The church begins…with a gift, “I give you Authority…”
And a command: “Wait!”
That is our mandate as well; “I give you authority, now wait!”
Waiting is not our strong suit. We are impatient. Waiting makes us restless, it reveals our inadequacies, our predisposition to worry, fear, and the need to be in control. We are planners; we set our clocks; we have our agendas; we have limits. We like to make things happen.
The wait is our time of testing; here we must confront our doubts and inadequacies before being released into God’s greater purpose.
“…Wait in Jerusalem…” Jerusalem was an unfamiliar, somewhat unfriendly and now dangerous place for them. Yet, this is where they must wait for an unspecified time and a promise they did not understand.
“But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you.” Acts 1:8
“You will be my witnesses in Jerusalem… Samaria… and the farthest parts of the earth.”
With no instructions, other than to “Wait,” He left them.
They were used to “Following,” “Being disciples.”
Now they are mandated to “Go,” and “Make disciples.”
But first they must wait for the “power” that will change them from “Followers” to “Makers.”
It often seems that God does not give us specific instructions until He has empowered us.
He knows we are impulsive, prone to act on our “own understanding,” and so we must learn to wait.
Between the “authority” and the release of “power” there is the “waiting.”
Without the discipline to wait, authority and power are easily misused.
Authority and power are gifts that must be exercised with patience, learned through discipline. Patience (trustfully waiting), is a fruit we must nurture with the greatest care, usually in the midst of turmoil and life’s chaotic pace.
We must wait. Timing is critical.
“…the hour is coming, and is now here.” John 4:23
Timing is not our strong point; we are all for rushing in and “dealing” with whatever we think needs to be done.
Jesus knew this about His disciples and knows this about us. We must learn to wait for His timing.
“So Jesus replied, ‘My time has not yet arrived, but you are ready at any opportunity!’” John 7:6
The disciples must learn, as we must, to wait for the release of God’s timing and power.
“…but they who wait (trust, hope,) for the Lord (for His help) shall renew their strength;…”
God’s work begins with us waiting, and in the wait our strength is renewed.