Friday’s Faith Forum: Drenched In The Spirit

This Sunday is Pentecost Sunday according to the Western Christian calendar.  It is the anniversary when God began to pour out his Spirit on all flesh as a demonstration that the his reign was at hand, that his crucified and resurrected Son, Jesus, was exalted at his right hand as Lord and Messiah.  What a joy to be, by the grace of God, a part of God’s kingdom.

In the sermon, in Acts 2:17-21, that the Apostle Peter preached on that first Pentecost Sunday, Peter quoted from the prophet Joel.  Here is what Peter quoted from Joel 2:28-32:

“‘In the last days, God says,
I will pour out my Spirit on all people.
Your sons and daughters will prophesy,
your young men will see visions,
your old men will dream dreams.
Even on my servants, both men and women,
I will pour out my Spirit in those days,
and they will prophesy.
I will show wonders in the heavens above
and signs on the earth below,
blood and fire and billows of smoke.
The sun will be turned to darkness
and the moon to blood
before the coming of the great and glorious day of the Lord.
And everyone who calls
on the name of the Lord will be saved.’

In vv. 17 and 18 the word “pour out” invokes the image of a massive rain storm.  In fact, one commentator describes it as a “torrential downpour” (Darrell L. Bock, Acts, 113).  This is part of the promise that is for all (cf. 2:39).  The idea is that we are to be drenched in the Spirit.

I was thinking about this the other day as I was sitting and watching a fountain outside a shopping center.  There is one sure way to be drenched in those fountain waters and that is to jump into the fountain pool and stand in the center of it.

There’s a lesson to be learned from this observation.  If you are like me, then you certainly don’t always feel as is you are drenched in the Holy Spirit and your life doesn’t reflect it (at least not on the inside that is hidden to everyone except you and God).  Yet there are ways of jumping in and drawing near to God, so that it is like we are standing in the center of the fountain being drenched by the outpouring of the Spirit.  Typically, such ways include the disciplines of prayer, scripture reading, contemplation, etc… (for a good beginning read on this see  Richard J. Foster, Celebration of Discipline).

God has offered us the gift of his Holy Spirit.  He wants to drench us in his Spirit. Does that not sound so refreshing?  I hope this post might encourage us to pursue those disciplines that will take us to the center of the fountain that flows freely without end.

Questions:

  • What sort of thoughts are triggered within you as you think about God pouring out his Spirit like a torrential downpour?
  • What sort of disciplines have you tried practicing in your life so that you can draw near to God, as though you were standing in the center of a fountain?
Advertisements

2 responses to “Friday’s Faith Forum: Drenched In The Spirit

  1. back in the seventies I used some ‘visualization’ techniques recommended by Foster in Celebration of Discipline. The Holy Spirit opposed it; there was also a stream of thought in ‘deeper life’ evangelical circles that visualization was to be opposed, being more of shamanistic origin. It is also the case that the unvarying tradition in Orthodoxy opposes visualization. The way into the stillness of the Presence of God, is much more about repentance, and practice of the presence of God in prayer, than in technique.
    Foster is a Quaker and neglects the classical disciplines of Holy Communion, Confession before the Church, the anointing with Oil in chrismation….the ecclesial things that Unite the Body of Christ corporately to the inner, mystical, Holy Spiritual aspects. We are saved by the whole Christ, Body and Spirit, and so, Fosters crypto-monophysitism must be balanced by those things that are called the “Mysteries” in Orthodoxy, or “Sacraments”, in Catholicism. The whole of the disciplines that Foster iterates find their proper context only in their focus on the week by week preparation for Eucharist, Communion. Afterwards the Bread that is broken is cast out upon the waters…..

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s