Summary: Waiting for God doesn’t mean sitting around doing nothing… it means doing what we can, while we can, as best we can…while always being careful to not run ahead of God

“What I Can Do While Waiting On God”

Acts 1:1-4

OPENING JOKE: A group of travelers were being made to wait on their airplane, which was late due to another flight being canceled. The crowd looked horrible and impatient as the time went on and on. Finally an angry passenger pushed his way to the front of the line, slammed his ticket down and said, “I must be on this flight now and I must be in first class”. The flight attendant, trying to be nice said, “Sir, we will get to you as soon as possible, but you must wait in line like everyone else”. He quickly said, “Ma’am, do you have any idea who I am?”

Without hesitation, she smiled, picked up her intercom microphone and said, “We have a passenger here at the gate WHO DOES NOT KNOW WHO HE IS. If anyone can help him find his identity, please come to gate 17.”

INTRODUCTION: Have you ever been forced to sit and wait on something?

Did you know that if you lived on St. Paul Island in Alaska and got the urge for pizza it would take three days for the pizza to arrive?

Personally I can hardly stand waiting.

I would drive clear across town and probably pay twice as much to be able to get something today rather than order it and have to wait six weeks

I hate Post offices, Banks and, of course Hospital Emergency Rooms

But, you know, sometimes God makes us wait

God doesn’t always answer our prayers with a resounding (military salute) ‘yes sir! Right away sir!’

Sometimes He answers with an immediate ‘yes’, or an immediate ‘no’ based on His sovereign knowledge of what is best for us

But I find that more often He answers with His third response: ‘wait’

And while we don’t want to run out ahead of God, we also don’t want to remain idle and grow stagnant either

Today’s topic is ‘what we can do while we are waiting on God’

***We begin with the story of the Apostles having just seen Jesus for the final time before He ascended into the clouds

He commanded them to go into Jerusalem and wait for the baptism of the Holy Spirit

Acts 1:5 “for John truly baptized with water, but you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.”

They walked all day from the Mount of Olives where Jesus ascended back to Jerusalem and held up in an upper room to wait for the promise of God that Jesus had given them (v.12)

Scripture says that all eleven remaining Apostles were there along with Jesus’ mother, His brothers and some others

The total number of people waiting in the upper room was about 120 according to verse 15

All of them waiting on the promise of the filling of the Holy Spirit

The important thing to note in this story is that they didn’t just wait idly on the coming of the Spirit, but while they waited they did what they could do

Notice the three things that they did while waiting on God…

I. They Prayed

Acts 1:14 “These all continued with one accord in prayer and supplication…”

a. It would have been easy for one of them to say, “what need do I have of prayer, Jesus has already promised the Spirit”

i. Or “I don’t need to pray, God already knows my needs, and He is sending me the Spirit”

ii. But they didn’t do that, they prayed as fervently as ever

iii. The word ‘supplication’ comes from the Greek word “Deesis (deh’-ay-sis)”

1. It means a seeking, asking, or an entreating to God

2. They already knew the Promise was coming, yet they still stayed fervent in their petition to God

b. We often forget the importance of prayer in our times of waiting on God

i. We will often pray about a subject once and then never bring it before God again

ii. The Scripture promises that God honors our persistent prayer

iii. Illustration: “The parable of the widow and the unjust judge” (Luke 18:2-7)

c. This story should be an encouragement to all of us who are waiting

i. Some are waiting for a loved one to come to Jesus – keep praying

ii. Some are suffering from an illness in which there seems no reprieve – keep praying

iii. Some have lost direction in their life and they seem to face many more questions than answers – keep praying

d. When we pray while waiting we are showing God that we have placed the matter in His hands

i. Not that we expect Him to fulfill our every wish

ii. Quote: God is not a genie in a magic lamp

iii. Our prayers show we trust that in God’s loving hands “all things will work together for our good” (Romans 8:28)

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Clark Struebing

commented on Feb 6, 2013

Very good thanks

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