Saturday, December 27, 2008

Hurry up and Wait

Good morning. I hope you had a Merry Christmas.

I've got to share what the Lord showed me in my quiet time this morning. As you know in our Soma Kristou worship services, we just wrapped up a several week series on the Holy Spirit. (I think we spent five weeks.) Of course I knew we didn't cover every Bible teaching on the subject or study the Spirit from every angle, but I thought we were pretty thorough. Then this morning, reading through Acts I stumbled across a very important Holy Spirit truth that we could have spent a whole other week on.

And being assembled together with them, He commanded them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the Promise of the Father, "which," He said, "you have heard from Me; for John truly baptized with water, but you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now." ... But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth." (Acts 1:4-5, 8)

Does anything odd strike you about those verses? I have read those verses countless times, but it just occurred to me this morning that there is something very puzzling about the events described there. Do you see it?

The Wait! Why the Wait?

The disciples were anxious to receive the Holy Spirit... The Father was able to send the Spirit immediately... The Spirit was certainly prepared to come... The Spirit was desperately needed... So why wait?

Obviously, the Father was trying to teach the disciples and us something with this waiting period. Praying through what those lessons were to them and what they are to me took up the rest of my devotion time this morning.

So what were the lessons? I will leave the question mostly open in case you decide to spend some time thinking and praying through this for yourself, but here are a couple things that came to my mind...

I need to be reminded of the importance of not proceeding with a new project or a new decision without first praying for and secondly waiting for the power, wisdom, and guidance of the Holy Spirit. I don't need to just plunge in (which I am prone to do) with the attitude that God will catch up with me later. I need to be more dependent on and more aware of the ministry of the Holy Spirit in everything I do.

I also need to be reminded that God has a right time for things to happen. I don't need to always understand why (just like I don't completely understand why the delay in sending the Holy Spirit in the Acts 1-2 story), I just need to be sensetive to it. Perhaps God is preparing the hearts of other people, perhaps God is preparing my own heart, perhaps there are circumstances that are about to change... God's timing is perfect. I should be more sensitive to when He wants me to push forward and when He wants me to hold up.

What other lessons can we learn from the wait?
  • We are reminded that God is in control, not us.
  • We can look at what the followers of Christ did as they waited and learn the importance of corporate prayer, and church unity.
  • To dig a little deeper we can learn the importance of the anticipation of the things of God...
  • Many more...

Pastor Noel