Getting Acquainted With Peter, 8: The Power of the Spirit
- Tuesday, July 06, 2004
The Holy Spirit Brings Passion
Some, however, made fun of them and said, "They have had too much wine."
Two years ago, six Christian journalists (including yours truly), a representative from Israel’s Ministry of Tourism, a tour guide, and one wacky Hebrew driver (who drove so fast I have yet to be afraid in any American taxi) sat in a restaurant on a darkened street in downtown Jerusalem, eating a scrumptious meal and recapping on the day’s events.
We’d gone down to the Dead Sea region, had reached the top of Masada, been indulged with mud treatments at the Hyatt Regency’s Spa, and had then ventured back to Jerusalem. This was the eighth day of our ten-day tour, and we were both blessed beyond words and tired beyond belief.
We were, as they call it, “punch drunk.” We laughed around the table as though we’d “had too much wine.” As we recapped all the fun we’d had during the trip and especially that day, tears poured down our faces. We doubled over in breathless rapture, attempting to calm ourselves but making a spectacle all the while. People about the restaurant looked at us as though we’d lost our minds.
Every one of us still claims that night as one of the most eventful of the trip. Oh, the JOY! The absolute JOY of being in the presence of the Holy Spirit, of other Christians who love the Lord as we, and of taking pleasure in life and all it is about.
Whatever we are called to do…travel to Jerusalem for the purpose of journalism or stay in Jerusalem for the purpose of receiving the Holy Spirit, He will bring to us a new passion! And it will be counted as joy by ourselves…whether the rest of the world understands it or not.
The Holy Spirit Brings Logic
Then Peter stood up with the Eleven, raised his voice and addressed the crowd: "Fellow Jews and all of you who live in Jerusalem, let me explain this to you; listen carefully to what I say. These men are not drunk, as you suppose. It's only nine in the morning! (2:14,15)
The church that Peter would establish in the name of Jesus begins with a sermon of logics. “Good heavens, guys! It’s only 9:00 in the morning! Who has had time to get drunk already?”
Notice that Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, did not pull a sword and cut off someone’s ear (as he’d done in Gethsemane), he didn’t run and hide (He actually shouted here!) nor did he defend God’s work within himself and the others with anger or an illogical argument. No. This new man Peter stated the obvious. It was too early for them to be drunk on wine; therefore it had to be more than this. It had to be…prophecy come to fruition.
The Holy Spirit Brings the Word of God to Mind
Peter immediately speaks from the Word of God.
Amos 3:7 reads: Surely the Sovereign LORD does nothing without revealing his plan
to his servants the prophets.
Yesterday, my granddaughter, in all the wisdom of a six-year-old who passionately loves the Lord, said to me, “Don’t you know that sometimes God does things for us and other times he just tells us what to do.” In a way, this is what happened here. But first, Peter had to know the Scripture. That’s God “telling us what to do.” God has already spoken very loud and very clear (not that I don’t believe He doesn’t still speak to His children today) through His prophets. Peter didn’t have to rewrite the Word; he only had to speak it.
Peter learned from the Master Himself. Remember the wilderness story in Matthew 4? When Satan tried to come against Jesus, He used the Scriptures to state His case against the lies that would attempt to stop the plans of God. God’s Word will not return void (Isaiah 55:11).
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