By Pastor Teresa Tay
There he came to a cave and lodged in it. And behold, the word of the LORD came to him, and he said to him, “What are you doing here, Elijah?“ (1 Ki 19:9)
When the day of Pentecost arrived, they were all together in one place. And suddenly there came from heaven a sound like a mighty rushing wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting. And divided tongues as of fire appeared to them and rested on each one of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance. (Act 2:1-4)
Many years ago I went through a time of burnout. For months I would attend church but soon as the service ended I made a beeline to the exit just happy to mind my own business.
One day I heard the Lord asking me the question, ‘Teresa, where are you?’
It did not cross my mind then to what was said so I responded, ‘What do you mean by that, Lord?’ I heard him said, ‘I have created you for a good purpose but yet you have hidden yourself in your own cave of self-pity.
I like you to come out of it and be the person I called you to be’. Then I said, ‘Lord I have been there and have done that and at the end of it all I was burnout, what more can I do?
Then the Holy Spirit led me to the period between of the time of Jesus’ death and onto the Day of Pentecost. Jesus disciples were filling both sorrowful and fearful at the same time and also uncertainty why their Messiah King was crucified and left them on their own.
However, when Pentecost Day came, everything suddenly changed.
The power of the Holy Spirit came upon the disciples and their eyes were opened and they understood why Jesus had to die on the cross so that the whole world be restored to the original purpose God had created mankind. From a state of hopelessness they became fearless and passionate disciples of the risen Christ. They became an unstoppable force for the cause of Christ. No amount of persecution or hardship could stand in their way.
Power of Devotion
At the upper room on Pentecost Day when 120 disciples gathered to pray a transformation had taken place. As I read the account of the early church the word devotion stood out. When we are devoted to something we put our heart and soul into it, we pursue it with passion. The disciples devoted themselves to fellowship, prayer and teaching. As a result the Lord added to their numbers daily and accompanied that with signs and wonders. None of this would be possible without devotion for the cause.
Why do we do church?
Church is a community of people inspired, equipped and empowered by the Word of God through the living Holy Spirit for worship expressed through good works.
Every Christian is a transmitter of the Good News, a transforming agent for all near and far.
Therefore doing church goes beyond being entertained like spectators but we ought to become the participants in the acts of God not only on Sunday but 24/7.
The experience of utter devotion to the cause by early Church is just as relevant today as it was then.
Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us, to Him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever. Eph 3:20-21
Let us first allow the Lord to touch our hearts with His love and compassion. After that we can express the same love and compassion for others. He will enable us to do far more exceedingly and abundantly than we could ever imagine.
The Lord is asking, ‘My son, my daughter, where are you today?
Perhaps you are hiding because of sin and the fear of condemnation.
Perhaps you are hiding in shame because of the past mistakes and wrongs.
Perhaps you are feeling hurt, discouraged and even burnout.
Have you hardened your heart and walked away from God?
And possibly you may be quite contented with living and to mind your own business thinking that you can do without the hassle and bustle that devotion to a cause may bring.
Whatever the reasons, I hear the Lord says, “Today, if you hear my voice, do not harden your hearts in rebellion.”
Let there be no hesitation in our heart today!
Jesus is waiting for us to come forward and say, ‘Here I am Lord’. Pray with me, “Lord, I have sinned against heaven and before you, please forgive me.
Be my Savior and my Lord that I may live this life anew with You. Amen.”.