An Empowered Awakening

Acts 1:4-14 “And being assembled together with them, He commanded them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the Promise of the Father, “which,” He said, “you have heard from Me; for John truly baptized with water, but you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.” Therefore, when they had come together, they asked Him, saying, “Lord, will You at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?” And He said to them, “It is not for you to know times or seasons which the Father has put in His own authority. But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”

Now when He had spoken these things, while they watched, He was taken up, and a cloud received Him out of their sight.  And while they looked steadfastly toward heaven as He went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel, who also said, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand gazing up into heaven? This same Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will so come in like manner as you saw Him go into heaven.”

Then they returned to Jerusalem from the mount called Olivet, which is near Jerusalem, a Sabbath day’s journey.  And when they had entered, they went up into the upper room where they were staying: Peter, James, John, and Andrew; Philip and Thomas; Bartholomew and Matthew; James the son of Alphaeus and Simon the Zealot; and Judas the son of James. These all continued with one accord in prayer and supplication, with the women and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with His brothers.”

In the Book of Acts chapter two, the church was found in an upper room on the day of Pentecost. They were described as being in “one accord” when the promised Holy Spirit fell on them and empowered them to become bold preachers of the gospel message. The Spiritual utterance they displayed was debatably either other languages or tongues of angels. Whatever you choose to believe is not the point of this post. The point of this post is that Jesus charged them to tarry until filled with power from heaven so they could be His witnesses starting with their immediate surroundings but eventually reaching the entire earth.  It is my contention that we as the church of Christ have lost that cutting edge of power and authority and replaced God’s church growth plan with a variety of marketable systems of business growth tactics and psychology.

I’m not sure what the recent stats are, but about ten years ago I read some that claimed over 95% of the American church has never won another person to Jesus. Most church growth stats show that people are switching churches, but the overall church growth rate isn’t keeping up with the natural birth rate. My desperation is that the church has been either sleeping and or inoculated to the true gospel and we are currently failing at our commission to bring heaven to the earth. It is time for the church to wake up, shake off the sleep and apathy, and contend for the activation of God’s mighty power in each of our individual lives! My greater fear is that much of today’s Church has become satisfied with a spiritual language and the ability to give vague prophetic “horoscope” type words but have never really encountered on a personal basis the power of Holy Spirit baptism with fire!

There was the Welsch revival, and Azusa Street movement in the early 1900’s but I ask whether or not the majority of Christians have again drifted into the world’s system. Or possibly some wait for another person to take the place of Seymour or Evans the “founders” of those movements. My challenge is that we each take the initiative and press into all that God has for you, your church, your city. Call upon God for a present day awakening to hit, starting with self. My goal is not to criticize anybody’s lack of ability to demonstrate spiritual power, but rather to instigate a holy hunger within the hearts of every person everywhere for the manifestation of God’s kingdom on earth as in heaven. For His life and world changing power to sweep the globe starting here and now. Let us all get out of our heads, our minds our intellect and allow our hearts and spirits to connect with God almighty for a world healing transformational awakening that will not relent until our world is transformed into heaven on earth. Isn’t that what Jesus taught us to pray? Your kingdom come Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven?

The pattern of pressing into the power of God was practiced regularly by the early church, Acts 2,4,8,12 and 19 at least. As we read the whole of Acts 2 we see that 3,000 were added to the church through repentance and forgiveness of sins. Acts 5 we another 5,000 added as the church walks in miracle power and faith. Even in the midst of opposition and persecution the early church saw explosive growth demonstrated by conversions, deliverance from demons, healings and even resurrections. This was how Jesus lived, Paul lived, and it coincided with Jesus’ statement that those who believe in Him would see greater things happen than what Jesus did Himself. I eagerly say “Let’s get after it!”

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