Refocusing on the Awe of God
Monday began our first day of Vacation Bible School here at Pinnacle. The theme this year is Workshop of Wonders, and the children are learning about amazing things God does in science, games, crafts, music, and of course, Bible stories. The energy is palpable as the kids rush from one thing to the next, and you can feel the Spirit is moving.
Each day the kids learn a different aspect about God. Monday was Imagine with God where they learned that God has a great imagination and He gives us an imagination to do awesome things. On Tuesday, they learned about Ezra and his challenges to build the temple while they Build with God. Wednesday, they will Grow with God as they learn about the tiny faith of a mustard seed. Thursday is Work with God, where they learn about the work of Jesus’ miracles, like the feeding of the 5,000. Finally, on Friday, they will Walk with God on the Emmaus Road.
The days are full. We are all exhausted by the end of three hours of excitement, and yet the exhaustion does not overcome the energy. There is something moving this week across our campus. Something that can’t be explained by high-energy music and games, captivating Bible stories, or exciting hands-on crafts and experiments. It is something that can only be described in the same way that the disciples stood that day in the upper room on Pentecost - with the Holy Spirit’s fire filling each of them.
Pentecost is the day when the Holy Spirit moved across Jerusalem awakening people to faith. The Holy Spirit was a gift that was promised by Jesus so that God’s people could always communicate with God. Suddenly everyone could understand each other even though they spoke different languages. The people were confused by the loud sounds of wind and the fire shaped like tongues sitting on the peoples’ heads.
Too often we forget that we all walk around with fire resting on our heads because of all that is going on in our daily lives. Stress, work, family struggles, adventures, and challenges all seem to try to put out the fire within us. That is why weeks like Vacation Bible School are so important; because they remind us that the Holy Spirit’s fire dwells with us each day. It is the exhilarating feeling that God is powerful, in control and working. The challenge is learning to hold on to the mountaintop highs of weeks like VBS throughout the other 51 weeks of the year.
Often we think the answer is getting rid of all the stuff that tries to dampen our fire. But there is no way to ignore the challenges of life that pile up, because doing so would only make it worse. The only way to keep seeing the fire of the Holy Spirit with us is to do what the VBS experience does, which is to help us refocus our energies on what is really important…being in awe of God.
The Holy Spirit is with us each day and does amazing things - guiding us through decisions, teaching us about faith, walking with us through struggles. But to continue to be in awe we have to be willing to look for it and to ask for it.
We can do this in many ways, but I have two recommendations to try. First we have to try to be aware of the small, medium and big ways that the Holy Spirit is present…where have you seen the Spirit today? Did you see the Spirit at work when you were talking with a coworker, or in the hospital as you sat with your loved one? Did you see the Spirit in the car on the way to and from work, or maybe the Spirit spoke to you though your children? The Holy Spirit was working today - look for it.
Secondly, the Holy Spirit responds to our prayers to God. When we pray, God responds in some way. It isn’t always the answer we want and it isn’t always in the timing we want. But the Holy Spirit is with us in that answer. What have you been praying for? Where has the Holy Spirit shown you answers?
I pray the Holy Spirit awakens you today!