever try to conjure up a feeling? Maybe you’re like me, prone to, ahem, an overabundance of feelings at all times. But, though the feelings you have are mighty, sometimes they aren’t the right ones. Maybe you want to feel empathetic, but you feel defensive. You want to feel loving, but you feel selfish. You long to hunger for the Word of God, but the 2020 quarantine was long, and you “accidentally” downloaded apps like, say, TikTok. Ahem.
Sometimes we want to feel the right things but pursue them the wrong way. We want to want the Spirit, right? Of course. Because, like 2 Corinthians 3:17 reminds us, “Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.” But how can we have the Spirit and feel the freedom He brings when life is so full of distractions and pains and questions that get us wanting other things we didn’t want to want in the first place? How can we be people who embody the Spirit who lives inside of us?
In Acts 2, Peter quotes what was once spoken through the prophet Joel:
And it will be in the last days, says God,
that I will pour out my Spirit on all people;
then your sons and your daughters will prophesy,
your young men will see visions,
and your old men will dream dreams (Acts 2:17; Joel 2:28).
Did you notice that it’s God who does the pouring out? It’s God who IS the Spirit. God is and God pours out. We, on the other hand, are to receive. But we’re not going to recognize what is available to us if we’re distracted, looking at Instagram or news updates more than we’re looking to God.
In Isaiah 32, we’re reminded of the glorious benefit of being filled with God’s Spirit: “The result of righteousness will be peace; the effect of righteousness will be quiet confidence forever” (v.17). We have the Spirit of God. We can be filled with the Spirit of God. We can have and experience His peace. We can live with “quiet confidence forever.” The Spirit who came upon the apostles “like that of a violent rushing wind” is available to all of us who follow Christ (Acts 2:2). We don’t have to conjure it up. We don’t have to strive forever for the feeling of Christlikeness. The Holy Spirit is being poured out. Open the Word. Obey its instruction. Focus on filling more than feeling, and remember this: the work of Jesus Christ has already made you pure. Your sins are already forgiven. You are loved. You are full of God’s power, God’s peace, God’s presence, God’s life, God’s hope. Wow.