It's not pleasant when the power goes off, especially at night. I sleep with a CPAP machine because of sleep apnea. Without electricity to produce the positive air pressure, the nose piece actually makes it more difficult to breathe, rather than easier.
I always know immediately when the power stops.
God's Holy Spirit is the power for transformation in a person's life. Without God's Spirit filling us with God's power, we are left to our own efforts to be a good person. Without the Presence of Jesus in our lives we are left to practicing religion - doing our best to live a life that pleases God. And if there is one thing life has taught me, it is that in my own strength I fail miserably to live a holy life.
The Holy Spirit is the personal Presence of the triune God. God is Father, Son and Holy Spirit in one being. The Holy Spirit is not some disembodied Force in the universe. The Holy Spirit is Jesus, living in our hearts. The Holy Spirit is the Father, shaping our lives to be like His Son. When I experience the Holy Spirit speaking to me in that quiet, inner voice it is the Living God who is speaking. When the Holy Spirit stops me in my tracks before I say something that would hurt another person, it is Jesus who is guarding my lips.
I was 15 years old when I asked Jesus to come into my life and forgive my sins in the quiet of my bedroom, kneeling on the floor beside my bed. I do not remember tears or speaking in tongues or hearing the audible voice of God that night. I remember being flooded with peace. In my mind and heart I knew I had been forgiven and my life belonged to God in a significantly new way. Something new happened in my life that night. Something holy. Something powerful. Something transformational. I've never been the same since.
That something was the coming of the Holy Spirit into my life to begin the work of sanctification - the work of rooting out sin and growing the Fruit of the Spirit in my life. Jesus came to live in my life, and He came in the form of the Holy Spirit. And He has never left.
I have had many times since I was 15 that I asked God to fill me more full of His power and His love. I have asked Him to guide and direct my life. I have committed my life to Him in repentance and consecration, holding back nothing. And I have experienced the growing Presence and impact of the Holy Spirit in my life. I wish I could say I have stopped sinning, but that would be a lie. But I have grown to become more like Jesus. And I know as surely as I am sitting at my desk typing this that it has not been my own power or strength that has made that transforming change in my life.
The thing that changes everything is the power of God, present in our lives as His Holy Spirit. And the Holy Spirit of God produces change in our lives. The Spirit of Jesus fills us with love. The power of God moves us toward holiness of heart and life.
Pentecost changed everything. On the day of Pentecost - a Jewish festival seven weeks after the Passover that celebrated the spring harvest - God poured out His Holy Spirit upon the believers who were waiting in prayer in Jerusalem as they had been instructed to do by Jesus just before He ascended to heaven. And God has been pouring out His Holy Spirit in the lives of willing believers who seek to live for Him in love and obedience ever since.
God moved from the throne room of heaven to sit on the throne of their lives - and of the lives of all who have invited Jesus to be Savior and Lord. On Christmas, God became personal, living among us in flesh and blood. On Pentecost, God became intimate, living within us to change our lives.
I hope you are experiencing the personal transformation of God's Holy Spirit working in your life. We do not have to try to be religious on our own. We do not have to work hard to make our lives holy. God will work transformation in us as we welcome the work of His Holy Spirit - the Presence of Jesus - in our lives. And the transformation is glorious!
Happy Pentecost Sunday!