Then he began to call down curses, and he swore to them, “I don’t know the man!” Immediately a rooster crowed. Then Peter remembered the word Jesus had spoken: “Before the rooster crows, you will disown me three times.” And he went outside and wept bitterly.’ Matthew 26:74-75
‘Then Peter stood up with the Eleven, raised his voice and addressed the crowd: “Fellow Jews and all of you who live in Jerusalem, let me explain this to you; listen carefully to what I say. ‘ Acts 2:14
The first passage listed above is an example of Peter’s response to danger before the Holy Spirit descends. The second text begins a long and bold sermon Peter preaches to the crowds after the Holy Spirit descends. At one point during his address, he tells the masses that they killed Jesus. The difference between these two snapshots is shocking. The presence of the Holy Spirit in Peter’s life changes so much about him. His address in chapter two is the first example of what a Jesus follower looks like when filled with the Holy Spirit. There is gravitas in his words, clarity, and conviction in his proclamation that is new in his life.
The question is, do we experience the Spirit’s influence on our lives? In our modern, scientific minds, there is a tendency to relegate the work of the Holy Spirit to the background. We may think ourselves to be more sophisticated than the primitive people written about in the Bible. Another question is worth asking: do you see evidence of God’s work throughout your life? Do you wish you saw more? If you do want to see more, like I do, could it be that we have neglected our interactions with the Holy Spirit?
As a very cognitive person who wants to understand and explain everything, I know how difficult it can be to engage with the Holy Spirit. I also know that, like any other life skill that doesn’t come naturally, learning is possible only when I lean into the unknown. One way you may practice is by setting a few alarms to remind you to pray today. When you go to pray, address your prayers to the Spirit. Ask him to help you know him and hear His still, small voice.
By Aaron Bjorklund