After Jesus Christ was crucified and resurrected from the dead, tearing open the veil between the holy presence of God and sinful man, breaking the power of sin and death once, and for all, the real work began- taking the good news of a Savior into the darkness of the lost and dying world. But first? The followers of Jesus Christ, the Messiah, the Savior of the World had to wait. Wait for what? They didn’t know exactly what they were waiting for on that Pentecost Sunday! But, “when the day of Pentecost arrived…” (Acts 2:1), the promise, the praise and the power came together all at once, setting God’s people on fire, proving that His promises are true and are filled with sweeping, awesome, supernatural power and ignited into flames by the presence of God. Friend, the promise you’ve been waiting on in is rooted firmly in what happened on that day…
(“Pentecost Sunday”, is marked on the calendar as the 50th day (and the 7th Sunday) after the beautiful morning that Jesus rose from the dead.)
After Jesus appeared to the disciples and they had spent time with Him in the days after His resurrection, He spoke these words, before He ascended into heaven: “Do not depart from Jerusalem, but wait for the promise of the Father, of which you have heard from Me.” (Acts 1:4 mev) And then, the final words Jesus spoke on this earth were these, “…you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you. And you shall be My witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” (Acts 1:8 mev) Jesus Christ gave the disciples the plan for the miracle, but even so, they didn’t know what to expect. They were hurting. They’d been through so much. They didn’t know what they were waiting for, or what the fulfillment of the promise would look like. They didn’t know how long they would have to wait. Does it feel that way for you sometimes? God made you a promise…. now what??
Pentecost Sunday Proves Power in the Promise
This is the plan Jesus gave His disciples and it’s the same plan for your situation, and mine, as well:
1) “Do not depart from Jerusalem” – When you’re in a season of waiting, when you don’t know what to do, or where to go, which decision to make, and when you’re exhausted, scared and discouraged, “do not depart”. Stay where you are and don’t move. Don’t let pressure or people push you to make a hasty decision. His power for your promise is coming. His timing is perfect and He can be trusted. Stay where you are and seek, seek, seek. The disciples weren’t told the promise would be fulfilled on “Pentecost Sunday”. They were told to stay and pray until it came – however long that would take. Their trust was that the words of the Lord would prove true at the right time.
2) “Wait for the promise of the Father” – The disciples waited in the upper room without knowing how long they’d have to wait. Jesus had not given them a time frame for His promises. But while they were waiting, they weren’t just sitting around in a prayer circle. Luke records that while they did, indeed, seek the Lord together (Acts 1:14), they also continued to live life, and move forward while they waited in Jerusalem. (Acts 1:20) When you’re waiting on a promise from the Lord in one area, don’t isolate yourself. Pray with other believers who will seek the Lord with you. Don’t put your life on hold while you wait. Focus on other areas that need attention, seeking, first, “the kingdom of God, and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” (Matt. 6:33)
3) “You will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes” – Jesus said that when the fulfillment of the promise came, there would be power, His supernatural power, that would provide the strength and courage needed to take the next step. And that’s what happened! (Acts 2:1-13) His power defies reason. His power often doesn’t look like what we expected to see. His power is impossible to understand. His power proves that the waiting was not in vain. It’s no different in your life! When the Holy Spirit’s power comes into your situation, at just the right time, He will transform your waiting into His wonders. Will you have the supernatural eyes to perceive it? Sometimes we become so fixated on our own expectations that we can miss the power of God unfolding in our promise! Acts 2:1-13 tells that while the disciples were experiencing the world-changing power of God, others thought they were drunk. Not everyone saw the promise. Religious leaders of the “faith” couldn’t see it, even while it was right in front of them.
4) “You will be My witnesses” – When the power of the Holy Spirit “comes upon you”- “you will be My witnesses”, Jesus said. This is an important part of growing the kingdom of God! After the power of God came upon the disciples, they took their witness of that power into the world. “…in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth…” Jesus said. Think about this: “Jerusalem” was their ‘home’ filled with Pharisees and “believers” who were caught in dead religion, “Judea and Samaria” were the outlying areas that surrounded them, filled with Gentiles and pagans, and to “…the ends of the earth…” One of the most powerful things you can ever do to testify of what the Lord has done is to worship and praise Him- before, during and after the Holy Spirit’s power comes upon you in response to your faith, prayer and seeking. YOUR testimony matters! (Psalm 40:1-3) The world is watching you and they’ll have a renewed hope in the Lord when they see and hear what He has done for you!
Thought for today: The Pressure to Move, the Power to Wait
What will your “power” look like? What will the outcome be? What will the Lord do on your “Pentecost Sunday”? Don’t try to guess what the Lord will do- seek Him for the plan. He will “tell you of things to come”, (John 16:13) even if you don’t understand or have all the pieces yet. Keep seeking Him and don’t bow to the pressure to move when the Lord told you to wait. Friends, “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything, by prayer and supplication with gratitude, make your requests known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will protect your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” (Phil. 4:6-7 mev)
When all the pieces are in place and He has orchestrated each situation to fall into His perfect timeline, His Holy Spirit will breakthrough with power and your life will change- and then your testimony will change the world! How do you pray when you don’t know what you are praying for? The words of Jesus Christ are always the right ones, in every situation, no matter who, what, when, where, why or how: “Your kingdom come, Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.” (Matt. 6:10) Stay, pray, praise and prepare yourself- the power and the promise are coming!