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Summary: A message on Pentecost using the symbolism of wind, fire and inspired speech to show us how the Holy Spirit works in and through us.

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SURVEYORS WERE SENT TO A REMOTE MOUNTAIN TO DESIGN A NEW MAP OF THE TERRAIN. EVERYDAY THEY WOULD GO UP AND OVER THE RUGGED HILLS AND EVERY NIGHT RETURN TO THEIR CAMP.

USUALLY EVERY NIGHT THEY WERE JOINED BY AN OLD SHEPHERD WHO ENJOYED THE COMPANIONSHIP OF THEIR FIRE AT NIGHT. THEY WOULD SWAP STORIES AND TELL OF THEIR DAILY ADVENTURES UP ON THE MOUNTAIN.

ONE EVENING, THE OLD SHEPHERD INSISTED THAT HE WOULD ACCOMPANY THE SURVEYORS THE NEXT DAY SO THEY WOULD NOT BECOME LOST.

FEELING FAIRLY SURE OF THEMSELVES AFTER SO MANY SUCCESSFUL TRIPS ALREADY, THEY ASKED WHY HE FELT THAT HE NEEDED TO GO ALONG. THE SHEPHERD QUIETLY REPEATED, "I MUST GO WITH YOU."

STILL PUZZLED, THE SURVEYORS AGAIN DESCRIBED THEIR MANY HIKES THROUGH THE MOUNTAINS AND THEIR FAMILIARITY WITH THE AREA.

YET AGAIN, THE SHEPHERD INSISTED, "I MUST GO WITH YOU FOR I KNOW THE MOUNTAINS LIKE THE BACK OF MY HAND. IF I DON’T GO YOU WILL BECOME LOST."

SOMEWHAT AGGRAVATED, THE SURVEYORS REPLIED, "WE NOW HAVE A MAP MADE OF THE AREA." THE SHEPHERD QUICKLY RESPONDED, “BUT THERE IS NO FOG ON YOUR MAP."

DESPITE THE SHEPHERD’S CLAIM THE TWO "EXPERTS" WENT UP THE MOUNTAIN EARLY THE NEXT MORNING BY THEMSELVES. SOON A THICK FOG ENCIRCLED THEM AND LED THEM ASTRAY. THEY WERE LOST!

THEY WANDERED LITERALLY ALL OVER THAT MOUNTAIN GROWING INCREASINGLY EXHAUSTED. SUDDENLY OUT OF THE FOG, THE SHEPHERD APPEARED BESIDE THEM AND LED THEM HOME, THROUGH THE FOG.

HOW MANY OF US CAN RELATE TO THIS STORY TODAY? WE FEEL SO SURE OF OURSELVES THAT WE ARE STRONG ENOUGH TO GO UP AND OVER THE RUGGED HILLS OF LIFE DAY AFTER DAY ALL BY OURSELVES. ALTHOUGH WE SOMETIMES CHOOSE TO GO AT IT ALONE THE HOLY SPIRITS GENTLE CALLS TO US, “"I MUST GO WITH YOU."

DESPITE THE HOLY SPIRIT’S PLEADING TO GO WITH US WE INSIST, LIKE THE SURVEYORS, THAT WE ARE ALL TOO FAMILIAR WITH THIS ROUTE WE ARE TRAVELING.

WE ARE DOING JUST FINE ON OUR OWN AND DON’T NEED ANY HELP WITH FORGING AHEAD, MARKING OUR OWN TERRITORY, AND MAKING OUR OWN “MAPS” TO CHART OUT OUR LIFE’S PATHWAY.

CONTINUING WITH THIS TYPE OF LIFESTYLE AND IGNORING THE URGENT PLEAS OF THE SPIRIT WE WILL ALWAYS FIND OURSELVES WANDERING IN CIRCLES LOST IN THE FOG.

THE GOOD NEWS FOR US TODAY IS THAT WE CAN BE THANKFUL FOR GOD’S GENTLE, GUIDING SPIRIT WHO WILL ALWAYS COME TO US TO DIRECT AND DELIVER US TO SAFETY!

