Spectacular and Ordinary
They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them.
- Acts 2:3-4
God showed up in a spectacular way in today’s story: tongues of fire and tongues of witness. The followers of Jesus praying in that upper room received God’s Spirit and responded with boldness and courage, spilling out into the street with the good news about Jesus.
This would have been a remarkable and memorable experience. In their old age, these men and women would turn to each other and say: “Don’t you remember the day when fire rested about our heads and our very tongues burned to declare the wonders of God?” This story became a family story. A treasure.
But not every encounter with God is like this. In fact, very few of us have had spectacular encounters with God’s Spirit. And even for followers of Jesus who have had experiences like these, this isn’t what life with the Spirit looks like for them day-by-day.
God’s Spirit often meets us, guides us and empowers us in ordinary, non-spectacular ways.
Let’s not be so caught up by desires for spectacular encounters with God that we miss the ordinary ways he makes himself available to us day-by-day. Don’t complain that you aren’t hearing from God if you aren’t asking him for guidance or listening for him to speak. His shouting voice is no more meaningful than his speaking voice.
How might you position yourself to hear from God’s Spirit today? In what ways is God’s Spirit guiding and empowering you today? What are you doing today (or this week) in response to God’s guidance and depending on his support?