There are a lot of people who are like me. We hear of something that needs to be done and we are ready to jump on it and do it. I may be lacking in skills; I may not have the knowledge I need; but my motto is “don’t just stand there looking stupid, do something stupid.”
After the initial burst of energy and excitement the disciples experienced from being with the risen Lord, things settled down a bit. Then, the truth began to sink in. Jesus was going to leave them again. They knew that they had an assignment to bring the gospel to the world. They were ready to jump on it and get moving. Jesus cooled them down a bit. “On one occasion, while he was eating with them, he gave them this command: ‘Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift my Father promised, which you have heard me speak about. For John baptized with water, but in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.’” (Acts 11:4-5)
This is an important message for people like me who tend to approach life with a “Ready, Fire, Aim” mentality. Wait. Wait for God. Let God speak. Let God empower. While the disciples were with Jesus, they had power and guidance from Him for anything they did. Now that He was going, they would need power and guidance from God in a different way. The Holy Spirit, talked about by Jesus since the Upper Room and maybe even longer, would come and, as John described, would baptize them with fire. The disciples had the hardest job in the world for the next ten days: they had to wait on God.
I wonder how many of our problems in evangelism, in missions, or in any kind of ministry would be solved if we would a) wait on God’s power and wisdom, and b) act when He gave that power and wisdom. As followers of Christ we have two main reactions to opportunities in any area of ministry: the first is to jump on things and do them. We may not know the stuff, but we do the things. The second reaction is to delay. We claim that we are waiting on God to lead, but we don’t really seek His guidance; we just wait. And nothing gets done. Our job is to wait on God by seeking His direction, and then acting when He gives the marching orders. Lord, guide us today we pray.
Lord we do pray for power from on high. We pray for the Holy Spirit to fill our lives and empower us with the strength and ability to do what You have called us to do. Without Your strength and guidance, our work is in vain. Help us, we pray. Guide us, we pray.