CHAPTER 23

SHAKE, RATTLE AND GROW

"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 as the Spirit enabled them." (Acts 2) What else can be said except Praise you Father God. Praise you for sending us your Son, Jesus; and praise your Son, Jesus, for sending us His Spirit.

And what was Peterís response to all this, "These men are not drunk, as you suppose. Itís only nine in the morning!" Way to go Pete, I can see you havenít lost your flare for words. But you know, it didnít matter what Peter said, the Spirit was there to convict the hearts of those present that day. The Spirit was there to strengthen the work of the disciples. Remember just 50 days earlier, Peter denied Christ, but, on this day, he spoke with boldness and great passion; which resulted in the conversion of about three thousand men into the faith.

Peter, during this encounter, said this thing that you are witnessing is the fulfillment of what the Prophet Joel said, "I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your young men will see visions; your old men will dream dreams. Even on my servants, both men and women, I will pour out my spirit in those days, and they will prophesy. I will show wonders in the heaven above and signs on the earth below, blood and fire and billows of smoke. The sun will be turned to darkness and the moon to blood before the coming of the great and glorious day of the Lord. And everyone who calls on the Lord will be saved." This great and glorious gift of prophecy was set into motion that day. This great and glorious speech of Peterís was what we can consider an inauguration day speech that started the church down the road designated by God.

One thing that must be said about the entrance of the Holy Spirit into this world is that nothing would ever be dull again. When the Spirit moves into an area, that area will shake, and that area will rattle; but more importantly my friends, that area will grow. The Spirit came for one reason, to convict the people that Jesus was who He said He was, the Son of God!

Throughout scripture the Spirit is represented as a peaceful dove. For me, the Spirit is much more. Not only is the Spirit a Dove, but He is also an Eagle that allows you to soar closer to God. The Spirit is an empowerment, of God, that grants you the strength to persevere, though time get hard. The Spirit is also an Owl, wise in its counsel. Giving all who trust in Him the ability to see pitfalls, even though itís dark. And furthermore, the Spirit is a Mocking Bird that allows you to feel guilt when you stray from the path laid out for you by God.

Godís Spirit is always with us, for as Saint Paul stated, "Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God." Not only is the Spirit in us, but that same Spirit can grow, if one but asks. "How much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him!" The Spirit is both our translator and interpreter, for as it says in Johnís gospel "God is spirit, and His worshippers must worship in spirit and in truth." If it werenít first for Jesus, then for the Spirit, we would have no idea how to worship God our Father. For Jesus provided us a living example, and as for the Spirit, He makes available to us gifts that allow a true believer to have fellowship with his/her Heavenly Father. It is though their intercessions that we have the ability to praise God, and have those praises accepted.

When God fills us with His Spirit we become sonsí of the one true God, and are able, as Paul said, to cry out Abba, Father; or in todayís language, DADDY! We no longer have a timid spirit, but one of strength and courage, for we now deal from a position of power and authority. We are sonsí of the King, which makes us princes and princesses. We are royalty, and we must comport ourselves to that role, for we do not wish to anger, our Father, the King.

"In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express. And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints in accordance with Godís will." (Romans 8:26)

What a great promise! That even when we donít know what to pray for Godís Spirit does, and makes our petitions known to the Father. Its like cruise control on a car. Pop the Spirit into your life; live according to Godís will, and leave the driving to the Lord. AMEN!

One thing you should realize by now is that when you allow the Holy Spirit into your life you will never be the same. You become, as John said in his gospel, made new, or born again. You take on the characteristics of your Heavenly Father. That being the fruitsí of the Spirit: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.

Another thing that the Spirit does for us is to grant us permission to use His gifts. To some comes the gift of wisdom, to others the message of knowledge. Some receive faith while others incorporate that faith into healing. Some receive miraculous powers, and yet others have the gift of prophecy. One may be able to distinguish between spirits, while another can speak in tongues. Finally, one might have the ability to interpret tongues to their brothers and sisters.

I believe a true disciple can exhibit, many, if not all the gifts of the Spirit, at different times during their life. I believe a person that is open to the Comforter can be used by Him any time the church is in need. We are simple the vessel through which the Spirit works. To God goes all the glory, AMEN. During our journey we may be in the right place, at the right time, and whammo the Spirit empowers us to fulfill His will. Remember, if one has but a mustard seed of faith he can say to this mountain, get up and take a swim in the ocean, and boom that mountain is in a Speedo doing the backstroke. The one thing we must do is allow ourselves to be open to that Spirit.

I think Iíll invent a new dance and call it the Spiritís Presences. There is nothing that can get your feet a moving like Godís Spirit. There will be a lot of shaking and rolling in this dance, and when youíre done youíll feel ten feet tall because it will have allowed you to grow.

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