So those who received his word were baptized, and there were added that day about three thousand souls. (Acts 2:41)
It is by the power of the Spirit of God that people are saved. That's why Jesus told his disciples to stay in Jerusalem and wait for the outpouring of the Spirit. Because they wouldn't be able to do anything on their own. But with the Spirit remarkable results were accomplished. About 3,000 souls were saved that day.
One of the things we fail to pray for is the outpouring of the Spirit in our lives. Jesus said that if we ask of the Father, he would happily give to us the Spirit. And yet, we pray more often for things—good health, good job, protection for our families, safe passage to and fro. Not that these are bad things. But if the very Spirit of God is on offer, why pray for something else? I exaggerate, but only to make a point.
I think the reason is because we are more children of this world than we would like to admit. If we're honest with ourselves (and I really am including myself here), we really just want to live comfortable lives free of difficulties and pains. Ease and entertainment have become our idols. And because of this bent, we look to God more as the great provider of stuff than the King of Heaven who's at war with evil and who is on a mission to bring heaven to earth. And then being right with God is more about doing what we have to do to get him to give us the stuff that we want.
But what he wants for us is so much more than that. He wants to draw us up into the great adventure of bringing salvation to the whole world. He wants us to be transformed the way Peter was—from denying Jesus in the shadows to proclaiming him from the rooftops.
But for that to happen, we have to die to ourselves, don't we? We have to die to the eases and comforts of this life, to stop prizing them as the deeper desires of our hearts. We have to learn to be fed as Jesus was—from the work of our Father.
This process begins with repentance. It begins with praying for the Spirit of God to fall on us richly.
Who are you praying for today?