A Year with Jesus: 'Wait!'

Wednesday, May 18, 2022

Note from Jesus

Dear Precious Follower,

I know that waiting is hard for you. Regardless of your reason for having to wait, I know that waiting is hard. However, sometimes the best thing you can do to catch the Wind of Heaven (the Holy Spirit) in your sails of faith is to wait.

Think for a minute about all that My closest disciples had experienced during the time surrounding My crucifixion:
  • My challenging teaching and confrontations during My last week in Jerusalem before My crucifixion.
  • The brutalities I suffered during My trials and on the day of My crucifixion.
  • The heartbreak and devastation during the time My body lay lifeless in the tomb.
  • The excitement of that first week after My resurrection.
  • The wonder of My presence during the forty days of My appearances to My disciples after the resurrection.
My disciples had an incredible message to tell the world. They had experienced things no one had ever experienced or would ever experience again. So in My farewell appearance to them, imagine how hard it was for them to hear My instructions to them:
"But you must wait in the city until the power from above comes down upon you."
They had these great experiences, and they had this great message about My resurrection, but I told them to WAIT!

Wait?

Yes, wait!

You see, the mission that I gave them was staggering. They were going to change the world by taking My story to the nations.

Perhaps you're wondering, "Was this small band of disciples actually going to take the message of My life, death, and resurrection to the world?"

Yes!

Perhaps you're still wondering, "Was this ragtag group of disciples going to fulfill their world mission without great monetary resources? Without positions of power? Without an international network of partners? In a world of travel mostly by foot or on sailing ships, and very, very slow mail service without any internet or phone service?"

Yes!

Yes! That was their mission.

Yes! That is what they did.

You see, the secret to fulfilling their mission — as well as the secret for you to fulfill your mission — is the power and presence of the Holy Spirit.

Over the nearly two thousand years since My resurrection, many have heard My words of commission to take the good news message to all the world. They have trained. They have studied languages. They have prepared themselves culturally. They have prepared themselves theologically. They have trained themselves in communication, cross-cultural communication, culture shock, and reverse culture shock. However, they have sometimes not taken the time to wait:
  • to wait for Me to guide them to the place they need to go,
  • to wait for Me to tell them when it is time to go, and especially
  • to wait for the Holy Spirit to come and empower them to go.
Imagine My message as a fire, a burning flame. But as powerfully as that flame may burn, it is surrounded by pockets of unbelief, places of hostility, and non-combustible spaces of disinterest. To jump these zones where the fire has little fuel to burn, the flame needs the Wind of Heaven, the Holy Spirit, to propel it past the barriers of indifference and rejection. The bearers and keepers of the flame need the Spirit to empower that flame to burn brightly in places where hearts are ready to be lit afire with the grace of heaven.

My messengers must have more than human power and plans. As good as these messengers are, as precious as their faith is, and as noble as their intentions may be, they need power — real, holy, enduring, heavenly power! They need — and before you launch on a plan to bring Me glory and share My grace, whether it is some great ambitious plan or a plan to tell your neighbor about Me, you need — Holy Spirit power. So please, honor Me by dedicating yourself to waiting in prayer for the release and guidance and power of the Holy Spirit rather than trying to do things on your own strength.

Isaiah promised strength from the Lord many years before I promised it to My little band of would-be world-changers:
Have you not known? Have you not heard?
The Lord is the everlasting God,
the Creator of the ends of the earth.

He does not faint or grow weary;
his understanding is unsearchable.

He gives power to the faint,
and to him who has no might he increases strength.

Even youths shall faint and be weary,
and young men shall fall exhausted;

but they who wait for the Lord
shall renew their strength;
they shall mount up with wings like eagles;
they shall run and not be weary;
they shall walk and not faint.
(Isaiah 40:28-31 ESV)
In a few weeks, I will take you on a journey through the book of Acts. You will see a little band of believers become a massive and multi-cultural family held together and propelled to new frontiers by the power of the Holy Spirit. You need to know that I want you to do the same thing in your day, again and again, with people who are committed to "make disciples" by going and "baptizing" and "teaching" others to know and "to obey" all that I taught (Matthew 28:18-20 NIV). So I ask you to wait — not stall, not make excuses, not grow cold to My message, not give in to the distractions of the world, but to wait — through prayer and holy expectation for the coming of the Holy Spirit with power.

