Tom Petty’s 1989 song Free Fallin’ refers to a boy who broke up with a decent girl, breaking her heart. As a result, a sense of guilt leads Petty toward a downward spiral, free falling into a state of depression. On the surface, many are great at hiding their pain, trying to stay cool or avoid unwanted attention. Yet, deep inside the average soul, hurt is accumulating day by day, searching for someone or something to elevate this weight.
In Acts 11:1-3, a similar burden was lifted from the church, opening the heavens for a spiritual free fall. Up until this point, Jewish law prohibited anyone in this faith to associate with Gentiles, especially partaking in unclean food according to Leviticus 11. However, angelic intervention, 2 visions and a message from God redefined a Jews perspective of impurity, Acts 11:8-10. Everything changed in Acts 11:15 as the Holy Spirit, fell upon the Gentiles in Caesarea.
According to the apostle Paul, God allows this to happen periodically, as He determines, 1 Corinthians 12:11. This spiritual free fall is for the common good of the church, 1 Corinthians 12:6, occurring throughout the book of Acts 2:4, 4:31, 10:44-46 and so on. Unfortunately, seminary’s, the school which trains future pastor’s, disagree with the book of Acts, claiming this was a momentary, supernatural out pouring of the Spirit, no longer active, ceasing to exist. This notion has caused many in the church to free fall, questioning the existence of God.
While I don’t have the answer or power to end this thousand year old debate, I do want to prevent future believers from free falling from the faith. If God can part a sea in the Old Testament and cause a dead man to rise from the grave after 3 days in the New Testament, why can’t the Holy Spirit free fall today to commence another spiritual awakening? Although, prayers shouldn’t treat God like someone going to a check out counter, Matthew 21:21-22 promises great things to those who believe. If you follow in the footsteps of George Whitfield, you might just experience another spiritual free fall.
by Jay Mankus