A horrible wind blew through my home state of Colorado today.
While snow and rain blanketed the mountains to the west, a violent wind ripped through the eastern plains, making my windows rattle and the trees bend. For several hours, I listened to it shriek like a wild beast, intent on destruction, and wondered if our roof and walls would remain intact. Not much scares me, but this caused me concern. And although I could see a bit of blue sky and sunshine through the clouds outside my windows, I knew any pretense of calm was deceptive. The wind and bitter cold made me reticent to step outside.
Acts 2 tells the story of another violent wind on the day of Pentecost. However, this wind delivered life, not the threat of death:
When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting.
Acts 2:1-2 (NIV)
To a group of shaking disciples still recovering from the traumatic death and resurrection of their Savior, the wind of the Spirit fell in its fullness, causing men like Peter, James, and John to transform from bumbling, timid fishermen-turned-followers into fearless leaders of the new Christian church and proclaimers of the good news. Rather than holing up inside, this violent wind caused them to boldly step out into the world with a powerful message:
Peter replied, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. The promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off—for all whom the Lord our God will call.” With many other words he warned them; and he pleaded with them, “Save yourselves from this corrupt generation.” Those who accepted his message were baptized, and about three thousand were added to their number that day.
Acts 2:38-41 (NIV)
I can almost hear the windows rattle at the sound of Peter’s words. In a moment, these men became fierce warriors for the gospel — not because they got more training or finally finished their advanced degree, not because they beefed up their resume and gathered impressive references. The disciples evangelized and the early church exploded for two reasons:
- Jesus was alive!
- The Holy Spirit moved in power.
We’re now a couple of thousand years from that first Pentecost and a couple of weeks past this year’s Easter holiday. Even so, the same two reasons hold true.
Jesus is alive. Hallelujah! We know and celebrate this truth not only on Easter but every day when we choose to gaze at the empty cross and remember the true reason for our hope.
And the same Spirit who blew like a violent wind and empowered the disciples to boldly share the good news is able to do the same for us. He is here, living and active, ready to speak words of comfort and courage to each of us who believe in Jesus.
So, will we let Him rattle our windows and shake us from our complacency? Will we dare to invite His holy disruption and ask Him to empower us to follow Him with courage?
This is a wind we can’t afford to ignore. Not because it threatens death and destruction but because He promises life. If you dare, pray this prayer with me today:
Spirit, come! Blow into every corner of my life and fill me with the power of Your presence. Lead me where You want me to go and give me the words You want me to speak. May I live on mission with You, today and every day, for the glory of our living Jesus. Amen!