Verses to Live

Before I ascended back to the Father, I promised My closest disciples that I would send "power when the Holy Spirit comes on you." You will see that power lived out in the stories from the book of Acts. However, I want you to read the passages below that came after these promises to My disciples and realize this important truth: the Holy Spirit is also promised to you! I will remind you of this in coming days, but for now, realize that My resurrection and return to the Father mean the release of the promised gift of the Holy Spirit!
To a lover of God, Theophilus: In my first book, I recounted the events of Jesus' life — His actions, His teachings — from the beginning of His life until He was taken up into heaven. After His great suffering and vindication, He showed His apostles that He was alive — appearing to them repeatedly over a period of 40 days, giving them many convincing proofs of His resurrection. As before, He spoke constantly of the kingdom of God. During these appearances, He had instructed His chosen messengers through the Holy Spirit, prohibiting them from leaving Jerusalem, but rather requiring them to wait there until they received what He called "the promise of the Father."

Jesus:
This is what you heard Me teach — that just as John ritually cleansed people with water through baptism, so you will be washed with the Holy Spirit very soon.
When they had gathered just outside Jerusalem at the Mount of Olives, they asked Jesus,

Disciples:
Is now the time, Lord — the time when You will reestablish Your kingdom in our land of Israel?
Jesus:
The Father, on His own authority, has determined the ages and epochs of history, but you have not been given this knowledge. Here's the knowledge you need: you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you. And you will be My witnesses, first here in Jerusalem, then beyond to Judea and Samaria, and finally to the farthest places on earth.
(Acts 1:1-8)

[Jesus (speaking to the disciples):]
And I myself will send upon you what my Father has promised. But you must wait in the city until the power from above comes down upon you.
Then he led them out of the city as far as Bethany, where he raised his hands and blessed them. As he was blessing them, he departed from them and was taken up into heaven. They worshiped him and went back into Jerusalem, filled with great joy, and spent all their time in the Temple giving thanks to God.
(Luke 24:49-53 GNT)

[From the events at Pentecost during that first great gospel sermon:] Peter's words pierced their hearts, and they said to him and to the other apostles, "Brothers, what should we do?"

Peter replied, "Each of you must repent of your sins and turn to God, and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. Then you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. This promise is to you, and to your children, and even to the Gentiles — all who have been called by the Lord our God."
(Acts 2:37-39 NLT)

[From Paul's letter known as Ephesians:] As a result, we — the first to place our hope in the Anointed One — will live in a way to bring Him glory and praise. Because you, too, have heard the word of truth — the good news of your salvation — and because you believed in the One Who is truth, your lives are marked with His seal. This is none other than the Holy Spirit Who was promised as the guarantee toward the inheritance we are to receive when He frees and rescues all who belong to Him. To God be all praise and glory!
(Ephesians 1:12-14)

Response in Prayer

O Father, forgive me and forgive us for the times when we have either disregarded Jesus' commission or launched out trying to do that mission on our own power. I confess that I don't know everything about the work of the Holy Spirit, but I do know this: I can't and we can't live out our mission without the presence and power of the Wind of Heaven. Jesus promised that You would send the Holy Spirit to us if we ask. And so I'm asking as one committed to living Your will and fulfilling Jesus' commission. Please help each one of us to wait on the Spirit and to recognize and follow the guidance and power of the Spirit so that we will be effective servants in sharing the message of Jesus throughout the world. In Jesus' name, I pray. Amen.



If you would like to learn more about the Holy Spirit through a short daily devotional on the Spirit's work, check Heartlight's SpiritFire — you can subscribe and receive it free in your inbox every day.

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About This Devotional

A Year with Jesus is a daily devotional written to help us all reclaim Jesus as the daily Lord of our lives.

'A Year with Jesus' is written by Phil Ware.

All scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from The Voice™. © 2008 by Ecclesia Bible Society. Used by permission. All rights reserved.