When Jesus ascended to Heaven, leaving His disciples to spread the news of the kingdom into all the world, He gave them one simple instruction:
“Behold, I send the Promise of My Father upon you; but tarry in the city of Jerusalem until you are endued with power from on high.”
He told them to wait. Wait until the power of the Holy Spirit descended upon them. Jesus knew whatever the disciples did would be in vain without the Holy Spirit empowering them. So they waited. They didn’t go out and start a ministry. They didn’t go out and preach. They gathered in the upper room, tarrying before the Lord in prayer and unity. They waited.
Why won’t we wait? We’ll do everything else. We’ll build buildings and put on elaborate stage shows. We’ll record CD’s and produce movies, print T-shirts and bumper stickers. Why won’t we wait for the power of the Holy Spirit. I tell you the truth, if that same power that descended on the disciples in the upper room were upon today’s church, we wouldn’t need all those things.
Waiting is hard. It’s much easier to work than to wait. It’s much easier to busy ourselves with good instead of waiting for great. Waiting requires humility. Waiting forces us to admit that we have nothing to do with the process. Waiting requires us to admit that we are powerless to make a move of God happen on our own.
We can try (and try we have) but we cannot replace the power of the Holy Spirit. Until God’s people stop their work and start to wait for Him, we will be stuck with more of the same…powerless programs and a decaying church.
Paul warned Timothy that in the last days we would see people that have a form of Godliness, but deny its power. Without the power of the Holy Spirit, everything we have built is worthless.
Who will wait and pray with me?