“Paul entered the synagogue and spoke boldly there for three months, arguing persuasively about the kingdom of God. 9 But some of them became obstinate; they refused to believe and publicly maligned the Way. So Paul left them. He took the disciples with him and had discussions daily in the lecture hall of Tyrannus. 10 This went on for two years, so that all the Jews and Greeks who lived in the province of Asia heard the word of the Lord. 11 God did extraordinary miracles through Paul, 12 so that even handkerchiefs and aprons that had touched him were taken to the sick, and their illnesses were cured and the evil spirits left them.” Acts 19.8-12
When we think about what happened in Bible times, we often think how uncivilized these people must have been. I mean, no cell phones, internet, cars, engines, TV, electricity or running water as we know it. They had not discovered much of what we know in math, science, sociology and education. So when we hear about what was happening with the extraordinary movement of the Spirit, we discount that to a people who were uneducated, uninformed and not enlightened.
However, I would strongly disagree. I believe human nature has been brilliant in every generation, age and century. Not that we have always made good decisions with the knowledge we’ve been given, but the same God moving then is moving today. People can encounter the Holy Spirit in the same way they encountered him back then as in this age. Technology, advancement and information often prohibits the move of the Spirit as we discount the supernatural and believe in only things we can see, touch and create.
Paul was filled with the Holy Spirit and many people believed. In one location he spoke “boldly for three months, arguing persuasively about the Kingdom of God.” And whereas some became “obstinate” others believed. Then for another two years he preached so that everyone “who lived in the province of Asia heard the word of the Lord.” This is impressive. And whenever he touched handkerchiefs or aprons, these were taken to the sick and these items held power curing illnesses and causing evil spirits to leave. Talk about extraordinary!
Although we might be advanced in technology, we are far behind in the movement of the Spirit. I fully believe that what happened then, can happen now. If we turn to Christ, believe by faith, and trust the Spirit to do what God wants to do then we will see revival. If we hunger and thirst for righteousness, we shall be filled (Matthew 5.6).
So what’s preventing us from encountering God in our generation? The Asbury University outpouring showed us that when people genuinely hunger for God, they shall be filled. When we humble ourselves before the Lord, he will lift us up (James 4.10). “If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land,” 2 Chronicles 7.14.
Movements of God begin with the heart. How is yours? Are you ready for an extraordinary encounter with God?
“O Lord God, save our land. Rescue us from the penalty of sin and death. Help us see clearly the movement of your Spirit. Help us submit to your will and your ways. I praise you Lord for your goodness and your grace. Come now Holy Spirit and fill us with your power. I trust you God and lean upon your Word. For you are good and your love endures forever.” Amen