by Ryan Wilson, Forest Park pastor
During his earthly ministry, Jesus told his disciples that unless he went away, the Holy Spirit would not come to them (John 16:7).
Reiterating this promise just before his ascension, Jesus told the group who had gathered, “But stay in the city until you are clothed with power from on high” (Luke 24:49).
The word that jumps out at me is power.
The word power comes from the Greek word dunamis, from which we derive the word, “dynamite.” If our knowledge of dynamite teaches us anything, it’s that the sudden release of energy characteristic of an explosion can be simultaneously very useful and dangerous. It must be handled with care.
The best chiropractor I’ve ever had was also one of the most patient and methodical men I’ve ever met. He didn’t do anything fast.
In time, I learned that he had served as an Explosive Ordinance Disposal (EOD) technician in the US Marines before going to chiropractic school. He told me that explosives had to be handled with the utmost care and precaution.
No wonder he didn’t do anything fast. He truly understood the potential for good contained in controlled bursts of energy (chiropractic adjustments). But, from his time as an EOD technician, he deeply understood the potential for harm if these bursts of energy were mishandled.
If we reflect on what happened on the Day of Pentecost in Acts 2, where three thousand people were converted in one day, we see the explosive dunamis of the Holy Spirit.
It’s all-to-easy to focus on the results of Pentecost and overlook how the disciples patiently persisted with Jesus’ instruction to wait until they received what was promised.
Waiting does not come naturally for most of us. It sure doesn’t come naturally for me. Additionally, our society has programmed us for instant gratification. When we are hungry, we use microwaves. When we wonder about something, we ask Google. When we want to travel, we book a flight.
We come by our impatience quite honestly.
Yet, God’s instruction to wait for the Holy Spirit dunamis remains the same.
The busyness characteristic of the American lifestyle actively works against the Christian journey.
Jesus teaches us that in order to see the explosive dunamis of the Holy Spirit, we must learn to patiently wait. In what ways might Jesus be calling you to be more obedient to his instruction to wait “until you are clothed with power from on high”?
Draw big clouds on a piece of paper or journal page. Look up scripture or religious quotes about "waiting," "dwelling," and "abiding" to write within your clouds.
Lord, we desire the explosive power of the Holy Spirit in our lives. Ignite our faith as we spend time with You. Help us wait on Your perfect timing. Guide us in the heavenly conversations we need to have with family, friends, neighbors, and strangers. Keep showing us in Your way in our spiritual journey toward heaven. Amen.