Our reflection today is from Billy Wilson.
The outpouring of the Holy Spirit on the Day of Pentecost as recorded in Acts 2 changed the church, and the church changed the world. The same has happened since the renewal of Pentecostal experience 100 years ago. Six hundred fourteen million people, or over 30% of all adherents to Christianity, are now Spirit Empowered (Charismatic/Pentecostal) according to the most recent Pew Forum survey.
Growth rates in this Empowered movement between 1910-2010 were nearly four times the growth rate of Christianity and the world’s population. Harvey Cox, a Harvard University professor, says Spirit Empowered Christianity is “the fastest growing Christian movement on earth.”
The immediate presence of God is longed for by this generation. As we face world problems and overwhelming human difficulties, God’s power will sustain us. Not only can we survive these tumultuous days on planet earth, we can be empowered to help others find the comfort we know in Him.
First Samuel 3 gives an account of Samuel’s calling. The high priest Eli was old. His eyes were growing dim and his spiritual perception was dull. The seven–pronged golden candlestick that was meant to burn day and night in the Holy Place of the tabernacle was burning out. The flame on the candlestick needed to be tended or it would go out, resulting in a deep, cold darkness in the place meant for God’s presence. Just before the fire burned out — before the candle grew cold, before the flame flickered for the last time — God CALLED!
“Samuel, Samuel!” Samuel misperceived the call as coming from Eli, from man. But the call continued until finally Samuel answered God’s voice and became a fiery prophet to his generation. The fire continued to burn!
God is calling for a new generation to experience His fire. The candle burns low in many parts of the world and the place meant for blazing passion has become darkened and cold. Samuel, or Johnny, or Sue, or Asmir, or Pablo — God is calling! Awaken to experience His fire and reach the world in the 21st century.
What is the Holy Spirit saying to you and me?
Pray for awakening across the globe so that the fire will not go out!
Ask for a renewed passion in your heart for the people and things of God.
Pray for spiritual ears to be open to God’s call, and that many will follow Him.
Wilson is president of Oral Roberts University (ORU) in Tulsa, OK. Prior to his election as president of Oral Roberts University, Wilson served as vice chairman for the ORU Board of Trustees. He has also served as executive director for the International Center for Spiritual Renewal in Cleveland, TN, and chair and executive director of the Empowered 21 Initiative. In addition, Wilson has served on various boards and committees, including the Mission America Coalition (Lausanne USA) Facilitation Committee, Pentecostal World Fellowship Advisory Board, and International Christian Embassy Jerusalem.
THOUGHT TO REMEMBER: You can’t change yesterday, but you don’t have to ruin tomorrow — Tony Evans