Where Is The Dove?
The rains finally stopped. Forty days and nights of constant rain seems like an eternity. Its absence left the atmosphere almost eerily quiet. Except for the hundreds of creatures bleating, calling, singing, snorting and roaring. Days, weeks and months were marked off on an inner wall, as the boat continued to be carried along. Eventually the rocking became less and less violent, and finally, the great boat came to rest. Noah opened the window but in every direction saw only water. Hoping dry land was close, he sent out a raven to look. Raven’s are quite intelligent, but this one forgot his assignment. The decaying floating buffet proved too much of a distraction. The raven didn’t return.
Seven days later, Noah sent out a dove, who promptly returned because he couldn’t find a clean place to rest. Noah waited another seven days and again sent the dove. It wasn’t long until the dove returned but this time it held an olive branch in its clutches. Hallelujah! The waters were truly receding. Another seven days passed and again Noah released the dove with instructions to go searching for a place of rest. The dove circled a few times and then headed off into the blue sky to never return.
Is it possible that this dove represents the Holy Spirit searching through history looking for a place to rest? It seemed he had found rest with Abraham but Abraham proved to be a liar. Moses certainly looked like the one. But, his inability to handle anger disqualified him. Surely, King David? After all, He is a man after God’s own heart? Alas, even he didn’t measure up as a resting place. An adulterer and murderer can’t permanently host the Spirit of Truth. The list goes on and on: Solomon, Josiah, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Asa, Jehoshaphat, Nehemiah, Daniel. A list of the greats but none could qualify as the place of rest. Would the dove be forever circling the Heaven’s with no resting place in the earth?
Years passed, and a man named John shook the status quo of Israel with his message of the coming One who would change everything. Thousands gathered to hear and go under the water. Then Jesus waded into Jordan’s muddy waters and insisted that John baptizes Him. Standing with Jordan’s water flowing from head to toe, a Voice thundered from the heaven’s and a dove descended and sat on HIs shoulder. John testified, “I saw the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove, and it remained upon Him. I did not know Him, but He who sent me to baptize with water said to me, “The One on whom you see the Spirit descending and remaining, this is He who baptizes with the Holy Spirit.” [John 1:32-33] The Dove found its true resting place! JESUS. Perfect God who became perfect Man. The Savior! And He who is the Baptizer with the Holy Spirit!
Throughout history, the Dove has rested upon various men and women temporarily, but He will only remain on Jesus. Click To Tweet
Throughout history, the Dove has rested upon various men and women temporarily, but He will only remain on Jesus. God’s desire for His people is for more than a temporary visitation of the Holy Spirit. Jesus said, “…He lives with you, but will be in you.” [Jn. 14:17] The blessing of Pentecost is that the God who is with us, now lives in us!
Now our calling is to learn to live in such a way that the Holy Spirit, the Dove, can consistently rest on Jesus in us. And that by His power, we can accomplish all He created us to accomplish and enjoy all He gives us. [Philippians 4:13]
True prayer and praise draw us close to the Lord in the process empties of us of self. No one who is full of self can be truly filled with the Holy Spirit Click To Tweet
How? The pattern we see leading up to the birth of the Church at Pentecost is valid for us today: 1.) We must cultivate a lifestyle of true hunger and thirst for more of God in our lives. 2.) We must prioritize prayer, and worship in our lives. True prayer and praise draw us close to the Lord and in the process empties of us of self. No one who is full of self can be truly filled with the Holy Spirit. 3.) We must believe enough to simply and totally obey. The Lord’s instruction to those first filled with the Spirit was to “…wait in the city of Jerusalem until you are clothed with power from on high.” [Luke 24:49] Of the five hundred who heard the instruction, only about one hundred and twenty believed enough to be there when the Dove descended to remain in the Church.
As we consistently practice these fundamental principles, we will be the people of the Dove. He will rest on us and in us and we will “be continually being filled with the Spirit.” Praise God! We won’t need to pray for a fresh Pentecost to come because the Pentecost blessing will be a continual happening in us! This is God’s design for the Church in the last days: His people, living in a sustained place of outpouring that will release His glory in the earth and prepare the way for His return. “…Even so, come Lord Jesus!” [Revelation 22:20]
We won’t need to pray for a fresh Pentecost to come because the Pentecost blessing will be a continual happening in us! Click To Tweet
Now our calling is to learn to live in such a way that the Holy Spirit, the Dove, can consistently rest on Jesus in us.