Daring to Say Yes!

Louise Essam

With Pentecost approaching I’ve been looking at the passage in Acts 2 where the Holy Spirit appeared on the apostles like fire and they spoke in many languages. I’m sure you’ve read it. I’d love to do an in-depth exegesis of the passage here but that would require much more Scriptural knowledge than I currently possess, so I encourage you to go and seek that out elsewhere.

However, I have been reflecting on the passage in the light of a couple of recent sermons delivered at my church. We’ve been talking about obedience to God. We’ve been talking about how God doesn’t only want us to profess our love for Him out of emotion, but also pair that with an expression of love through our actions.

A wise person once said (I think it was Joy Dawson) to say “No, Lord” is a contradiction. If Jesus really is Lord (ruler, leader, authority, in charge) of our lives then we can’t say ‘no’ to him and still call him ‘Lord’.

In the context of the arrival of the Holy Spirit on the apostles in Jerusalem I was thinking about how we are astounded at Holy Spirit’s power and the amazing miracles seen under His power, but they only happened because the apostles said ‘yes’ to Holy Spirit. They made themselves available to Him through obedience to Jesus’ command to wait in Jerusalem until Holy Spirit arrived (Acts 1:4-8). Their actions said ‘yes’.

It’s possible to quench the Holy Spirit, you know (1 Thessalonians 5:19), to put him out or stop Him working fully, by saying ‘no’ to Him. God is all-powerful but we do still have a choice to partner with Him. Sometimes it’s scary to say ‘yes’ because God wants to do something outside our human nature – maybe it will be embarrassing or uncomfortable (like speaking in a language you don’t know – what if you end up speaking gobble-dee-gook?); people thought the apostles were drunk! But if we trust Him to know what’s best we could see amazing things happen – like 3,000 people coming to faith, like at the end of this story, and the start of a whole movement of believers living a new lifestyle together.

So the question is, do you/I/we DARE to say ‘yes, Lord’ when God is speaking?

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