Summary: God’s Holy Spirit is willing to fill every believer but sometimes Christians don’t know that God’s rich resources are available. Some people put their umbrellas up and therefore stay very dry whereas God wants to deluge them with his Spirit. If we’re open
It’s pouring with rain. Put your umbrella away!
In the 1920s Mr Ira Yates purchased a farm in West Texas in the United States. In many ways he was like a lot of other ranchers and farmers. He had a lot of land, and a lot of debt. He wasn’t able to make enough on his ranching operation to keep up with his monthly mortgage payments, so he was in danger of losing his ranch. With little money for clothes or food, his family (like many others) had to live on a government subsidy. Day after day, as he grazed his sheep over those rolling West Texas hills, he was no doubt greatly troubled about how he would pay his bills. In 1926, on a hunch, he invited a seismographic crew from an oil company to investigate whether there might be oil on his land. They asked permission to drill a wildcat well, and Ira Yates signed a lease contract. At a depth of 340 metres they struck a huge oil reserve. The first well produced 80,000 barrels a day. Many subsequent wells were twice as large and 30 years later the government tested one of the wells.
It still had the potential flow of 125,000 barrels of oil a day. Sixty years later in 1985 the one billionth barrel of oil was produced; and as at 2009 it was estimated that there are another 1 billion recoverable barrels of oil available; and Mr Ira Yates owned it all. The day he purchased the land he received the oil and mineral rights. Yet, he’d been living on government hand-outs. He had been a multimillionaire living in poverty. The problem was that he didn’t know the oil was there even though he owned it.
Are we anything like Mr Yates pre-1926? Do you know that God’s oil - God’s fuel - God’s Holy Spirit is available to you, ready to flow through you?
On the day Jesus was taken up in the clouds, taken up into the heavens, he said this: “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” (1:8).
God wants each of you to know him as Heavenly Father. He wants you to know his character and his forgiveness, as revealed in Jesus. God wants to do something that Christians sometimes miss out on. God wants to fill you with Himself. God wants to fill you, refill you, and going on filling you every day with his Holy Spirit so that you can point others to him.
Jesus was clear that the Father ‘will give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him’ (Luke 11: 11-13). If an earthly father knows how to give good gifts how much more does a perfect heavenly Father! He also told his disciples that a time would come when they would be arrested and brought before rulers and authorities. In other words, a time would come when they would be under severe pressure because of their faith but Jesus said – as he would say to us – “Do not worry about how you will defend yourselves or what you will say, for the Holy Spirit will teach you at that time what you should say” (Luke 12:12).
Do you ever get tongue-tied when you’re asked to explain what you believe? I do.
Do you sometimes walk away from conversations thinking: “I wish I’d said this, or I wish I’d offered to pray, or I wish I’d pointed them more to Jesus”? I do.
Do you long to see this community transformed? I do.
Do you long for the sick to be healed, for broken lives to be restored and for people to know Jesus better?
Do you sometimes feel tired or apathetic? I do.
Do you ever feel like your tank is empty? Do you ever feel like your battery is flat? Sometimes I do.
There was an occasion with our old Ford Mondeo when the petrol gauge was showing empty and the orange petrol light had been on for about 20 miles. I drove to the garage and to my dismay I couldn’t remove the petrol cap to fill my tank. It was stubbornly stuck and would not budge, and it needed my friendly car mechanic to free it up for me. Some of us need our tanks to be filled with but something is stuck.
As we celebrate Pentecost today – remembering when God first poured out his Spirit upon the early church – God so wants to resource, refresh, refine, re-energise and reboot us. When the believers were filled with the Holy Spirit for the first time they began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them (Acts 2:4). They declared the wonders of God in the native tongues of everyone within earshot (2: 5-11) because God gave them the words to say; and I believe that God still does that today.