Waiting Acts 1: 4-8
I’ve watched pro surfers in heats and finals just sitting waiting for the wave with enough scoring potential to come. They had posted a great score but needed a high backup to clinch the final. Wave after wave went through all 4’s and 5’s not nearly enough. With 30 seconds to go will it arrive the set is on the horizon but will it get there in time. The pressure mounts and the surfers’ hearts and minds are racing with anticipation and nerves. The opponent is willing it to not arrive or for the surfer to fall. the waiting competitor is willing it to come in time and stilling their nerves for action. It is indeed a rare and hard skill to wait under such mounting pressure.
Waiting is exactly what the disciples are told to do. Acts 1: 4 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;
Let’s look at Acts 1: 4-8 I want to draw 2 main discussions out of this passage…
Firstly do we know and understand what it means to wait on the Lord?
1:4 And while staying with them he ordered them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the promise of the Father,
Do not depart but wait… Waiting is a bit of a lost skill in today’s hurried life… To sit listen and wait for God to unveil or act or lead rather than rushing ahead of him.
Ps 27:14 Wait for the LORD; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the LORD!
Ps 37:7 Be still before the LORD and wait patiently for him; fret not yourself over the one who prospers in his way, over the man who carries out evil devices!
Lam 3: 24- 26 The LORD is my portion, says my soul, therefore I will hope in him.
The LORD is good to those who wait for him, to the soul who seeks him. It is good that one should wait quietly for the salvation of the LORD.
Is 40: 31 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.
To wait on the Lord is a right and noble thing. This action means to put faith in the fact that we expect God to speak or act and we wait patiently for his answer.
* Do we do this are we prepared to wait on the Lord or do we expect him to march to the beat of our drum. Do we expect his time frame to match our schedule? Do we just do our own thing and expect Him to bless it in retrospect?
Secondly is what is our vision of the kingdom of God?
See the disciples had a correct but mistimed perception re the coming Kingdom of God.
Jesus was always adjusting their interpretation of the Kingdom of God whilst he was on earth…
Luke 13:18 He said, therefore, What is the kingdom of God like? And to what shall I compare it? 19 It is like a grain of mustard seed that a man took and sowed in his garden, and it grew and became a tree, and the birds of the air made nests in its branches.
21 It is like leaven that a woman took and hid in three measures of flour until it was all leavened.
Matt 13:44 “The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which a man found and covered up. Then in his joy, he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field.
45 “Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant in search of fine pearls,46 who, on finding one pearl of great value, went and sold all that he had and bought it.
47 “Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a net that was thrown into the sea and gathered fish of every kind.
They began to understand that whilst he was with them this kingdom would not be powerful politically or come with force and might.
They are asking Jesus if this time now is imminent. Vs 6 they asked him, Lord, will you at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?
Jesus does not correct the disciple’s perception they are not wrong… for he will in fact come with power and restore the kingdom of God. Just now right now. Vs 7 He said to them, It is not for you to know times or seasons that the Father has fixed by his own authority.
So once again the disciples are told to wait on the Lord. God works to his own timetable and his economy of time is entirely different from ours.
Jesus Gives his greatest definition of the coming kingdom in his example of prayer… Matt 6:10 Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.
Surely the greatest example of God’s kingdom on earth is a society where God’s will would be as perfectly done as it is in heaven. Because of that fact it would be a kingdom founded on the power of the spirit and love, not on might and politics.
To obtain that these men would need a total transformation of heart and it is this that they must wait upon the Lord for. Acts 1:8 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.
* Do we wait for his power to come and transform us? What is our vision of the kingdom of God, do we expect a change of our circumstances or do we anticipate a change in our hearts?
“Let waiting to be our work, as it is His. And, if His waiting is nothing but goodness and graciousness, let ours be nothing but rejoicing in that goodness, and a confident expectancy of that grace. And, let every thought of waiting become to us the simple expression of unmingled and unutterable blessedness, because it brings us to a God who waits that He may make Himself known to us perfectly as the gracious One. My soul, wait thou only upon God!” Andrew Murray, Waiting on God
“All that the Church and its members need for the manifestation of the mighty power of God in the world, is the return to our true place, the place that belongs to us, both in creation and redemption, the place of absolute and unceasing dependence upon God.” Andrew Murray, Waiting on God
Waiting on God requires the willingness to bear uncertainty, to carry within oneself the unanswered question, lifting the heart to God about it whenever it intrudes upon one’s thoughts. Elisabeth Elliot
Sometimes when we’re waiting for God to speak, He’s waiting for us to listen. Martha Bolton
”Sometimes when we're waiting for God to speak, He's waiting for us to listen.