Pentecost celebrates the descent of the promised Holy Spirit. Pentecost is always the 7th Sunday after Easter, and this year, Pentecost falls on Sunday, May 31st. The Holy Spirit has been a part of the Trinity since before time began, but the way humans get to interact with the Spirit has changed pre- and post- Jesus’ resurrection. With the conquering of sin through the blood of Jesus, followers of Christ have access to the Spirit. The Holy Spirit can be mysterious, but Bethel Pastor Eric Johnson shares some funny anecdotes and Biblical accounts to make the relationship between God’s children and the Holy Spirit less elusive.
A relationship with the Spirit is about remodeling
Pastor Eric Johnson comically cautions believers that regardless of what their life looks like when they receive the Spirit, they will be changed. God accepts his children as they are. But, like any loving parent, stagnancy is not acceptable. If Christians are the temple for his Spirit, then they must become masterpieces, worthy temples of the living God, “God wants to make your life so beautiful so when [others] lay eyes on your life, they know it is from somewhere else,” he says.
This does not mean that we have to prepare ourselves before we accept salvation. It does mean that evidence of the Spirit in our lives includes a massive remodel. God will take our rough starts and turn them into something beautiful for himself.
A relationship with the Spirit is not a one-night stand
Some Christians have a significant encounter with the Holy Spirit early in their Christian life, and wrongly assume that it’s enough to sustain them indefinitely. However, as a dwelling place for the Spirit, communion with the Spirit should be regular, not rare. Pastor Eric Johnson says, “We do not take a big gulp of the Holy Spirit at the beginning of our relationship with Jesus and hope that lasts your entire life… take another drink.” Knowing and experiencing the Holy Spirit is a continual process.
A relationship with the Spirit may require actions that don’t make worldly sense
It is possible to do something of our own will, and it is possible God will use us for his will. God’s power will be present when his will is behind it. God used Gideon to defeat a large army with 300 men not because that’s what Gideon’s plan was, but because God made it happen.
Pastor Eric Johnson shared that when he was a teenager, he smuggled Bibles into China. The students who signed up for this trip were woefully unprepared for the risk this involved, and instructions were limited. The students were told a handful of logistical details and to “listen to the Spirit.” Despite almost being caught by a guard, the 200 pounds of Bibles Eric smuggled were safely delivered because he listened and trusted God more than his own wisdom.
THIS WEEK’S RESOURCE: PODCAST
- What does Pentecost mean to you?
- What role do you allow the Holy Spirit to play in your life?
- If you are a follower of Jesus, how do you acknowledge the Spirit’s continuous presence in your life?
Francis Chan’s short sermon “Be Still And Know That I Am God”