Ezra 9-10, Acts 1
“Once when he was eating with them, he told them not to leave Jerusalem. He said, ‘Wait here to receive the promise from the Father which I told you about. John baptized people with water, but in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.'” (Acts 1:4-5 NCV)
Imagine those heady days after the Resurrection! Jesus, the One who had died and returned from the dead, was walking, talking, and eating with them for forty days. They didn’t know that it was time for Jesus to leave them and ascend to Heaven. They were expecting Jesus to lead the revolution they’d been expecting the Messiah to lead for years. In the passage just after the above verses, they asked Him that very question. Can you blame them? If death was just a minor inconvenience, the Romans were child’s play to overthrow. They ignored the command that Jesus had just given to wait for the power that would come soon when God baptized them with the Holy Spirit. Their mission was nothing so simple as conquering Rome and establishing an earthly kingdom; they were to conquer the world as citizens of a spiritual kingdom.
Wait. The hardest command to follow. At least for me. I want to do something. Now. Immediately! I can sympathize with the disciples who wanted Jesus to overthrow the Romans right away. 2000 years after the event, I understand that Jesus didn’t seek an earthly kingdom, but a kingdom built upon the lives of those whom He had changed. I know that. I know that, having been baptized in the Holy Spirit, I still need to wait for His guidance. Knowing all these things doesn’t mean that I like it, though, nor does it mean that I’m not going to try and nudge God a bit when I think things need to happen. There are others like me. Some would seek to hurry God up by imposing their understanding of God’s will on others through forceful and/or political means. Others would seek to bring about the Kingdom of God by manipulating people and playing on their emotions. God has a word for people like that. People like me. “Wait. Wait for My power. Wait and follow Me.”
Lord, help me to wait on You instead of rushing ahead of Your desires. Give me the patience to wait on Your leadership when I want to do something…anything.
Scripture taken from the New Century Version®. Copyright © 2005 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved