“… but WAIT for the promise of the Father … but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence. … But ye shall receive power after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you …” (ACTS 1:4, 8).
If the early church needed to WAIT ON GOD for His presence and power to fulfill His purpose, what makes us think we can get by without it? As one author noted:
From my perspective, the Holy Spirit is tragically neglected and, for all practical purposes, forgotten. While no evangelical would deny His existence, I’m willing to bet there are millions of churchgoers across America who cannot confidently say they have experienced His presence or action in their lives over the past year. And many of them do not believe they can. … Having read the Scriptures outside the context of contemporary church culture, you would be convinced that the Holy Spirit is as essential to a believer’s existence as air is to staying alive. You would know that the Spirit led the first Christians to do unexplainable things, to live lives that didn’t make sense to the culture around them, and ultimately to spread the story of God’s grace around the world. There is a big gap between what we read in Scripture about the Holy Spirit and how most believers and churches operate today. In many modern churches, you would be stunned by the apparent absence of the Spirit in any manifest way. And this, I believe, is the crux of the problem.
Stunning and hard words for us to stomach that’s sure. But when you think about it, they are true words. It might not be a bad idea for us to get back to WAITING UPON THE LORD. Like the early church in the Book of Acts, we need to get alone with God. We need to spend time seeking His Face. We need to pray for His power and presence—even before seeking to fulfill His purpose. And still another author wrote:
I often wonder what would transpire if every Christ-follower got serious about installing solid prayer practices into their lives. What kind of kingdom gains do you suppose would be made if each of us made pressing into God through prayer a nonnegotiable part of our everyday experience? I believe hearts would soften. Habits would shift. Faith would expand. Love for the poor would increase. Positive, purposeful legacies would be built. And a ravenous hunger would rumble through us all to get usable and to get used in significant ways by the one true God.
Not sure about you, but I definitely think we need His presence and power to fulfill His purpose around the corner and around the world!
“But they that WAIT UPON THE LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings of eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint” (ISA 40:31).