Daily Devotional 5-26-20

Preparing for the Promise
By Rev. Emmanuel Afful

They were at the Mount of Olives when this happened, so now they walked the half mile back to Jerusalem and held a prayer meeting in an upstairs room of the house where they were staying. Acts 1:12-13

One of the common narratives in the life of the disciples during the trial, crucifixion and death of Jesus was fear. For this religious minority group, who felt out of touch with their culture and society, hiding behind closed doors became a norm for them. Their world was shaken! They had nowhere to go. They were forced to take shelter and security in seclusion. The fear of not knowing what to do next, and the uncertainty of their safety with their Master being gone, induced fear in them. Hence, they hid in rooms. 

But on this occasion, they had gathered in the upper room not because of fear but faith. They had seen Jesus ascended to heaven. His ascension was going to pave way for the promise of the Holy Spirit to be fulfilled. The disciples transitioned from fear to faith as they anticipated the promise. Fear had its toll on them, but did not conclude their story. Their faith drew them together into prayer meetings in the upper room for the several days. They prepared their hearts for reception. I believe they prayed with all kinds of prayer. They prayed corporately, individually, sang hymns, etc. And, I strongly believe they examined their hearts as well. 

We, also, like the disciples have had a fair share of fear and worry in these days. We’ve self-quarantined for safety reasons and some are still living in fear and anxiety. But, I bring a word of encouragement this morning: we can turn our fear into faith, just like the disciples. I invite you to focus on the promises and character of God. The disciples could not wait for the promise with fear in the heart. 

Next Sunday, churches around the world will celebrate Pentecost. This is not just a celebration, but an event to embrace the Holy Spirit in fresh ways. Will you make your heart ready? Will you examine your soul, and ask the Lord to take away anything that stands in the way? What will it take for you to receive the power and love of God through the Holy Spirit again?

PRAYER: Help me, Lord, to set my heart on you, as I prepare to receive your power and love through the Holy Spirit.