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Summary: The term, "waiting on God" is one of those terms that we often have difficulty defining. This message looks at what the disciples did while waiting for the gift of the Holy Spirit.

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WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO WAIT ON GOD

Acts 1:12-26 Then they returned to Jerusalem from the hill called the Mount of Olives, a Sabbath day's walk from the city. 13 When they arrived, they went upstairs to the room where they were staying. Those present were Peter, John, James and Andrew; Philip and Thomas, Bartholomew and Matthew; James son of Alphaeus and Simon the Zealot, and Judas son of James. 14 They all joined together constantly in prayer, along with the women and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brothers. 15 In those days Peter stood up among the believers (a group numbering about a hundred and twenty) 16 and said, "Brothers, the Scripture had to be fulfilled which the Holy Spirit spoke long ago through the mouth of David concerning Judas, who served as guide for those who arrested Jesus-- 17 he was one of our number and shared in this ministry." 18 (With the reward he got for his wickedness, Judas bought a field; there he fell headlong, his body burst open and all his intestines spilled out. 19 Everyone in Jerusalem heard about this, so they called that field in their language Akeldama, that is, Field of Blood.) 20 "For," said Peter, "it is written in the book of Psalms, "'May his place be deserted; let there be no one to dwell in it,' and, "'May another take his place of leadership.' 21 Therefore it is necessary to choose one of the men who have been with us the whole time the Lord Jesus went in and out among us,

22 beginning from John's baptism to the time when Jesus was taken up from us. For one of these must become a witness with us of his resurrection." 23 So they proposed two men: Joseph called Barsabbas (also known as Justus) and Matthias. 24 Then they prayed, "Lord, you know everyone's heart. Show us which of these two you have chosen 25 to take over this apostolic ministry, which Judas left to go where he belongs." 26 Then they cast lots, and the lot fell to Matthias; so he was added to the eleven apostles.

INTRODUCTION: IF WE WERE TO ASK SOMEONE WHAT IT MEANS TO “WAIT ON GOD”, WE MIGHT FIND THAT THIS IS ONE OF THOSE QUESTIONS THAT IS NOT VERY EASY TO ANSWER. AND WE WOULD BE RIGHT. “WAITING ON GOD” IS HARD TO DEFINE! MANY WOULD THINK THAT THIS IS A PERIOD OF INACTIVITY WITH THE GOAL OF LOOKING FOR A GLIMPSE OF AN ANSWER FROM GOD SO THAT WE WOULD HAVE A DIRECTION TO GO. OTHERS MIGHT SAY THAT IT IS A TIME OF PRAYER AND SEARCHING. AGAIN, THEY WOULD BE RIGHT ALSO. YET NEITHER OF THESE ANSWERS IS SUFFICIENT IN THEMSELVES TO COME TO GRIPS WITH WHAT IT MEANS TO “WAIT ON GOD”. YET IF WE ARE TO DO IT, WE NEED TO BE AWARE OF WHAT IS INVOLVED IN WAITING ON GOD

I WAITING ON GOD INVOLVES CONSISTENT OBEDIENCE

A THE SITUATIONS WE LEARN THE MOST ABOUT OBEDIENCE ARE WHEN WE CANNOT SEE WHY OR WHEN WE ARE CALLED TO DO SOMETHING.

1 ESPECIALLY WHEN OBEYING GOD DOES NOT SEEM THE BEST COURSE OF ACTION

B PERIODS OF WAITING ARE IN REALITY PERIODS OF PREPARATION

1 GOD IS DOING THINGS IN OUR LIVES

2 GOD IS LOOKING FOR US TO DO THINGS IN OUR LIVES

C THE DISCIPLES WERE IN A POSITION OF WAITING ON GOD

1 THEY HAD FOLLOWED THE LORD’S INSTRUCTION AND COMMAND

a Luke 11:13 (NIV) If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!"

b Acts 1:4 (NIV) 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.

2 THERE WAS A NEED FOR SPIRITUAL GROWTH BEFORE THEY COULD CONTINUE – ACTS 1:14

a THEY ALL PRAYED

b THEY ALL GAVE ATTENTION TO PRAYER

c THEY WERE IN ONE ACCORD – UNIFIED IN PRAYER

d THEY WERE WAITING FOR THE GIFT OF THE HOLY SPIRIT. THIS IS THE ONLY DIFFERENCE BETWEEN WHAT THEY WERE DOING IN WAITING ON GOD AND WHAT WE SHOULD BE DOING WHEN WE ARE WAITING ON GOD. WE HAVE THE HOLY SPIRIT

3 THERE WAS A MESSAGE FROM PETER

a FIRST OF SEVEN TIMES PETER WOULD SPEAK IN THE BOOK OF ACTS

b THIS FIRST MESSAGE DEALS WITH THE IMPORTANCE OF MOVING AHEAD COMPLETE.

i WHILE WAITING ON GOD, THERE NEEDS TO BE A SENSE OF COMPLETENESS

ii PETER USES THE PHRASE “HAD TO BE FULFILLED”

iii THIS PHRASE MEANS THAT WHAT THEY ARE ABOUT TO DO IS A LOGICAL NECESSITY.

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