Summary: Nothing is more embarrassing or dangerous than believers running out of fuel on the Holy Spirit.
No Reason to Run Out
Have you ever run out of gas? It can be embarrassing. It can be inconvenient. Your driving down the road on a mission to get somewhere, then your car starts to stutter and stall, and then just gives out. You pull over to the side of the road, hoping and praying that there is a gas station within walking distance.
Nothing is more embarrassing or dangerous than believers running out of fuel on the Holy Spirit. I have especially noticed this right after people come back from camp, retreat, revival, or conference. They come back on fire and ready to charge into hell with water guns blazing to conquer the world for Christ. Then just a few weeks or months later they are stalled out on the side of the road.
Here in our text this morning the believers in the Book of Acts learned quickly the lesson of needing a refilling. Time had passed since Pentecost and the great initial experience. As they have gone about the business of living Christian lives, much spiritual fuel has been expended. They recognized their need and came to the right place for help.
I. They were Pulling a Heavy Load
a. They did not take the blessings of God and hold onto to them selfishly (Acts 3).
i. Peter and John heal the crippled beggar at the Temple gate, (Acts 3:6).
ii. The early believers were passing on to others what God has given to them.
iii. They shared the Good News.
b. They were standing firm in the face of stiff opposition.
i. Look at Acts 4:1-10, “As they were speaking to the people, the priest and the captain of the temple guard and the Sadducees came up to them, being greatly disturbed because they were teaching the people and proclaiming in Jesus the resurrection from the dead. And they laid hands on them and put them in jail until the next day, for it was already evening. But many of those who had heard the message believed; and the number of them came to be about five thousand. On the next day, their rulers and elders and scribes were gathered together in Jerusalem; and Annas the high priest was there, and Caiaphas and John and Alexander, and all who were of high priestly descent. When they had placed them in the center, they began to inquire, “by what power, or in what name, have you done this?” Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit said to them, “Rulers and elders of the people, if we are on trial today for a benefit done to a sick man, as to how this man has been made well, let it be known to all of you and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ the Nazarene, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead – by this name this man stands here before you in good health.”
ii. When your pulling a heavy load, like they were, it takes a lot of fuel.
c. It takes a lot of spiritual fuel to keep going in our world.
i. The more danger we are to Satan, the more opposition we will receive from him.
ii. Take courage when he opposes you.
1. He is afraid of your influence.
2. But also, it shows that you are on the right course.
3. On that same note, if Satan is not opposing you, then you have probably already run out of fuel or are driving down the wrong path.
II. They Realized Their Need for God’s Strength
a. These believers were aware of their need for God’s help.
i. Look there at verse 29, “And now, Lord, take note of their threats, and grant that Your bond-servants may speak Your word with all confidence.”
1. They did not ask God to remove the problem, but to enable them to face it and conquer it.
ii. If God removed their pressure, they would have no need of His presence within.
b. These believers had proper priorities (v. 30)
i. They could have accomplished something on their own but needed Him to make an impact.
ii. They understood that if God was not at the top of their priority list in every aspect of their life, they would not make it.
iii. Because their priorities were in the right place, they became His channels of blessing to a struggling world (v. 33)
“And with great power the apostles were giving testimony to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and abundant grace was upon them all.”
III. God Responded to their Request (vv. 31-33)
a. It was just like Pentecost again.
i. God is not limited to a particular time or place.