Summary: The glory of God, which was manifested among Moses and the Israelites and in the person of Jesus, now rests inside you and me.
I. Reminders of His glory
“When the day of Pentecost had come, they were all together in one place. And suddenly there came from heaven a noise like a violent rushing wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. And there appeared to them tongues as of fire distributing themselves, and they rested on each one of them” (Acts 2:1-3).
Immediately before His ascension, Jesus looked ahead to this day as He spoke of the promise of the Father that would come:
“Gathering them together, He commanded them not to leave Jerusalem, but to wait for what the Father had promised, ‘Which,’ He said, ‘you heard of from Me; for John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now’” Acts 1:4-5).
As surely as His glory had been manifest in the wilderness journey through a cloud by day and a fire by night, so also this visitation, though startling, was familiar.
God Initiates the Experience of His Glory.
Picture yourself as a young boy or girl traveling through the wilderness with Moses. Time and again, you observe supernatural phenomena that confirm God’s physical presence in your midst. A mysterious cloud settles on the tabernacle, and the Lord pervades it with His glory. In a similar way, the cloud burns with fire by night. You always halt your travels until the cloud or the fire lifts from the tabernacle (Exodus 13:21-22).
With each divine disclosure, you become increasingly aware of the tangible presence of the Lord among you. Day after day and night after night, when God’s glory moves, you move. When God waits, you wait!
Pentecost Principle: The Discipline to “Tarry”
“. . . tarry in Jerusalem, until you are endued with power from upon high” (Luke 24:49).
“Waiting” is not typically a human virtue, but just as the wilderness multitudes must wait on the glory to move, so also the upper room disciples must “tarry.” In many ways, the Greek word (Meno), translated “tarry,” is unlike our English word “wait,” which can often times denote “wasting time” as in waiting on a red light to change. To “tarry” is more accurately understood as to “long expectantly” much like a new father waits on news of his firstborn.
To “tarry” or “abide” is more of a relational term as the wilderness followers waited on God’s presence and the upper room disciples waited on the Holy Spirit. Might it be found true of us that we “tarry” often, waiting patiently, expectantly on a person—the cleansing, empowering Holy Spirit.
“But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength . . .” (Isaiah 40:31).
Pause and pray asking God to make it real!
Let’s stand for a moment and in groups of two or three, pray that we will learn to “tarry” and to yield to His Spirit.
“Father, teach me to wait; slow me down; quiet my soul; impassion my expectancy for Your visitation.”
II. The Story of the Glory
Throughout its pages, the Bible tells the story of God’s glory. The story begins with God walking and talking in the Garden with Adam (Genesis 2:15–20). Then, God is personally present with Abram, promising to birth a nation from his descendants, multiply them greatly, and deliver them from their oppressors (12:1–3; 15:1–16). On the back side of the wilderness, Moses spots a bush that burns but is not consumed. The glory of God is present in that bush (Exodus 3:1–6). Moses becomes the human leader of the Israelites as they escape from bondage in Egypt, but they are really led by the glory of God, which appears as a cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night (13:21, 22).
After much wandering in the wilderness and the occupation of the Promised Land under the leadership of Joshua, God’s people encounter Him for centuries in the wilderness tabernacle. Then King Solomon is allowed by God to build a lavish, more permanent temple.
Now imagine that the day of the temple’s dedication has arrived. As you watch God’s high priests carry the Ark of the Covenant into that most sacred of places, the Holy of Holies, the expectancy and reverence of the people proves contagious, and the tension mounts as you wait longingly to see what will happen next. Suddenly, the cloud from the wilderness fills the temple, signifying the presence of the Lord, and His glory permeates the place. The intensity of His holy presence forces you to prostrate your¬self before Him in worship and adoration as you rejoice in the midst of His glory once again (1 Kings 8:10, 11; 2 Chronicles 7:1–3).
“Let the Word of Christ dwell richly in you . . .” (Colossians 3:16).
Pastor—pause and reflect on a significant time when in your waiting before the Lord, His spirit strengthened and empowered you.