OUR GUIDE AND COMFORTER THE HOLY SPIRIT DWELLS IN OUR PRESENCE AND IS UPON US TODAY. AS WE CELEBRATE THE DAY OF PENTECOST WE MARK THE COMING OF THE HOLY SPIRIT.

BECAUSE THIS IS A PROMISE OF JESUS CHRIST FULFILLED WE CAN NOW CELEBRATE THE TRINITY: ONE GOD IN THREE PERSONS!

BECAUSE THE WORKING OF THE HOLY SPIRIT COMPLETES THE TRINITY I WANT TO LOOK AT THE THREE SIGNS OF WORKING THAT THE SPIRIT DOES THROUGH US. THREE UNIQUE SIGNS OF WIND, FIRE AND INSPIRED SPEECH.

FIRST, THERE IS THE WIND. IN VERSE TWO, LUKE IS CAREFUL TO SAY THAT THE “NOISE” THEY HEARD WAS LIKE THAT OF A VIOLENT WIND.

THE THING TO NOTICE HERE IS THAT LUKE AVOIDS SAYING THAT THE WIND WAS BLOWING! SPIRITUALLY FELT AND NOT LITERALLY FELT.

THE GREEK WORD USED HERE OFTEN MEANS “BREATH” RATHER THAN “WIND.” LUKE EMPHASIZES THAT IT IS THE NOISE FILLING THE HOUSE NOT ACTUAL WIND.

WE CAN ALSO SEE THE SAME CONNECTION HERE WITH EZEKIEL 37:1-14, WHERE NOISE AND BREATH ARE AGAIN MENTIONED. IN THE EZEKIEL PASSAGE OF THE DRY BONES THE SPIRIT OF GOD BLOWS OVER THE DRY BONES AND FILLS THEM WITH NEW LIFE. DRY BONES SPRING TO LIFE BECAUSE OF POWER CONTAINED IN GOD’S BREATH!

THE SYMBOLISM FITS SO WELL INTO THIS CONCEPT OF THE HOLY SPIRIT BECAUSE OF THE NEW CREATION. THE WIND ILLUSTRATES THE MYSTERIOUS OPERATION OF THE SPIRIT IN EFFECTING NEW LIFE AND THE NEW BIRTH.

THE BREATH OF GOD THAT BREATHED LIFE INTO ADAM NOW BLOWS UPON US THROUGH HIS HOLY SPIRIT AT PENTECOST. BREATH IS LIFE!

WHAT LUKE IS SAYING HERE IS THAT THIS “SOUND LIKE THE BLOWING OF A VIOLENT WIND” THAT “CAME FROM HEAVEN” AND “FILLED THE WHOLE HOUSE” IS TO SYMBOLIZE THE PRESENCE OF GOD’S SPIRIT.

THE PRESENCE OF GOD’S SPIRIT THAT OPENS THE FLOOD GATES TO A MORE INTIMATE, PERSONAL AND POWERFUL RELATIONSHIP WITH ALMIGHTY GOD THAT IS ALIVE AND FULL OF LIFE! ALIVE, REAL AND PERSONAL! THE FIRST SIGN WORK THAT THE SPIRIT DOES THROUGH US IS WIND!

THE SECOND SIGN OF WORK THAT THE SPIRIT DOES THROUGH US IS FIRE! WHAT I WANT US TO REALIZE ABOUT FIRE IS THAT IS THE SYMBOL OF GOD’S DIVINE PRESENCE.

THE BURNING BUSH IN EXODUS 3, THE PILLAR OF FIRE THAT GUIDED ISRAEL BY NIGHT THROUGH THE WILDERNESS IN EXODUS 13, THE CONSUMING FIRE ON MOUNT SINAI IN EXODUS 24, AND THE FIRE THAT HOVERED OVER THE WILDERNESS TABERNACLE IN EXODUS 40.

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