In Acts 1, Jesus leaves the disciples waiting. It was just a few days, but I’m sure that for a few of them it seemed like it would never happen. Jesus promised that the Holy Spirit would come on them, so now they waited. No Jesus, no Holy Spirit, just waiting.
It can be hard to wait, but here we find out that waiting on God is essential to the mission of Jesus.
I found myself waiting in seminary. I knew that my time in school was wrapping up, so I started looking for ministry. After perusing online job listings for hours upon hours, and sending my resumé to various churches, I found myself at graduation with no prospects for ministry. So Lindsay and I waited. Over the next year I had a few promising interviews, but nothing turned up until the summer of 2013. That’s when I started interviewing at Westbrook, where I am now serving in ministry. The few years that I waited felt like a long time. On top of that, those years came with their fair share of disappointment.
While the disciples did not wait for the Spirit with disappointment, I’m sure it wasn’t easy for some of them. Jesus didn’t say how long, he just said to wait. And then when Holy Spirit comes, they would be his witnesses, but not before.
I don’t know about you, but waiting is hard for me. What we learn here in Acts, however, is that waiting is an essential step to living out the mission. We need to wait for God to act. In my own life, I can tell you that all the opportunities that I had for ministry before Westbrook were good places, but I would not have learned the things I learned being at those places. I needed to wait on God to open that door. The disciples needed to wait on the Holy Spirit to come and empower their mission. We don’t know what would have happened if they didn’t, but it probably would not have gone very well. God has a plan and will give us what we need to do it, but we have to wait on him.
The disciples waited on God and prayed. They did appoint a replacement for Judas while waiting, but they didn’t go witness until the Spirit came in Acts 2. The result was the beginning of a movement that’s been going for almost 2000 years.
What is it that you need to wait on? Where do you need to let God take the first step instead of plowing ahead to do it all by yourself?
Instead of taking charge and doing everything yourself. Ask God to show you where he is working, what he wants you to do, and wait on God to lead you.
Be patient and wait on the Lord.