Acts 2: 1-8; 12-13
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. They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues[a] as the Spirit enabled them.
Now there were staying in Jerusalem God-fearing Jews from every nation under heaven. When they heard this sound, a crowd came together in bewilderment, because each one heard their own language being spoken. Utterly amazed, they asked: ‘Aren’t all these who are speaking Galileans? Then how is it that each of us hears them in our native language? Amazed and perplexed, they asked one another, ‘What does this mean?’
Some, however, made fun of them and said, ‘They have had too much wine.’
Imagine the scene. This Sunday morning you're in church, praying and singing as normal, when suddenly there’s a noise – it’s like a wind getting louder and louder and closer and closer. It’s like a hurricane is blowing through the building.
Then flames starts appearing up above everybody – big flames that then split into little flames and come and land on their heads. Hair gel goes on fire!
The next thing you hear is a foreign language – and you realise it’s you talking! You’re speaking a language you have never learned. And so is everyone else with you, they are all speaking different languages. One sounds Arabic, one French, one Spanish, one Chinese.
What is going on? Here it is the birth of the church and that birth is initiated by the outpouring of the Holy Spirit upon God’s people.
I have become convinced that there is absolutely nothing more crucial to the Christian life than being filled with the Holy Spirit. Nothing. Without the supernatural power of the Holy Spirit filling us we simply cannot live as followers of Jesus. We cannot do the works of Jesus. We cannot live the supernatural life God intends for us to live.
The same Holy Spirit who was poured out at Pentecost is the same Holy Spirit who is available for you and I today. He’s not a watered down, diluted version. He’s the full-strength, concentrated, original version!
Trying to live the Christian life without the power and presence of the Holy Spirit will be dull, boring, lifeless and passionless. It will just be religion. Bono from U2 once said this:
"Religion is what you’re left with when the Spirit has left the building."
This filling of the Spirit is not a one-time event. It is an ongoing filling and re-filling. Today if you are lacking in fire, power, passion or fervour, why not ask God to fill you afresh with His Spirit?