How ya doing in the waiting?
I don’t know about you but, I am not always the best at waiting.
I have been studying the book of Acts over the last couple of months. Acts was written by a Greek man named Luke who was super intelligent. The details of Acts paints a picture of ordinary believers who did extraordinary things in the power of the Holy Spirit.
There are so many amazing things about Acts, including the details of how God gave guidance to His people as they prayed. Another cool thing is how Luke highlights God’s work in women’s lives in the book of Acts. We see Jesus protect women and uphold woman’s right to learn.
In Acts 1, Jesus is gone.
People that believed in Jesus had turned against Him.
When Jesus rose from the grave, He spent 40 days with people and they could see He was truly alive. Following the 40 days, Jesus is now gone and now they are waiting for the promised gift, waiting for the promised power.
Waiting happens again.
I am sure there is doubting that begins to creep in.
In Acts 2, about 120 very diverse men and women, come together to pray and are actually unified. This is significant because back then, diversity did not usually allow for people to be unified. They joined in prayer, did as Jesus told them, and they asked God to give them His Spirit. They believed Jesus’ promise that He would send his Holy Spirit and that they should ask to receive the Spirit.
Then it happens!
The promised Holy Spirit arrives and things would never be the same. We see the first mega church happen as 3,000 come to Christ and then 5,000. The same Holy Spirit that arrived in Acts 2, is still very present today. We see how the Holy Spirit changed people back then and we see how He helps us:
- see our darkness
- see our idols
- forgive in a crazy way
- to love in ways that don’t make sense
- to respond differently
Even with all of this, do we sometimes doubt?
Luke also writes about Peter, who loved Jesus but, denied him during the crucifixion trials. Peter was an uneducated fisherman who was filled with the Holy Spirit and he became bold! He had to remind people of all the good things that Jesus did, that they saw and experienced while Jesus was among them. He even reminded the people that they had crucified the Messiah!
Did you catch that? What happened in the waiting?
People who were there to SEE and EXPERIENCE Jesus began to forget or doubt.
They were there!
And they still doubted!
When the people heard the things Peter had to tell them, they were cut to the heart.
They realized they had a personal involvement in what happened to Jesus.
They missed out on what they were waiting for!
They missed it, not only did they miss it they were actively involved in carrying it out. Ugh.
They also realized; Jesus is who He said He is!
They had to feel sick to their stomachs.
Oh no! Of course, they now wanted to fix it and asked Peter, “What shall we do?” Peter responded to them and told them they have been thinking one way and now they need to go in a different direction! They need to change their thinking and repent!
What do we see in just the first couple of chapters of Acts…
- We see them meet Jesus personally.
- We see a small example of how the Holy Spirit changed them.
- We see how Jesus built His church through flawed and regular people.
- We see how a diverse group unified.
- We see those who followed Jesus from the beginning and those who once rejected Him come together.
Here are some questions I find helpful when looking internally. . .
How am I actually doing in the waiting:
- when disappointments happen?
- when relationships turn out unexpectedly?
- when a loved one makes hurtful choices?
- when the job doesn’t work out?
- when people betray me?
- when the marriage is failing?
I have to take a good look at my heart and become aware of my sin so I can repent and grow. Will I turn away from God? Will I blame Him? Will I choose to doubt Him? Will I stop being faithful? Will I stop being disciplined? Will I stop serving? Will I put a guard up? Will I justify my reactions? Will I give up? Will I worry?
God’s plan for us is so, so, so much goodness! Many times, we can’t make it through the waiting to get to that goodness. We sometimes stop too short of the goodness. We might be saved for eternal life, but God wants even more. He wants to be part of our present lives.
In the waiting, we need to turn our hearts and live differently, supernaturally. Living supernaturally is choosing to do things God’s way, which rarely makes sense, rather than the natural way.
How are we doing in the waiting?
So here we are today, faced with a decision to make.
Will our life tell His story? Will we persevere to the goodness?