Saturday, June 4, 2005

Standing on the Promises

I read this today...

Acts 2: 1 When the day of Pentecost arrived, they were all together in one place. 2And suddenly there came from heaven a sound like a mighty rushing wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting. 3And divided tongues as of fire appeared to them and rested[
a] on each one of them. 4And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance…12And all were amazed and perplexed, saying to one another, "What does this mean?" 13But others mocking said, "They are filled with new wine."
14But Peter, standing with the eleven, lifted up his voice and addressed them, "Men of Judea and all who dwell in Jerusalem, let this be known to you, and give ear to my words. 15For these men are not drunk, as you suppose, since it is only the third hour of the day.[
b] 16But this is what was uttered through the prophet Joel:
17"'And in the last days it shall be, God declares,that I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh,

In that moment, Peter was standing on the promises of God. The Lord used his knowledge of the promises through the prophets, and the personal promise of Christ that the Lord would send the Holy Spirit, to embolden Peter…and that day made a great leader out of a coward.

It would be easy to dismiss this as a special circumstance. It was Pentacost…it was the Holy Spirit coming…it was Peter, for crying out loud! But I am not convinced that it is all that special. Sure the setting is unique…but only in that it was a first for the believers and for Peter.

Though I might not be called to be a great leader and evangelist like Peter…I am called to stand on the promises of God and be bold (whether in daily life, words or deeds) for the sake of Christ. If I am to do that, I must know the promises and truly believe them.

I am also reminded of one more thing…Peter’s relationship with Christ made this promise personal. He had not only read the promise of Joel…but he’d heard it from the Savior’s own mouth that this was coming soon. When it did…he knew it and responded in faith…proclaiming God’s truth and faithfulness. I know for me…I can hear something from the pulpit or in a lesson…but if the Holy Spirit doesn’t interact with me, penetrating it into my heart or giving me a personal application, too often they are just words.

Who stands on what they think are “just words?” (And so...isn't the fact that I sometimes don't stand saying that I think they are "just words?" ouch!)

I also know that my standing (and also my hearing) is directly related to the personal time I spend with the Lord. If I am not praying….not going into the Word or listening to teaching with expectancy, willing to hear what He has for me…not just what I want to hear… I am not truly listening and I won’t truly hear…

AND… I won’t stand.

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