Now there were dwelling in Jerusalem Jews, devout men from every nation under heaven. And at this sound the multitude came together, and they were bewildered, because each one was hearing them speak in his own language. And they were amazed and astonished, saying, “Are not all these who are speaking Galileans? And how is it that we hear, each of us in his own native language? Parthians and Medes and Elamites and residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya belonging to Cyrene, and visitors from Rome, both Jews and proselytes, Cretans and Arabians—we hear them telling in our own tongues the mighty works of God.” And all were amazed and perplexed, saying to one another, “What does this mean?” But others mocking said, “They are filled with new wine.”
Today, whenever the Holy Spirit makes His presence known to us we describe our experience with words such as “amazing,” “incredible,” “worried,” or “I just can’t believe it”. When the crowd heard the disciples’ speaking in tongues, some thought it was gibberish while others were amazed that they were speaking in their native language.
This reminds me of a story I read recently. There was a church conference being held at the Lake Arrowhead Resort in Oklahoma. I have been at the same conference spot myself a few times. The group was made up of non-charismatic pastors, and there were some lay people attending as well. The norm at the resort is that whenever the conference room is open, the bar is too, even if it is not in use. During one of the sessions the bartender was quietly cleaning glasses in the back of the room. All of a sudden a man stood up and began to speak in tongues. He was speaking words that no one understood. The moderator thanked the man and appropriately asked him to sit down because there was no one present who could interpret his words. Following the meeting the bartender who was from Iraq came with tears streaming down his face and asked who the man was who had spoken of the great mysteries of God and the Messiah in his native language. The man was saved that evening.
The Holy Spirit is like that. It’s total nonsense to some (“They have had too much wine”), and it’s amazing to others. What is your response when the Holy Spirit speaks to you? Is it nonsense that you ignore, or do you go with it? The disciples went with it and they gave themselves over to the power of the Spirit in faith. They didn’t try to understand it first. This is the mistake we make in our dealings with the Spirit. We try to understand and process everything logically first. You will never experience the full power of the Spirit unless you release control to Him.
Is the Lord asking you to do something right now that seems a little out of whack, illogical? It could be something radical. It doesn’t have to be of course. God can surprise us in the most unlikely situations. Maybe it’s to call someone you haven’t talked to in awhile; maybe to attend a gathering; or to help a stranded motorist; or to ask someone who looks lost if you can help with directions; etc. It can be the most ordinary of circumstances that will give us the most amazing results because God is constantly at work.
Something to think about on this beautiful Lord’s day.
Shalom, until tomorrow, Lord willing,