What a time to be ALIVE and living out what the 1st Century church could only briefly experience as they sought out the miraculous, God orchestrated and unimaginable possibilities of their time. We, on the other hand, are directly in the center of all of these same types of challenging experiences. As many of us have been sensing, 2020 is living up to those early chapters at the very back of the bible (before the maps). After all, who would have EVER believed that our highly post civilized western world (and all other worlds) would be forced to stay away from each other, don hazmat suits and protective face gear on a daily basis, lose our jobs by the millions, and reminisce about the good old days when going to a restaurant or seeing a movie in a theater started to get boring. BORING!? We are longing for those boring USUAL PLACES in our daily lives that we all used to share, not realizing that with all that has changed and has set it's aim at hurting us, God has flipped in order to prepare us to live EVERY SINGLE DAY in the UNUSUAL PLACE of His dangerous presence. The world we know right now is one that we certainly never thought would be possible in this age of highly intelligent, google "know it all's", who question everything and are skeptical at best. Yet here we are.
We know that we write A LOT about the things that we need to look out for and how the things we must be mindful of will get us through the craziness unscathed, these things are important. But we also NEED to know just how INCREDIBLE these times truly are that we find ourselves in RIGHT NOW, because they are. Just as the 1st Century followers of Jesus, who lived in a hostile and unstable world environment, witnessed Jesus leaving after His resurrection to return to the Father; so too must the 21st Century followers who are living in a hostile, unstable world environment, in anticipation of the return of Jesus, live the same way as those first crazy faith followers. WE are to thrive and not just survive this environment prototype, knowing that we have biblical examples to guide us every step of the way. Yep, it's finally time we dive head first into ACTS 2 because this was the focal point of Jesus before His departure, that all of His followers would receive the power of the Holy Spirit. Please, let's not allow these unique unusual big biblical moments pass us by without appreciating the privilege we have living right now in the vortex of world history.
Acts 2:1-4 (NASB)
"When the day of Pentecost had come, they were all together in one place. And suddenly there came from heaven a noise like a violent rushing wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. And there appeared to them tongues as of fire distributing themselves, and they rested on each one of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit was giving them utterance."
As we read these first verses in Acts 2, we are immediately catapulted into a space in the conundrum of measured time that is hard to describe. Most of us have been there and have had experiences that we couldn’t understand or explain, not realizing that it was 100% God indescribable. These experiences of the multi dimensional places of those special moments that coexist between heaven and earth are pure supernatural life (with all the gifts of the Spirit combined into one spectacular segment of time). This was an extraordinary moment in the lives of the actual guys who got to hang with Jesus while He did His thing on earth. In this particular other worldly occurrence, a few things stand out as they happened then, and compare almost identically to things WE are experiencing here and now centuries later as the hours are counting down.
Last Sunday was Easter, the (agreed upon) anniversary of the resurrection, and new life and reanimation of our Jesus. The day of Pentecost is the 50th day from Passover (when Jesus was put to death), and was typically a festival celebration. This too, was a day of remembrance. Now as then, Pentecost was the proof of His return to His Father. Jesus’ resurrection has rescued all of humanity from sin, death, sickness and destitution. As we who receive this truth should understand, His resurrection was and is OUR resurrection too. Think about this for a moment; whatever level of God’s power it took to raise His Son back to life, shot through His entire being to quicken Him (and all of us who believe in Him). If that were to be true, we would be responsible for living at a different level than what we’ve settled for.
What if we had the resurrection power of the LIFE of God on the inside of us right now? We could unleash the power of the Father’s love on humanity as Jesus did while He was here. Could this be the reason that Jesus told His disciples not to go anywhere, or do anything UNTIL the Holy Spirit filled them all with His presence on the day of Pentecost? Yes it is.
Romans 8:11 (MSG)
"It stands to reason, doesn’t it, that if the alive-and-present God who raised Jesus from the dead moves into your life, He’ll do the same thing in you that he did in Jesus, bringing you alive to Himself? When God lives and breathes in you (and he does, as surely as he did in Jesus), you are delivered from that dead life. With His Spirit living in you, your body will be as alive as Christ’s!”
If we’re reading this correctly (we might need to rub our eyes and re-read), we have a lot of explaining to do (Lucy). Like what have we been doing for 2,000 years, sitting delicately on a power keg of the explosive revelation of our Father's love for mankind that potentially could have shaped human history quite a bit differently than the shape we find it in today. If we may be brutally honest (for a moment), we believe that the church has not looked a whole lot like Jesus for a very long stretch of time. We have got to own it to be able to live it, and then give it (to everyone). The followers, or imitators of Jesus that we are to be are needed in this late stage of human history more than ever before. For too long truths have been hidden, misinterpreted, explained away or even out and out lied about to us. It’s high time that we as Jesus’ post modern 21st century followers get busy making His presence and powerful life altering words known to this last of the generations before His return.
All of creation is expectantly anticipating the manifestation of the sons and daughters of God. It is UP TO US to accept our TRUE identities as our Father's offspring and ambassador's (with all of His authority backing us up) to the world on behalf of His first born, Jesus. Romans 8:19 (TPT) "The entire universe is standing on tiptoe, yearning to see the unveiling of God's glorious sons and daughters!" THAT MEANS US.