Down to Business

By: Tim Grissom
And while staying with them he ordered them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the promise of the Father, which, he said, “you heard from me; for John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.” (Acts 1:4–5)
These were unusual days. The men and women who had become true followers of Christ were soon to launch a brand new thing—not just witness it, but actually play a part in making it happen. The details were murky, but Jesus had made the first order of business clear: They were to . . . wait.

That was it. They were to simply wait.

I imagine these trailblazers were pretty throttled up, eager to begin this heavenly enterprise, ready to step into God’s mystery. Perhaps they had ideas for how to maintain momentum, how they could scale discipleship into a movement, how they might spread the gospel message beyond borders. Hadn’t Jesus Himself put that vision in them? Hadn't He said they should take the message “to the end of the earth”?

If that was the mission, then they’d better get down to business. Which meant . . . wait.

Wait for what? For the Spirit to come and for the Father to say “Go.”

Have you ever wondered why so many of God’s assignments begin with waiting? From the time he learned that he would become a great nation to the birth of the child that would begin that promised lineage, Abraham waited for twenty-four years. David didn’t actually occupy the throne until some fifteen years after Samuel anointed him. Moses lived in exile for forty years before God called him to go back to Egypt.

So much waiting. It seems like a terribly inefficient way to run things, doesn’t it?

But surely we’ve learned by now (and relearned and relearned) that what we see as gaps and delays are actually brimming with God’s activity. And though we don’t know all that He’s doing, we can be sure that while we wait He works. He works within us to bolster our trust, prove our dependence, strengthen our endurance. And, as a friend recently reminded me, He works outside of us to bring matters into proper order. Then, when He determines the time is right, God says “Go.”

Until then, we’re ready. And waiting.
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