During the time of Old Testament history God placed His Spirit, and His power, within specific individuals for specific purposes and times. But most of the time throughout those years, and through the 400 silent years and the thirty-three years that Jesus was living here on earth, the vast majority of people were on their own, trying in their own strength to obey God and walk with Him. And they failed over and over again. For thousands of years the ability to truly and completely walk with God seemed impossible.
God knew that mankind needed help. That’s why He sent Jesus to live and die for us. His death on the cross paid the price for our sins, and made it possible for us to truly walk with God. But man was still living in a fallen world, surrounded by sin. And men were still living in the same bodies that were, by nature, prone to do things our own way instead of God’s. Though their eternal future was secure because of Jesus, man still needed help.
Before Jesus left to go back to heaven He told His followers to wait in Jerusalem and God would send a helper. Someone who would make it possible for them to obey God and follow Him. Someone who would counsel them and lead them and fill them with power.
Ten days later God sent the Holy Spirit to live within all those who had chosen to believe in Jesus and follow Him. From then on, He would no longer live in a tent or building, or be placed in specific people for a short time for a specific purpose and then taken away again. Instead the Holy Spirit would live inside all those who accepted the gift of life through Jesus, permanently.
Throughout the following years Jesus’ followers saw firsthand what can be done in and through God’s people when they are filled with His Spirit. Thousands came to faith in Christ as the kingdom of God – the church – grew and spread throughout the world. And it continues to grow today.