“Now, when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart and said unto Peter and to the rest of the Apostles, ‘Men and brethren, what shall we do?’ Then Peter said unto them, ‘Repent and be baptized every one of you in the Name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit’.”
Like the movie Field of Dreams, if we prepare it, He will come.
A pricking always precedes a pouring for a vessel must be readied to receive before the pouring begins. Saul of Tarsus was thoroughly convinced he was in the center of God’s Will until that day he met the Risen Lord on the road to Damascus (Acts 9:1-9). Yet, it was that miraculous encounter with Christ that pricked him in his conscience, causing him to realize he’d actually been working against God rather than walking with Him.
Conviction of sin always brings a pricking of the conscience. Like Saul and those who heard Peter’s sermon on the Day of Pentecost, we realize how terribly we’ve sinned against the Lord, causing us to cry out in desperation, “Men and brethren, what shall we do?”
King David knew full well God’s “washing from iniquity and cleansing of sin. . .the inward purging and hearing of joy and gladness. . .the creating of a clean heart and renewing of a right spirit within. . .and restoration of the joy of His salvation. . .can only come through a broken and contrite heart” (Ps. 51:2, 7-12, 17).
Thus, the question is: Where is the Holy Spirit pricking you today, Pilgrim?
What areas in your thought life are in opposition to “the mind of Christ” (Phil. 2:5), causing you to be “conformed to the world” (Rom. 12:2)? What type books are you reading or shows are you watching that are filling your heart and mind more with the world than God?
What “secret sins” are you harboring in your heart that are grieving the Holy Spirit? Jealousy? Envy? Resentment? Bitterness? Hatred? Unforgiveness? What things are you doing that you know are wrong, causing you to feel condemned and accused?
If you’re a child of God, there’s a need to return to your Beth-el where you first met Him (Gen. 28:10-22; 35:1); however, you cannot do so until you “put away the strange gods that are among you by coming clean and changing your garments” (Gen. 35:2). God will not “pour out His Spirit” upon full or unclean vessels.
“Men and brethren, what shall we do?”
That’s the question asked by those “pricked in their heart” that day—and it’s the question that desperately needs to be asked in these last days. Almighty God is wanting to move in a mighty way across our world one more time before it’s eternally too late. Are we willing to help Him do so? Spend some time even now asking the Lord to “search your heart and mind and reveal anything in your life that’s hindering Him” (Ps. 139:23-24). Then, confess those things to Christ and turn from them. Repenting always precedes receiving. . . and heartfelt penitence always precedes Holy Ghost pouring. Come to Him now.
By Tom Smith Morning Manna Dated August 30, 2009