And when they had prayed, the place where they were assembled together was shaken; and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and they spoke the word of God with boldness. (Acts 4:31)
Have you seen God answer prayer? I hope you have. I certainly have seen God answer many prayers. But I have never seen an answer to prayer like we read about in Acts 4:31. When the disciples prayed, asking God to give them boldness and continue His work, then the place where they were assembled together was shaken. God gave them an earthquake as a unique sign of God’s pleasure. We don’t know the extent of the shaking. Maybe it was felt in the whole city, maybe just in the neighborhood, or maybe it was just in the place where they were assembled.
The walls of the room they met in were not alive, yet God shook them! The walls responded to the power of the Holy Spirit, yet those walls didn’t change, nor did that become a special holy place where the Spirit of God always dwelt. In a similar way, a person can be shaken by the Holy Spirit without being transformed or indwelt by the Spirit of God.
The shaking walls were amazing, and long remembered. Yet, there was something even more powerful that happened that day: they were all filled with the Holy Spirit. Don’t miss those words: they were filled with the Holy Spirit, again. The experience they all had on Pentecost in Acts 2 was not a one-time experience. When you read the Book of Acts from the beginning to this point, we see that for Peter, this counts as the third time he was specifically said to be filled with the Holy Spirit.
I believe in the baptism of the Holy Spirit – the Bible tells us of this work of God in the believer. But the idea that there is only one time a believer can be filled with the Holy Spirit, and that Baptism of the Holy Spirit is that one time – that idea is wrong. Believers can have a wonderful and first yielding to the Spirit’s power. We must be continually filled with the Holy Spirit, and make our “immersion” in Him a constant experience.
Their filling of the Spirit was not the only answer to prayer. They prayed for boldness in Acts 4:29, and Acts 4:31 says, they spoke the word of God with boldness. Their boldness was a gift from God, received through prayer. It was not something that they tried to work up in themselves.
One commentator noted that the idea behind this word for boldness is “telling it all.” They spoke the truth and didn’t keep anything back.
We need more of this boldness today! we need to tell it all. We sometimes deliberately hide the work of God in our life from others who would actually benefit from hearing about it.
Today, pray for more Holy Spirit boldness in your life, and by faith receive it.