WAIT!

Waiting is becoming a foreign concept in our age and time. Life is fast. We want things that work fast. I would rather pay more for internet than have a slow connection. All inventions are geared towards making things work faster. If we have to have coffee, it has to be instant coffee. If we have to have lunch, we will go for fast foods. Before I buy a computer, I want to be sure it will be fast. I want to be sure it will have a memory that can support fast activity.

In the gospel commission, there is need for urgency. The Good News must reach every nation, and that with speed and urgency. All lethargy must be put aside if the gospel has to reach every nation. Daily we must endeavor to look for faster, better ways to reach out to the unreached.

Today I share my reflection on the last Words of Jesus to His disciples.

Matthew 28:18-20  And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:  Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.

In His words here there is implied urgency, action- GO, TEACH, BAPTIZE, TEACH again.

The same occasion as recorded by Mark also implied action and how urgently the work needed to be done.

Mark 16:15-16  And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.

The last verse in Mark 16 shows how they quickly obeyed the Command

Mark 16:20  And they went forth, and preached every where, the Lord working with them, and confirming the word with signs following. Amen.

What struck me is the Gospel commission in the book of Luke…

Luke 24:49  And, behold, I send the promise of my Father upon you: but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high.

Luke, who is also the author of the book of Acts, records the Gospel Commission as the Commission to tarry, to wait. That doesn’t strike you as it did to the disciples. They were to tarry in Jerusalem. The Jews were literally hunting for them. Humanly thinking, what would have been safest for them was to flee from Jerusalem, but they had to wait there. And wait they did. For a whole 10 days!

I have to confess I have not waited for anything for 10 days. But why and how did they wait? What were they waiting for? Yes Christ recognized the urgency of the work, and He still does. Yes Christ desired to have Missionaries who would take advantage of every opportunity and spread the gospel. But to them, as to me, the lesson is laid plain. Missionary activity must never preceed the missionary Spirit.

It was not until Christ was filled with the Holy Spirit that he went forth to choose the 12 disciples, and to begin his 3 and half year ministry on earth.

When Elijah was about to leave Elisha, he said to him, “Ask what I shall do for thee, before I be taken away from thee. And Elisha said, I pray thee, let a double portion of thy spirit be upon me.” [2 Kings 2:9.] Elisha did not ask for worldly honor, for a place among the great men of the earth. That which he craved was a large portion of the spirit given to the one whom God was about to honor with translation. He knew that nothing else could fit him for the work that would be required of him.  {GW 116.2}.

Moses was not fitted for the work of leading Israel to the promised land until he had waited 40 years alone with God.

There are those in the church who have with open hand and heart come forward to the work hitherto, and they will not be behind now. We have confidence in their integrity. But the offerings of the church have been in many instances more numerous than her prayers. The missionary movement is far in advance of the missionary spirit. Earnest prayers have not, like sharp sickles, followed the workers into the harvest field. It is true there is an interest to see success attend the efforts to unfurl the banner of truth in foreign lands, but there has been a lack of heartfelt sympathy with the laborers, and real burden of soul that the means invested may do its work.  {HS 294.1}

This was written in the 18th Century. Missionaries were urgently required in Foreign lands, and the church supported them. But even then, the warning was given, that the offerings must not be more numerous than the prayers, that the missionary movement must not be in advance of the Missionary Spirit.

Talking to Emmanuel in the 21st Century, I need grace! How many times have I moved before the Spirit told me to move. I recognize it’s easy to be lost in activity, serving God in zeal and missionary work without the missionary Spirit. Even when I ask for the empowering of the Holy Spirit, it must not be like gas to a car, like the car is ready to move, it only need the fuel. The car uses fuel, we cannot use the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit needs to USE us. I must surrender daily, I must wait daily. Yes I know, not waiting in indolence, but nevertheless I must wait. I must tarry at Jerusalem.

Maybe (just thinking) my prayer needs to change from “Fill Me with your Spirit” to “Let your Spirit take possession of me.” “Lord teach me to give up my own life. To stop ‘managing’ my life… And teach me this daily.”

The Promise is sure:

Christ has promised the gift of the Holy Spirit to His church, and the promise belongs to us as much as to the first disciples. But like every other promise, it is given on conditions. There are many who believe and profess to claim the Lord’s promise; they talk about Christ and about the Holy Spirit, yet receive no benefit. They do not surrender the soul to be guided and controlled by the divine agencies. We cannot use the Holy Spirit. The Spirit is to use us. Through the Spirit God works in His people “to will and to do of His good pleasure.” But many will not submit to this. They want to manage themselves. This is why they do not receive the heavenly gift. Only to those who wait humbly upon God, who watch for His guidance and grace, is the Spirit given. The power of God awaits their demand and reception. This promised blessing, claimed by faith, brings all other blessings in its train. It is given according to the riches of the grace of Christ, and He is ready to supply every soul according to the capacity to receive.–The Desire of Ages, p. 672.  {ChS 253.1} 

 

Every worker who follows the example of Christ will be prepared to receive and use the power that God has promised to His church for the ripening of earth’s harvest. Morning by morning, as the heralds of the gospel kneel before the Lord and renew their vows of consecration to Him, He will grant them the presence of His Spirit, with its reviving, sanctifying power. As they go forth to the day’s duties, they have the assurance that the unseen agency of the Holy Spirit enables them to be “laborers together with God.”  {AA 56.2} 

God teach me to WAIT.

~AMEN~

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2 thoughts on “WAIT!

  1. Amen Brother, …Maybe (just thinking) my prayer needs to change from “Fill Me with your Spirit” to “Let your Spirit take possession of me.” “Lord teach me to give up my own life. To stop ‘managing’ my life… And teach me this daily.”…

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