Phil’s Points to Ponder for June 4, 2017

Crowds of Jews were gathered in Jerusalem from every nation. When they heard about the strange things that were happening at the meeting place of the disciples, a multitude of them gathered. They were bewildered, because each one heard the apostles speaking in his or her own language. They were amazed and wondered, saying “Are not all these speaking Galileans? And how is it that we hear, each of us in our own native language?” But others mocking said, “They are filled with new wine.”

The world understands no better today the working of the Holy Spirit in the life of the Christian. Someone once noted that it is not the lofty sails but the unseen wind that moves the ship. So it is with the believer. We draw our power from an unseen presence.

Dr. Joe Harding has drawn a beautiful parallel to the action of wind upon sails. He notes that if you look at the old maps of the ocean currents, you will see great areas just north of the equator in the Atlantic, Pacific, and Indian oceans marked “doldrums.” This is an area between the prevailing oceanic winds. It is an area where the air is very warm, still and humid. Sea captains early learned to avoid the doldrums.

Now and then a careless captain would sail his ship directly into the center of the doldrums–or the doldrums area would shift north or south. How would such a ship appear?

Its sails would sag and droop. The whole ship would take on an appearance of fatigue. The sun would beat down. The interior of the ship would become like a smelly, humid dungeon. Sailors would get sick. Occasionally light, baffling winds would cause excitement–but in the doldrums winds blow this way and that with no consistency. In the doldrums terrible killing storms may be generated in certain seasons.

With only a sail–the only hope was a sustained breeze. Ships actually were caught for so long that the crews died.

In the doldrums–I have been there, haven’t you? But then there has come, as it were, the sound of a rushing wind.

The church after Pentecost was certainly not in the doldrums. The radical change that took place in the lives of those upon whom the Holy Spirit fell on that occasion and the days immediately following has got to be one of the most sensational stories of all time. From timid, tepid souls they became vital, vigorous almost unstoppable champions of this new faith.

I believe that we, the church, need to pray for, and prepare ourselves for, a fresh Invasion of the Holy Spirit! This Sunday, I want to share with you what some characteristics of such a church would be. Acts 2:1-21 will be our scriptural guide!

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