The Pentecostal and charismatic revivals did not happen in isolation but as a continuation of all that God’s Spirit had been doing through the Church from ancient times. The gifts of the Spirit have erupted in various stages of church history.
With the revival outpouring on the heel of the Holiness revivals, Christ followers believed they were seeing the fulfillment of Joel’s prophecy (Joel 2:28,29) when God would pour out His Spirit on all flesh.
When revival broke out in Los Angeles in 1906, no-one then would have comprehended that its effect would still be circling the globe and growing in 2012. They were certain that the Lord was going to return very soon and that there was an urgency to be witnesses of Jesus to all nations before the Lord’s return. The Pentecostal and subsequent charismatic revivals have refused to stay within denominational, cultural or economic boundaries. This new tribe of compassion entrepreneurs saw the need to go where God would send.
For most early Pentecostals, speaking in tongues was associated with spiritual power and with an anointing to serve rather than spiritual perfection. Although diversity characterized their beliefs and theology (Pentecostals ranged from Wesleyan-holiness, to Reformed, and Unitarian), Pentecostals were centered on soul-winning and perceived politics and national events to be dangerous diversions. But early Pentecostals were also both prohibitionists and pacifists (many chose Conscientious Objector status during WWI), and the early Pentecostal churches often stood in opposition to the prevailing contemporary attitudes toward wealth, recreation, and dress.
The interracial aspects of the movement in Los Angeles were a striking exception to the racism and segregation of the times. The phenomenon of blacks and whites worshipping together under a black pastor seemed incredible to many observers. The ethos of the meeting was captured by Frank Bartleman, a white Azusa participant, when he said of Azusa Street, "The color line was washed away in the blood." Indeed, people from all the ethnic minorities of Los Angeles, a city that Bartleman called "the American Jerusalem," were represented at Azusa Street.[i]
Today it estimated that there are close to 600 million people who identify themselves as being Pentecostal and/or charismatic. [ii] “It is the second largest sub-group of global Christianity.”[iii]
The same Holy Spirit that raised Christ from the dead has come to dwell in you. It is entirely within God’s paradigm of normalcy for us to be filled with God’s Spirit. It is the plan of Jesus to fill you with the 3rd person of the Godhead.
We do not need to psyche ourselves into anything. We need to simply learn to wait in God’s Presence as the early believers did. They prayed, they worshipped and they waited until God moved.
Not surprisingly, the Presence of God is charged with His character and power. Have you been empowered by the Holy Spirit?
[ii] Barker, Isabelle V. (2005). "Engendering Charismatic Economies: Pentecostalism, Global Political Economy, and the Crisis of Social Reproduction". American Political Science Association. pp. 2, 8 and footnote 14 on page 8. Retrieved March 25, 2010.