"Better for us to obey God than men!" —Acts 5:29
The Holy Spirit is given to those that obey God (Acts 5:32). Additional movements of the Spirit are given to those who obey God in greater ways. The experience of Jesus' disciples illustrates this principle. They obeyed Him by devoting themselves to constant prayer for nine days (Acts 1:14). Then they received the Holy Spirit at Pentecost. Before they received the Spirit a second time (Acts 4:31), they obeyed the Lord to a much greater degree. "They devoted themselves to the apostles' instruction and the communal life, to the breaking of bread and the prayers" (Acts 2:42). "Those who believed shared all things in common; they would sell their property and goods, dividing everything on the basis of each one's need" (Acts 2:44). Before a third wave of the Spirit came, they obeyed to the point of being arrested, having been "judged worthy of ill-treatment for the sake of the Name" (Acts 5:41). Before the next wave of the Spirit, Steven obeyed to the point of giving up his life for Jesus and becoming the first martyr.
The Holy Spirit is not rationed (Jn 3:34) but given lavishly (Ti 3:6). The waves keep on coming to those who keep on obeying in ever greater ways. Do you want a new wave of the Spirit? In what way will you obey the Lord as never before? The Holy Spirit continues to be given to those who obey God — more.
Prayer: Father, I will obey You even to death and the cross, and therefore be exalted (see Phil 2:8-9).
Promise: "Whoever believes in the Son has life eternal. Whoever disobeys the Son will not see life; but must endure the wrath of God." —Jn 3:36
Praise: Bill was downhearted over the results of an election. His brother prayed with him over the phone and witnessed to him about the gifts of the Holy Spirit. Bill then began to pray in tongues for the first time right there on the telephone.
Nihil Obstat: Reverend Robert L. Hagedorn, November 9, 1996
Imprimatur: †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, November 15, 1996