In the first Chapter of Acts, Jesus tells the disciples He is leaving, but will send the Holy Spirit so they may be his witnesses to the ends of the earth. As He ascends, the disciples stand there staring into Heaven. Two angels appear and ask them, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking into Heaven?” (vs 11a). In other words, don’t dwell on the past. Instead, get on about your business. Prepare for what God is calling you to do.
So what do they do? They return to the upper room, which has been their hiding place, elect Matthias to replace Judas Iscariot, and devote themselves to prayer. They wait, until the Holy Spirit comes upon them at Pentecost. They waited upon God, because they trusted Jesus would bring them the Holy Spirit just as He promised. Once those tongues of fire lay on their heads, nothing in this world and beyond it could stop them from doing what they were sent to do – witness to the ends of the earth.
As Christians, we have received the very same Holy Spirit and we have the same command. But, in reading the first chapter of Acts, I saw I need to learn from those disciples. I need to gather with fellow Christians and pray, but then get up off my knees confident that I have God’s Spirit to guide and equip me to go out into the world, just as the disciples did.
But, the key is to wait until God tells me to get up off my knees. I am not called to stand there and stare into Heaven. longing for Jesus to return. But, I also cannot rush out without being equipped by the Holy Spirit.
It is all in God’s timing. He will equip me for the next task. But, that is not an excuse to do nothing. Like the disciples, I must pray, study Scripture and unite with other believers for solace and strength. I must, by my life, be an example for others, both believers and those who have yet to believe.
During this in-between time, I am in prep mode, waiting for when He calls and says, “Okay Julie, you have allowed my Spirit to prepare and equip you. Your next assignment is. . . ” Staring into Heaven, longing for the past, is not part of the assignment. Neither is rushing ahead on my own steam declaring, “Well, Scripture says I must be His hands and feet so here I go. It is up to me.”
Where are you?
- Are you in the middle of a task God has given you, still fervent and equipped?
- Or are you in the upper room, waiting and praying, uniting with other believers and being prepared to receive what His Spirit will equip you to do next?
- Or, are you standing there staring into Heaven, longing to have that close relationship with Jesus again when you felt purposeful and used, and wondering where He has gone?
Trust in the Promise, and also the Timing.