Wednesday, May 23, 2012

The Cultural War and Pentecost

In the blogosphere for the past couple of days, a cultural war has been raging.

But I’m thinking about Pentecost.

Coming this Sunday in the liturgical year, Pentecost, originally connected to the giving of the law on Mt. Sinai, is also now celebrated by Christians as the time when the Holy Spirit descended on the apostles.

In the prayer guide I use, there’s a quote from C.S. Lewis for Pentecost week, “Nothing that has not died will be resurrected.”

What does that have to do with the Holy Spirit?

My husband, Jerry, often shares the story about when he desired the fullness of the spirit in his life. He knelt down in a meeting, and one of his most beloved mentors, Dr. Mark Rutland (now president of Oral Roberts University), came to him.

“What do you want,  counselor (Jerry was still a lawyer at the time)?” Dr. Rutland asked.

“I want what you’re preaching about,” Jerry said.

“Give me your keys,” Dr. Rutland said.

Jerry fished the keys out of his pocket, and handed them to him.

“You see these keys,” Dr. Rutland said as he held them up. “You have to give the key to everything in your life to the Lord. That’s how the Holy Spirit comes. He wants complete control.”

For Jerry, that death to holding onto the keys led to leaving his law practice and going to seminary.

In the hymn, “Spirit of God, Descend upon My Heart,” George Croly wrote the line, “My heart an altar, and thy love the flame.” The spirit of God comes to burn up everything that is not of him in our hearts.

“Nothing that has not died will be resurrected.”

Surrendered, Spirit-filled hearts make fertile ground for revival. Those lives dead to this world can be raised alive to all that God desires.

Someone has said that revival comes not to those who need it the most, but to those who want it the most.

When my husband and I left a church which he'd pastored for twenty-five years, we left to this song. And yes, there is so much more for which we long. So thankful that God is Lord over all.

Though the cultural war is raging, I’m hoping, praying, and looking for the raging fire of His spirit to move across our land.

Let us surrender our hearts anew to Him and pray for the Holy flame to come.

“I will pour out my Spirit on every kind of people. Your sons will prophesy, also your daughter, Your old men will dream, your young men will see visions” (Joel 2:28 The Message).

 “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 seemd to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them” (Acts 2:1-3).

“Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit, says the Lord Almighty” (Zechariah 4:6).

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