When Sherl and I took our recent trip to Kentucky we had the pleasure of driving Brett and Kirstin’s Ford Escape. It is the “Platinum Edition” which included a number of features that made our long trip more comfortable and economical than driving our Pathfinder.
After several hundred miles on the road, loading, and unloading at different stops, and a few meals in the car you can imagine the car could use a good cleaning? Right! So after returning home we stopped at our new local car wash for a thorough cleaning. The car wash includes free vacuum machines with a motor so powerful it operates at least a dozen nozzles!
There was a nozzle on each side of the car so Sherl and I both attacked the stray popcorn, corn chip particles, cookie crumbs, and other unidentifiable debris that had accumulated on the carpet and upholstery. I did notice however that the machine was generating a whole lot more noise than suction being produced and that Sherl’s nozzle was much more effective in one pass than mine, so I decided to investigate the problem. I pulled the nozzle off the hose and pointed it towards the light. Immediately I could see the problem. The tube was filled with obstructions. I couldn’t tap or pull them out but when I flipped the nozzle backward and allowed the powerful vacuum to pull on it from the reverse direction, the obstruction disappeared and my nozzle was just as productive as Sherl’s on the other side of the car.
On the day of Pentecost, Jesus poured out a cleaning agent so powerful that the enemies of the gospel said at one point that those under its influence “turned the world upside down”. I am speaking of course about the Holy Spirit. The apostles had experienced some of His influence and power in their lives but after Jesus ascended the “fullness” of His presence was available. To receive that fullness and be effective channels for the Spirit’s working all obstructions needed to be removed.
Acts 1:14 says “All these with one mind and one purpose were continually devoting themselves to prayer.”-Amplified Bible. For ten days before the Pentecostal outpouring, Jesus' followers united “with one mind and purpose”. That is a miracle of God’s grace in this story. But there was another miracle before that! As I read the gospels it looks to me like the only thing the disciples were of “one mind and one purpose” about was that Jesus was the Messiah and that they should make Him king. Somehow during the ten days, they found unity!
What kinds of prayers do you think they were praying? Simply asking for the Spirit over and over again? Obstructions had to be removed for the power to flow through them. Perhaps the Lord reminded them of their proclivity to be “the greatest” (Luke 22:24) in contrast with Jesus' willingness to take the lowest position. Maybe they were convicted about their slowness to believe all that the prophets had spoken (Luke 24:25) and they were confessing and repenting of this as well as their unbelief and running away from Jesus when He was arrested. (Mark 14:50).
The book Acts of the Apostles on pages 36 and 37 describes several attitudes and actions of the disciples during that ten-day period. Here are a few:
“Putting away all differences, all desire for the supremacy, they came close together in Christian fellowship.”
“how sincerely they sorrowed for having ever grieved Him by a word or an act of unbelief!
They were cleaning out the nozzle during those ten days friends! They were repenting. In the same way that I cleaned out the nozzle. I couldn’t shake out the obstructions but when I turned the nozzle around and accessed the power of the vacuum the obstruction was removed. That’s what repentance is, a turn-around, a 180, but it is also a gift! We can’t repent unless we receive it from Jesus but He will gladly give it if we seek Him in prayer for it. (Acts 5:31). From this personal experience Peter boldly explained to those convicted by his preaching on the day of Pentecost how they too could receive the Holy Spirit:
"Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. Acts 2:38 -NKJV
How about you friend? Are there obstructions preventing the flow of the Spirit in your life?
There is power from above to remove those obstructions if you are simply willing. - Pastor Mike