Then Peter stepped forward with the eleven other apostles and shouted to the crowd, “Listen carefully, all of you, fellow Jews and residents of Jerusalem! Make no mistake about this. These people are not drunk, as some of you are assuming. Nine o’clock in the morning is much too early for that. No, what you see was predicted long ago by the prophet Joel:

‘In the last days,’ God says, ‘I will pour out my Spirit upon all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy. Your young men will see visions, and your old men will dream dreams. In those days I will pour out my Spirit even on my servants—men and women alike—and they will prophesy.’”Acts 2:14-18 (NLT)

It must’ve felt sooo surreal to him…

Here was Peter, witnessing a move of God so foreign and so unexpected, that skeptical onlookers just assumed the crowd was drunk. Yet, they were not drunk. (After all, it was only 9am as Peter so gently reminded them.)

No, instead these people were experiencing a sudden rush and outpouring of the Spirit!

But that wasn’t the surreal part.

What was surreal was the fact that Peter recalled what was previously prophesied and recorded in Joel 2:28-29 and immediately made the correlation to what was taking place in his present day! 

Peter, like other young Jewish boys in his day, would’ve studied the Old Testament Law and Prophets and committed these texts to memory. For centuries, these sacred words were remembered, recited, and repeated to generation after generation just as they were instructed to do (see Deut. 6:6-9 for reference).

All those years of study, memorization, repetition paid off when Peter witnessed first-hand the outpouring of the Spirit that God promised hundreds of years prior.

I find this moment so compelling and intriguing because there was no way Peter would’ve been able to make this connection had he not been engaged in the Scriptures. It was his study of God’s Word that increased his awareness of, and prepared his heart for, the work and ministry of the Spirit.

Finding the Holy Spirit in Scripture

From the Old Testament to the New Testament, the pages of scripture are filled with references, insights, and works of the Holy Spirit. There is so much depth and richness to be gained in your relationship with the Holy Spirit; all that’s required is you search for Him in the Word.

And here’s the kicker:

We have greater access to the Scriptures and the Spirit than Peter did in his day!

At any point, you can search the Scriptures on your own, on your computer, and even from your phone. If you’re not sure what to read, you can find a reading plan. If you’re unsure of the answer to a question, or how to interpret a specific passage, you can simply Google an answer. And if you’re looking for support in reading the Scriptures, it’s as easy as joining a group with other believers.

Despite this level of ease and access, too many Christians neglect the study of God’s Word. It’s no wonder they struggle to see or understand who the Holy Spirit is, let alone what He’s speaking or how He’s working in their lives.

But you can be different!

You can choose to actively and intentionally engage the Scriptures in a way that leads to greater intimacy and connection with the Holy Spirit. You can search the Scriptures to see how He moved, where He shows up (and why), and what He does in the lives of God’s children.

And just like Peter, you can hang onto the passages of scripture that illuminate the Spirit’s presence and promise and shout it out when you see evidence of His work in your life!

So here are a few questions to consider when you read and study the Bible:

  • Where do I see the Holy Spirit in this passage?
  • Is there something explicit He is saying and/or doing?
  • What do I believe the Holy Spirit wants me to know because of this passage?