Prophets foretold it. Jesus anticipated the moment. We celebrate the coming of the Holy Spirit to all believers on the Day of Pentecost—fifty days after Easter. After Jesus ascended to heaven the true believers, 120 in total, gathered in the upper room and prayed. They prayed for nine days, and on the tenth day the Holy Spirit came upon them. I’m not sure how prepared they were for God to move in that way. They described it as if tongues of fire fell on them, and a strong noise like wind powered through the room. Yet,s the unbelievers who witnessed it thought the best explanation was that they were all drunk at 9 a.m. in the morning!
I don’t think I realized the power of the Holy Spirit coming on me as deeply when I was seven as I do today looking back on the experience. I describe the moment of my understanding as God is holy and I am a sinner, and my sin separates me from His love for me as if a light bulb went off. It was sudden. I did not expect to make the decision my mom told me that I would need to make someday if I were ever to get those snacks they passed out in church! I simply went to a fun church activity and invited my best friend. Unbeknownst to each other, we both stayed after the meeting as instructed to tell the Children’s Evangelist that we had decided to accept Christ in our hearts. They told us that our family would not mind waiting on us and set us up for further conversations that ended up in baptism in front of the whole church. It was because of that decision that the Holy Spirit came upon me. There were no tongues of fire or long wind-like sounds.
There was joy. My mom suggested that I tell my second-grade teacher, whom I had no reason to suspect would be happy for me. I was surprised by her reaction to such news. I didn’t notice any sudden changes in myself, but I did receive a gift of understanding the Scriptures better than others. Even during a time of purposefully rebelling against God in 8th-9th grades, I received the Outstanding Bible Student Award given by my Christian school. All of this is evidence of the Holy Spirit. Since that time, I have witnessed the Holy Spirit give much more wisdom, ability, understanding and unexplained kindness. He gives me supernatural patience, convicts me of my driving, and prompts me to remember something I am about to leave the house and forget (not every time—or I don’t sense Him enough). All of this is evidence to me of the oneness for which Jesus prayed. He wants me and all Christians to be one with Him and God. His death made it possible for the Holy Spirit (the very power of God) to reside in us. Worshipping God from earth in the church age is the best time to live before Christ’s return. Before Christ’s death, burial and resurrection, the Spirit of God was given to prophets, writers of the Scriptures, and certain leaders and kings. Jesus made the same Spirit that guided King David to be a man after God’s own heart to guide you and me.
I haven’t heard of the Spirit coming on believers as He did in Acts 2—like a tongue of fire and loud wind. I have witnessed (through video) a village of new believers share a common overwhelming joy after receiving salvation at the same time during a Jesus film. It appeared strange to the onlooker to find people jumping in joy, crying tears of celebration, smiling and hugging one another in waves of happiness that could only be identified as the Holy Spirit’s joy of salvation.
The Holy Spirit bears fruit in the lives of Christians that fulfills any law that God has ever given. Galatians 5:22-23 says: “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.”
I welcome the Holy Spirit to my life and am so grateful that He came at Pentecost and to all who receive the gift of salvation.