Summary: God has always required His people to advance, generally it is easier to retreat! God is calling Neighborhood Church to advance!
A FRESH ANOINTING
God has always required His people to advance, generally it is easier to retreat! God is calling Neighborhood Church to advance!
i.e. Remember the children of Israel at the Red Sea, the Egyptians were breathing down their backs, mountains on both sides and the sea before them. Were to go?
Years later their children faced a similar situation at the Jordan river. They had traveled up the eastern side of the river and were now ready to cross over into the promised land.
Then Joshua told the people, “Consecrate yourselves, for tomorrow the Lord will do amazing things among you. Joshua 3:5
I feel that our church is at a crossroads today. We are at a pivotal point in our history. We can continue to be a culturally successful church, by doing things that acclaim community recognition, OR, we can go beyond this and become a New Testament Church and move into the miraculous.
There is a big difference between a New Testament Church and a group of people who get together and enjoy fellowship.
A New Testament church is one that moves in the supernatural.
God wants us to be a church that will change our community, our county, our state, our nation, our generation.
I believe this is what God is saying to Neighborhood Church. He wants us to move under the leading of the Holy Spirit.
That is why any church who is moving the this dimension of God needs a fresh anointing.
i.e. Bread store, fresh bread, not yesterdays
I don’t want to be satisfied or to be living off the benefits of yesterday, I want to be moving ahead into what God has prepared.
I believe that we are living at the closing days of our civilization. You and I have seen the fall of communism, the unification of Europe, the beginnings of world wide revival. My friend, Jesus is coming
This gives us an urgency that we can no longer have church as usual. We can’t just meet to have a good time. We must do what God wants us to do.
Let’s look at how the church began. Turn with me to Acts chapter one. Look at vs. 6 So when they met together, they asked him, “Lord, are you at this time going to restore the kingdom to Israel?”
The disciples wanted to know Jesus’ plan. What was he going to do?
Let’s read on....He said to them: “It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by his own authority. vs. 7
God doesn’t always tell us what we want to know. This is what is going to happen!
But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” vs. 8
YOU WILL RECEIVE POWER
dunamis - translated here as power. It means more than strength or ability. It is power in operation, in action. Luke uses this word through out his gospel and here in Acts to include the authority to drive out evil spirits and anointing to heal the sick as two essential signs that accompany the proclamation of God’s word.
You are receiving power to enter the dimension of the miraculous.
Jesus also told his disciples: Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift my Father promised. vs. 4
Remember the old commercial for American Express: DO NOT LEAVE HOME WITHOUT IT
One of the things I hate to do is wait! It is very frustrating to wait. But I’ve noticed that as we are frustrated and wait on God, He lifts the frustration because we are waiting on Him.
Why do we need to wait on the Lord?
There is an element in each one of us that is only broken by waiting. As our flesh is broken the spirit of God within us blossoms. We begin to move in and by the Spirit.
Have you noticed when you walked in and by the Spirit? What a difference!
God give us a congregation that waits on you!
Notice vs. 14 They all joined together constantly in prayer.
Prayer was the top priority!
These first prayer meetings were notable for their inclusiveness. Jewish religious gatherings always separated the men and women. In contrast the apostles were joined by women who had followed Jesus, including his mother.
I love this, we include everyone, every kindred, every tribe, every nation!
As they prayed, they waited. 1, 2, 3, ..., 10 days.
Look at Chapter 2 When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. All were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them.