Correct Filling Focus
The happenings on the Day of Pentecost spoken of in Acts 2 must have been exciting. The little band of 120 believers were gathered in the upper room (see Acts 1:15) just days after some of them actually witnessed Jesus ascend to Heaven. They were waiting because Jesus had given them a direction and a promise. Acts 1:4-5 says, “…He commanded them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the Promise of the Father, ‘which,’ He said, ‘you have heard from Me; for John truly baptized with water, but you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now’” (NKJ).
So there they waited and Acts 2:2-4 picks up the narrative:
- And suddenly there came a sound from heaven, as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. Then there appeared to them divided tongues, as of fire, and one sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance. (NKJ)
In our churches today, we tend to get hung up on the connection between being filled with the Spirit and speaking in tongues. Let’s get the correct focus on the filling. The miracle was not so much with speaking as it was with hearing. The focus of this passage is sound.
- Acts 2:2 says “suddenly there came a sound from heaven…”
- Acts 2:6 says “when this sound occurred, the multitude came together, and were confused, because they heard them speak in his own language.
- Acts 2:8 says the people asked, “How is it that we hear, each in our own language in which we were born?”
- And then the crowning point is in Acts 2:11 when the people hearing testified to what they were hearing. “We hear them speaking in our own tongues the wonderful works of God.”
The correct focus on being filled with the Holy Spirit is not in the speaking, but in the hearing. Every time someone in the Bible is filled with the Holy Spirit, the ultimate point is not the speaking, but the hearing of the testimony pointing to the wonderful works of God. Every time people in the Bible were filled with the Holy Spirit, they didn’t speak in tongues, but they did speak, and what they spoke were words heard by those around – words that pointed the glory to God, pointed to His mighty deeds, and pointed the hearers toward Him.
Even today, the proof that we are filled with the Spirit is in what others hear through both our words and our lives. Everything about our lives should be speaking of the wonderful works of God. Let’s be mindful of what others are hearing when they encounter us today.
©2010 Sharon Norris Elliott. Feel free to forward this devotion in its entirety, including this copyright line. Leave comments, ask questions, read past devotions, or subscribe to receive these devotions daily in your e-mail at www.sanewriter.wordpress.com.
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