By Jordan & Ernest Easley
Most of us hate waiting. It doesn’t matter if we’re waiting for our family to get ready for church, waiting in traffic, waiting for the commercials to be over or waiting for the chips and salsa to be delivered to the table … we hate to wait!
Have you ever found yourself in a season of waiting? Maybe you’re waiting to find Mr. Right or Mrs. Right. Perhaps you’re waiting for that perfect job opportunity to open up, or that promotion you’ve been shooting for. Maybe you’re waiting for that pregnancy test to finally come up positive, or you’re waiting for that much-needed vacation? Do you know what it’s like to wait?
When you study the early chapters in the book of Acts, you’ll see the disciples of Jesus in a season of waiting. In the first eight verses of chapter one, we read the final words that Jesus ever spoke on planet earth. Acts 1:4–5 says:
“On one occasion, while he was eating with them, he gave them this command: ‘Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift my but I’m leaving now. But don’t worry, because I’m sending the Holy Spirit to be your guide from now on! Don’t move until he comes! You don’t want to look at the map in your own power and try to decide where to go or what to do. No! Wait for the Holy Spirit! He’s going to be your guide and will be in charge of navigating your journey from this point forward.”
The message that Jesus had for the church was very simple. The Holy Spirit is coming, and when he comes you’re going to receive power.
“Then they gathered around him and asked him, ‘Lord, are you at this time going to restore the kingdom to Israel?’ He said to them: ‘It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by his own authority. But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.’” —Acts 1:6–8
In that moment, the disciples didn’t fully understand what it meant to “receive power.” They hadn’t read the book of Acts, because they were living it in real time. In their minds, they were most likely thinking, Finally! We’re going to be free from Roman rule! Jesus is about to rule this world and we’re going to be co-heirs with Christ in his earthly kingdom! When this conversation was happening, the disciples were probably daydreaming about a worldly power they were about to be given, but Jesus redirected their focus away from an earthy reign, and to his spiritual reign. They weren’t going to expand the kingdom of Israel through literal military power; they were going to expand God’s kingdom through the message of salvation and Holy Spirit power.
Excerpted from Resuscitating Evangelism by Jordan Easley and Ernest Easley. B&H Publishing Copyright 2020. Used by permission.