Pentecost — O, what a day! What a lifestyle! Tongues!

On Pentecost, the Holy Spirit broke the bonds of religious control and energized the disciples to praise God like they were drunk. Cheers! (On Pentecost, Christ’s followers were so full of the Spirit, they spoke in languages they didn’t know and were thought to be drunk.)

Pentecost began to free the risen Christ from religious tradition. But tradition has fought back fiercely through the centuries.

On Pentecost, God disrupted religious protocol and took over the meeting by energizing everybody present to verbally praise Him! At the Tower of Babel languages divided people. On Pentecost hearing different languages brought people together in Christ.

People didn’t “attend” Pentecost. It wasn’t a “service.” It was active disruption of the status quo by the Spirit of God.

To “celebrate” Pentecost by hearing a sermon is like “celebrating” the NBA Championship by hearing a talk from the team historian. Since Pentecost was a move of God and not a religious program, perhaps Pentecost Sunday should be unprogrammed and Spirit-led.

Pentecost demonstrated that God’s Spirit can break out of man’s divisions and unite people in His supernatural power and presence. On Pentecost Peter had to explain to the visitors that the disciples weren’t drunk. Preachers today hope people don’t fall asleep.

The greatest sign that someone is filled with the Spirit is passionate obedience to Jesus and compassionate love for all. Speaking in tongues? If the very first Christians needed to do it, perhaps we do too.

Speaking in tongues flows from beyond both the mind and the emotions in what Jesus called “your innermost being.” For 48 years, I’ve spoken in tongues almost everyday. It immediately connects me with Jesus & fills me with awe for Him. Regularly praying in tongues is one of the most powerful tools for growing in Christ that I’ve ever experienced.

Speaking in tongues isn’t a rare thing. Most probably you know people who do, but unlike me, they may not tell you they do.

Speaking in tongues is a spiritual gift. It’s not learned or earned. It’s received by grace and faith. However, in many sermons about Pentecost, speaking in tongues is either ignored, discounted, limited to the past, or explained away.

Pentecost is a time to experience God’s fire, not to put it out with traditional, religious fire extinguishers. Be a live wire for Christ, always flowing with the shocking current of the Holy Spirit.

Let’s not commemorate Pentecost; let’s demonstrate it by letting the Holy Spirit disrupt our meeting, like He did in Acts 2. Pentecost shouldn’t be a “sit and listen” Sunday, but a fire-fall, everybody speaking, disruptive Sunday! Unfortunately, the structure of church often keeps the most passionate Christ-followers quiet.

Pentecost emboldened and revolutionized the first Christians. Don’t just commemorate Pentecost as religious history. Experience it!

About Steve Simms

I like to look and think outside the box. In college I encountered Jesus Christ and I have been passionate about trying to get to know Him better ever since. My wife and I co-lead a non-traditional expression of the body of Christ in Nashville based on open participation and Spirit-led sharing. We long to see the power and passion of the first Christ-followers come to life in our time. I have written a book about our experiences called, "Beyond Church: An Invitation To Experience The Lost Word Of The Bible--Ekklesia" that is available in Kindle & paperback @
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