Acts 1:4 – On one occasion, while he was eating with them, he gave them this command: ‘Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift my Father promised, which you have heard me speak about.’

 

No one likes waiting. It is counter to everything we know. Rather than wait, we like to seize the initiative, grab the bull by the horns. In the kingdom of God, however, waiting is critical. Waiting is what happens after Jesus ascends into heaven and is the difference between a church led by the Spirit and a church driven by good ideas. Karl Barth refers to it as ‘the significant pause’ – the waiting for the gift of the Holy Spirit, without whom the church would simply be an organisation, or a programme. Indeed, as preposterous as it sounds, a church is only as strong as its ability to wait. As tempting as it is to leave Jerusalem in a hurry, to not lose one minute trying to save the world, we would do far better to stay put, receive from God what he longs to give, and then enter the battle in power rather than haste. Actually, it’s not an option. Jesus doesn’t mix his words at the table with his apostles. He makes waiting imperative.

 

Prayer: Father God, forgive me for the many times I rush headlong into the fight without a thought of where my strength might come from. Help me to cultivate the art of waiting, so that I would neither rush ahead nor lag behind.