In Acts 1:4 it says, “Gathering them together He (Jesus) commanded them to wait . . .” Notice Jesus did not make a soft suggestion or give a helpful hint to these early followers. It says that He commands them to not leave Jerusalem, but to wait until the promise of the Father is fulfilled. That promise related to the sending of the Holy Spirit. But to be sure there is no confusion, Jesus clarifies it all in vs 8 as He says, “You will receive power WHEN the Holy Spirit comes upon you, and you will be My witnesses . . .”
We are not very good at waiting on God in the Western church. I once had an African tell me, ‘God gave Americans watches, but He gave Africans, time.” Because we do not like to wait on the “when” of God we have a bad habit of taking things into our own hands and solving problems with our best laid plans.
Perhaps a part of our problem is the fact that we see “waiting” as “doing nothing.” The early believers in Acts saw the command to wait differently. They return to Jerusalem and to the upper room where for the next 10 days they “wait” before God in prayer. God’s answer comes on the day of Pentecost when the Holy Spirit simultaneously indwells the believers and fills them. They burst out into the streets boldly bearing witness to the glory of God through the Resurrected Christ.
What might happen to us if we were to learn to “wait” before God in prayer? I want to suggest an acrostic using the Word “Wait”.
W – watch
A – abide
I – intercede
T – trust
Over the next couple of days, I will expand this thought of waiting before God. Meanwhile, let me challenge the church to once again discover the secret of “Waiting” for the “When”. Someone may ask, “How long do we wait for God?” The simple answer is “Until”. May God once again breathe life into His church.