To us and through us

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 2:1-4)
 
“In the last days, God says, 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.”  (Joel 2:28-29 & Acts 2:17-18)
 
Then Eli realised that the Lord was calling the boy. So Eli told Samuel, “Go and lie down, and if he calls you, say, “Speak, Lord, for your servant is listening.” So Samuel went and lay down in his place. The Lord came and stood there, calling as at the other times, “Samuel! Samuel!” Then Samuel said, “Speak, for your servant is listening.” (1 Samuel 3: 8-10)
There came a moment in history when God fulfilled one of his many promises. The promise had been that his presence would one day move from a temple, accessible by a small number of priestly, anointed individuals, to being poured out upon men and women from all nations and backgrounds. The presence which had once filled a holy sanctuary, hidden away from most, would fill and reside in the hearts of everyone who called upon him.

When such an event takes place in the life of a person, it is unthinkable that their life will carry on as normal. A transformation had begun to take place. When we are filled with the Holy Spirit, we are enabled to speak to God differently and we are empowered to speak about him differently as well. The Holy Spirit gives us gifts that allow that to happen, and which change the way that we experience our daily walk with God.

This week we’ll be exploring two of these gifts in particular: the gift of tongues and the gift of prophecy.

But before we unpack those gifts, it’s often useful to begin with a question that helps us to assess the posture of our hearts towards the Holy Spirit. Do you actually expect God to speak to you and through you?

Like the young servant Samuel in the Old Testament or like the fisherman Peter in the New Testament, cultivating a sense of expectation that the Lord will indeed speak to us and through us in our day-to-day life is crucial to our growth into mature followers of Jesus. I call it our decision to “foster the posture”. The more we expect God to speak to us, the more we will hear him speaking to us. That’s what Jesus teaches us in Matthew 9:29, and it’s also the experience of many of the Christians at Everyday Church who have been walking closely with the Lord over the years. So before we embark on a week of focusing on the gift of tongues and the gift of prophecy, let’s spend some time in stillness today. Put your screen down and turn off your phone. When we’re distracted by the many voices around us, it’s much harder to develop a listening ear that hears the Spirit speaking to us.
  1. When did you last ask God to speak to you?
  2. What distractions are in your life that would hinder you from pausing long enough afterwards to actually listen out for what he might say to you or show you? Job 33:13-14 encourages us to believe that the Lord is constantly speaking – the question is whether we are truly listening out for him.
Father God, I thank you that you have made your Spirit available to me today. Not by hard work and effort, but because of what your Son, Jesus, accomplished in my place on the cross. Thank you that because of his victory I can now access your presence. I ask you to fill me with your Spirit today so that I may hear your voice and and speak on your behalf to the people around me today. Amen.
Today’s Everyday Devotions were brought to you by Adam Bream, who leads Everyday Southfields.
If you have time, consider carrying on your conversation with God using one of our helpful Prayer Pathways.
Today’s Everyday Devotions have also inspired a devotional video that you can watch on our YouTube channel.
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