Summary: When you wait on God’s timing, You will receive the Holy Spirit; You will receive the power; You will witness extraordinary results; if You must commit to turning on the Power.
In west Texas during the Depression. Mr. Ira Yates was like many other ranchers and farmers. He had a lot of land and a lot of debt. He wasn’t able to make enough on his ranching operation to pay the principal and interest on the mortgage. He was in danger of losing his ranch. With little money for clothes or food, his family lived on government subsidy.
Day after day, as Ira grazed his sheep over those rolling West Texas hills, he was no doubt greatly troubled about how he would pay his bills and care for his family. Then a seismographic crew from an oil company came into the area and told him there might be oil on his land. They asked permission to drill a wildcat well, and he signed a lease contract.
At 1,115 feet they struck oil. The first well came in at 80,000 barrels a day. Many subsequent wells were more than twice as large. In fact 30 years after the discovery, a government test of one of the wells showed it still had the potential flow of 125,000 barrels of oil a day. And Mr. Yates owned it all and had owned it all for years. The day he purchased the land he had received the oil and mineral rights. Yet he’d been on the verge of poverty and despair while all the while he was sitting on a multimillion dollar heritage of resources (Sermon Central).
You and I are a lot like Mr. Yates. We are heirs to a vast treasure and yet we often choose to live in spiritual poverty. We are despondent, frustrated, disappointed, questioning our faith and doubting our heritage while all the while within us is a power that is just waiting to be let go - the power of the Holy Spirit. In these weeks as we pray for a reviving of the Holy Spirit within us, we need to look back and understand what we are asking for and what God’s promising.
Luke in writing Acts 1 was reminding Theophilus and us that the disciples had been eye witness to all that had happened to Jesus Christ. He is encouraging us to follow their example by showing how God has worked before and fulfilled his promises. Acts 1 is a bridge between the events of the Gospels and the events marking the beginning of the work of the Church. Jesus had spent 40 days teaching and encouraging his disciples and as a result they were changed drastically. Before they had argued with each other, deserted their lord and one even lied about knowing Jesus. But by reflecting and remembering the resurrection they were convinced the future was Christ and so they opened themselves up to hearing and learning more the kingdom of God. The more they heard the more they believed, the more excited they became. They were get to work So what did Jesus say, wait! Wait!
Oh, how the disciples must have groaned at that word wait. They had waited three days, they had waited for three years, and their people had been waiting for generations. We hate to wait for anything, especially God to work! It goes against the grain. We are like the owl in the tootsie roll commercial. How many licks does it take to get to the center of the sweet chewy, tasty of tootsie roll, one two three crunch! That’s long enough, we want it and we want it now.
But Jesus’ word of wisdom to his anxious followers at a crucial juncture in history was wait. Wait and be patient and let God be in control. Jesus wanted them to wait so could go forward on the basis of God’s power, not their own. They paused not because they weren’t ready or they didn’t want the future, they paused to allow God to lead them. Their effectiveness in carrying out their mission was dependent upon their reliance on God’s leading and his purpose. In waiting they were demonstrating their willingness and desire to follow God however he was to lead. Wait for the gift my father promised, which you have heared me speak about. There are times when we need to hear the word from God that says wait! And then we need to do just that, wait, patiently.
Oh I know it isn’t easy to wait, it never is. Christmas is never easy to wait for whether you are four or sixty four. But waiting doesn’t take away the gift. It only makes it better.
Verse 5 – “For John baptized with water, but in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit." Not maybe or might. Jesus does not make this a conditional imperative. He states unequivocally and absolutely: you will receive the Spirit. In the Gospel of John, we read the promise in these words of Jesus. "I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor to be with you forever –the Spirit of truth…you know him for he lives with you and will be in you."