While Peter was still speaking . . . the Holy Spirit came on all who heard the message.
— Acts 10:44
One thing we learn from passages like this one in the book of Acts is that Peter and other believers did not create these moments. It was all the work of the Holy Spirit. Remember when we said earlier that Acts is all about the Holy Spirit? Well, we see the Spirit on full display here.
Peter and the others were simply led by the Spirit into these moments of pure awe. Who could have imagined the Spirit filling Gentiles so powerfully here that they began “speaking in tongues and praising God”?
We need to consider that if we try to create a certain kind of worship experience, or we aim for certain results by just following some model of doing church, we are relying on our own strength and understanding. But if we rely on the Spirit for direction, there is great power. It makes me smile that in this story Peter, who was a guy who liked to make things happen, had very little to do with the outpouring of power here. He was simply being a witness, and while he “was still speaking,” the Spirit of God came on the scene with life-changing power.
Surely there are times when we need simply to trust that God has a better idea or plan, and we need to be open to the leading and the power of the Holy Spirit. This is where awe resides.
God, too often I try to make things happen in my own strength and my creativity. Help me to trust that you have a better plan for your amazing work in people’s lives. Amen.