I think the apostles in Acts 1 must’ve been incredibly anxious. They had just witnessed Jesus’ death, resurrection, and ascension. They’d been given the commission to go as His witnesses to the ends of the earth, but for now they had to wait. Wait and pray. That’s all they could do. “They all joined together constantly in prayer” (v. 14). But surely they wanted to do more. They probably talked about what they would do, where they would go. They must’ve strategized and planned. But plans and strategies were not what was needed. They had been told to wait and pray because what was needed was power, the undeniable, glorious power of the Holy Spirit. And when the Holy Spirit came, the Lord accomplished what their plans never could have. He revealed Himself in power and might and lives were transformed (2:40-41). He empowered His Church to be His witnesses (2:42-47) and “the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.” They waited and prayed because they needed His power to do what only He could do.
So here we sit now, waiting on our house to sell, eager to go Spartanburg to do what we are confident God has called us to do, plant a church. But, man, I hate waiting. I’ve got plans. I’m eager, ready to go. I’ve got my timeline. I want to stick to it. I get so impatient. After a while, praying feels tedious. I keep bringing my plans to God, asking (and sometimes demanding) Him to do what I want. He’s given me these plans, right? I know this isn’t the right posture, but it’s so ingrained in me I can’t steer away from it. But really what I want and what I know is needed is His power, His Spirit, filling me, us, and doing what only He can do. This is the sort of church I want to be a part of. It’s the only true Church, the One He created.
So we wait and pray. Come Holy Spirit, fill and empower us to be your witnesses in Spartanburg, to the ends of the earth, or where ever we are. Give us the courage to trade our expectations and plans for your power to be revealed. Amen.