Summary: Jesus did not give us a plan, He gives us power (of the Holy Spirit). Essential this power is what we need. Prayer is the only means to tap onto His power.
Acts 1:7-8 “He said to them: "It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by his own authority. 8 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”
Jesus did not give them a PLAN, He gives them POWER.
• This tells us something. What we need is not to KNOW, we need to be EMPOWERED.
• What we need is not a PLAN of what to do, but to have the POWER to do it.
Man has this natural desire to WANT TO KNOW.
• People seek after fortune-tellers; they study Zodiac signs, read up on horoscopes, in the papers every day.
• BTW don’t read any of these; they are all lies. They will only corrupt your mind and influence your thoughts.
Our future is in God’s hands. We are called to TRUST the Father, Jesus says.
• He did not give them the PLAN for the building of His church.
• This was quite surprising, actually. Jesus was about to be taken up and we expect some sort of a plan – a succession plan, a manual on how to set up the church.
• “Tell us what we should do and how to do it.” But Jesus promised them only POWER – the power of the Holy Spirit.
1:8 “you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you…”
• His parting words in Luke 24:49, “I am going to send you what my Father has promised, but stay in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high.”
• Earlier Jesus calls Him, “the Counsellor” (John 16:7) or Comforter, someone that comes alongside you.
(1) God does not give us a PLAN, He gives us His POWER.
This is what we really need. Not to KNOW a plan but to be EMPOWERED by God.
• This power is the power of the Holy Spirit, the Third Person of the Godhead.
• Through Him the disciples continue to experience Christ’s presence and power.
In a sense, Jesus is not ABSENT. He is going to be PRESENT with them THROUGH the Holy Spirit.
• His presence ensures that the task of bring the Gospel to the ends of the earth can be fulfilled.
The practices, policies and administration of the first church were born out of the Holy Spirit, as they wrestled with day-to-day challenges of the church.
• The Holy Spirit led and guided them. Even the election of deacons was born out of a problem that arose. It wasn’t planned for.
• No church plan was GIVEN on a platter. They struggled through disagreements, conflicts and persecutions, even as they LEARNT to rely upon the help of the Spirit.
God did not give them a PLAN; He gave them POWER, because that’s what they really need.
• We want to know God’s plan for my life and ministry – what shall I do, where should I go, how can I get there. We want God to reveal everything.
• If feels good to know. We want God to explain our predicament and tell us the reasons for the situation we’re in.
Many in the Bible were called to trust God with very little to go by.
• Abraham was asked to move from his home to a Promised Land, not knowing where that is.
• Moses was asked to confront Pharaoh, not knowing what to say. God said, “Now go; I will help you speak and will teach you what to say." (Exo 4:12)
• Joseph was thrown into a pit and sold into Egypt as a slave, and wrongly imprisoned, not knowing that it was all the plan of God.
• A quick glance of the lives of David, Job, Elijah, Daniel and his friends, and Paul showed how they were put in difficult circumstances not knowing God’s next plan of action.
God has a plan. God always has a plan. And He doesn’t reveal it most of the time.
• Trust Him. He is there with you. And He promises to give you the strength you need.
(2) Essentially His power is what we need!
When the power of the Holy Spirit comes upon the disciples, they were given the abilities to speak other languages – how else are they going to reach the world.
• They were filled with courage in place of their fear – how else are they going to face the persecutions coming their way.
• They preached with boldness and prayed with confidence – how else are we going to see signs and wonders, as witnesses to the fact that Jesus is living and real.