Summary: The church is waiting on the Holy Spirit
Lessons From The Early Church
Preparation For Power
Last week we started in a series called “Lessons From The Early Church”
Jesus had told the disciples to stay in Jerusalem and that they would be receiving the power of the Holy Spirit in their lives. God and Christ had promised them that when He was gone that a helper was coming.
That helper was the Holy Spirit.
The second half of Acts chapter 1 deals with the disciples’ waiting prior to the coming of the Holy Spirit. This period lasted 10 days because the Holy Spirit came at Pentecost.
See Pentecost refers to the Feast of Weeks, which in Jewish tradition was held Fifty days after the Passover and since the Lord was taken back forty days after the resurrection, which occurred at Passover there must have been a ten-day period in which the disciples waited in Jerusalem.
There is a lot of symbolism that is associated with the Holy Spirit coming at Pentecost or the Feast of Weeks. The Feast of Weeks was the time in the Jewish year when the first sheaves of the harvest were presented. This presentation was of the first fruits of the harvest. The symbolism being that when the Holy Spirit comes at Pentecost and thousands of people believe in Christ was only the first fruit of things to come.
We are people of action. We live in a time when we want it now. But we have to remember that our time is not God’s time.
When the children of Israel had crossed the Jordan River into the promised land in Joshua we might think they would have gone right away and moved against those living there, but God commanded them to wait and consecrate themselves and they waited four days.
But it is these days of what are periods of inactivity but periods of preparation. God is doing things in our lives that we cannot see or at least of which we are unaware.
We see in their lives and in our lives that this is a time for preparation, it is a time to practice obedience, a time for fellowship, and a time for constant prayer.
But during this time the disciples were in “Preparation For Power”
1) Preparation Is A Time To Practice Obedience-vs 12
a) The disciples had seen Christ ascend into the clouds
b) Luke tells us that they traveled a Sabbath’s day journey which was about ¾ of a mile
c) God had told them to stay in Jerusalem and that is what they did
d) They could have easily gone another way
e) But they did what God had called them to do
f) If we look at verse 4 the disciples were doing what Christ had told them to do.
g) I do not think it was easy for them
h) How many times have you been in a situation when not knowing what was going to happen was hard?
i) Ill.-Caleb and the phone call
i) You say what else could they have done
j) Well they could have done what they had done right after the resurrection
k) They scattered
l) We have some walking back towards Emmaus
m) Others had gone back to Galilee
n) We have some who went back to their jobs fishing
o) And why not there was nothing holding them together
p) I do not know what they were thinking but they could have been thinking what are we doing just sitting around here waiting.
q) I mean we just saw Christ go up in the clouds let’s get out there in tell everyone
r) They might have thought it utterly pointless for them to wait inactively in Jerusalem
s) But it is situations like this that we learn most about obedience
t) It is when we cannot see why we are called to do what we are doing.
u) This is not just the simple do it because I said so
v) It is more because if we can give a reason for what we are doing, then we are not necessarily learning obedience.
w) What that is really trusting our own ability and trying to reason things out
x) The disciples could have left the mountain top where they saw Christ ascend and ran into the city and started telling everyone but that would have been on their power
y) There is nothing wrong with thinking things out, but it is quite another thing to learn obedience when the proscribed course does not seem the best option
z) If you are going through a period like that in your life, when you know what you should do but do not know why you need to do it, or if you are experiencing a delay in God’s dealing with you and it seems that you are stuck in one spot and you cannot quite get out of it