When the Spirit Moves
I’ve been a minister for nearly 30 years. My father was a minister. My father’s father was a minister. My godfather is a minister. Therefore, I’ve been surrounded, enveloped and involved in church ministry my entire life.
My father and his colleagues in ministry would pitch giant tents where they would hold major evangelistic revivals. They’d pitch a tent, set up some chairs, build a stage and preach for weeks upon weeks to invite people to accept Jesus as their Lord and Savior.
While tent posts were secured with ropes that were tied to iron stakes, terrible thunderstorms would routinely happen. Boisterous winds could potentially blow these posts down causing great harm to the tent itself and individuals underneath the tent.
Those windstorms remind me of another quite different, yet amazingly impactful gust of wind spoken of in Acts chapter two. The disciples had heard Jesus promise the coming of the “Comforter.” While many Jews were visiting Jerusalem the Bible says: “When the day of Pentecost had fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven, as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting.” Acts 2:1-2 (NKJV).
This wasn’t your typical windstorm. The Bible says that this was literally the Spirit of God physically moving into the building where the believers were. Their meeting was physically disrupted as the power and the weight of God’s presence filled the room. The Holy Spirit wasn’t simply making a mess, but the Holy Spirit was making messengers. Those in attendance spoke in foreign languages that they had never studied in school, yet they spoke fluently and others could understand them. Peter stood up and preached so movingly that 3,000 people were baptized in one day!
Peter reminded the people of God’s prophecy through Joel, “‘And it shall come to pass in the last days,’ says God, ‘That I will pour out of My Spirit on all flesh…’” Acts 2:17, Joel 2:28. These words echo what Jesus shared with Nicodemus in John 3:8, “The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear the sound of it, but cannot tell where it comes from and where it goes. So is everyone who is born of the Spirit.” (NKJV). When the Spirit moves, nothing will ever be the same. Your life will be changed forever.
I have seen windstorms do great damage to tents. I have even seen entire tents flattened by windstorms. Nevertheless, I have also seen hundreds and thousands of people listen to the Word of God being preached and the wind of God’s Spirit move on their hearts and minds and change their lives forever! In the Southwestern Union, I’m praying for a mighty move of God’s Spirit upon the 44 million people who live in this great territory – because when it does, countless lives will never be the same!
By Carlton P. Byrd, D.Min.