"But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth."
In the book of Acts, we see chronicled a movement of the gospel so strong and quick that new people were daily being saved (Acts 2:47). Scripture makes clear that this movement was enabled by one person in particular: Holy Spirit. In fact, in Luke 24:49, Jesus asks his disciples to wait to tell his story until the Spirit comes to empower them.
Our current reality is no different: we need Holy Spirit if we are going to see the gospel take root in our cities. We need to abide if we are going to see fruit.
Two Sundays ago, Jason presented a reality that is all too familiar for many of us: in a moment of high emotion, at a conference or in a worship setting or on a mission trip, we are captured afresh by the reality of God, and we make promises. We promise to abide, to evangelize, to love sacrificially. But Monday comes and the appeal of our vows has faded.
In these moments we often seek what feels the natural course: to search again for that “mountaintop experience”. As Jason put it: “we’re thirsty and asking for a drink, but we’re standing in a lake.” It is as if, in our haste to reach the mountaintop, we forget that rivers flow down to the valley.
We do need fresh wind and fresh fire. We need the Spirit to empower us to be witnesses to all Jesus has done, but too often we make fresh wind and fresh fire too complicated. Too often we set our stubborn faces to Mount Sinai and think that fresh fire only comes at the top of the mountain (Exodus 24).
But there is no trick to fresh wind and fresh fire.
There is nothing special about particular conferences or mission trips or worship songs or any emotional high that breaks the heavens open. The only thing we need for broken open heavens to let fresh wind and fresh fire through is broken open hearts asking for more. The wonder of the veil-ripped open is that we have constant access to the holy place — where fresh wind and fresh fire are birthed (Matthew 27:51).
Sometimes we search for miracles. We search for miraculous signs and wonders, thinking this is how the Spirit will open the floodgates and empower us to see a gospel movement. But I’m convinced of this: the miracle I need is for Spirit to daily turn my rock-heart to flesh, to push back the encasing stone that I, because of busyness, selfishness, hurt, and complacency, allow to envelop me. The daily miracle I need is for Spirit to mold and bend and conform my heart and will to his.
Thank God there is not an emotional requirement for the holy place. There is no lock at the door that says we must feel a certain way, or even feel anything at all. Sometimes our rock-hearts won’t let us. And the reality is, we don’t always feel thirsty. We don’t always want to enter the holy place. We don’t always desire fresh wind and fresh fire, and we don’t always desire God’s kingdom to come.
In these moments, when our rock-hearts refuse to feel thirsty… what do we do?
I am not always thirsty, but I know that hydration is necessary for life. I know that when I’m dehydrated my quality of life is significantly decreased: I’m tired, groggy, and my head aches. Sometimes I rely on this really simple truth to motivate me to drink: I need to. As anticlimactic and unromantic as it sounds, sometimes we must rely on this truth when it comes to asking Jesus to be present in our lives. Even when we don’t feel as though we need him or even want him; he is necessary for life and for abundant life.
When we drink, we see that the Lord is good:
"Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good! Blessed is the one who takes refuge in him!"
And when we drink, we are satisfied:
"You open your hand; you satisfy the desire of every living thing. The Lord is righteous in all his ways and kind in all his works. The Lord is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth."
He is near to those who call on him in truth. Not on mountaintops. Not on emotional highs. In truth.
Whether we are thirsty or not this week, let’s press in. Let’s ask the Lord to send fresh wind and fresh fire. Ask him to do his will in our lives. Ask for his kingdom to come. Let’s drink, and see that he is good. He will satisfy. He will send fresh wind and fire. He will revive us and our cities.
About the Author: Ana is a Michigan native who likes putting honey in her coffee, singing in the car, and dancing when walking would do. She currently works in the Ann Arbor area as a dance teacher and as a receptionist at Arbor Woman Pregnancy Center. Her heart is for every person to know the deep love, identity, and mercy that can be found in the Father.