Wait, Be Empowered, and Move with the Spirit
Reading: Luke 24: 45-49
Additional reading: Acts 1: 4-8; 2:1-4, Psalm 131:1-2
Often God’s clear and detail guidance comes to those who can wait.
If we can wait on God, we may bring peaceful plans to our community.
Now let’s think about the life of Jesus.
Before starting his ministry, God had him wait and be prepared.
Jesus came to save the world.
But he needed to wait until he knew for sure what he needed to do as the Savior.
He must have studied and learned what the Christ should do.
He must learn what to do and how to live as the Messiah.
Then he learned what was already written in the Bible:
“The Messiah must suffer and rise from the dead on the third day.
Then in his name, repentance for the forgiveness of sins will be preached to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.”
Through his meditation and study, he came to this conclusion.
He was thirty years old.
Now he needed to make a decision.
Is he going to start this still?
Can he do this?
This is about eternity of many people.
He was this much prepared to build something long lasting, eternal lasting.
He also needs to know what to teach and how to act for God.
He needed to plan his three years of public ministry.
After learning enough lessons from God, he decided to start his dynamic ministry. Even then, he took each step carefully.
(1) First he humbled himself and went to John the Baptist to be baptized.
The humble Holy Spirit came on Jesus like a peaceful dove.
God also approved that he was ready now.
Jesus still needed to wait and think about this.
So, Jesus went to the wilderness.
Jesus was making decision while waiting.
He was there for 40 days and 40 nights.
He was tested there.
After long training, he knew whether some imagination and ideas are in harmony with God or not.
There he learned that he was really ready to serve God as the Messiah.
After this time of waiting, learning, thinking, and preparing, he went out to serve people.
But even after this, whenever he had to make another important decision, he went to mountains and prayed there again and again. He was there alone, waiting on God to speak to him.
For example, right before choosing twelve key students leaders for his ministry he spent a whole night.
Resting before God he made each decision.
If it was the will of God, he might have felt an inner peace.
He knew that by the movement of his feeling.
He must have a process in discerning and making choices for his ministry.
Each decision will influence the whole eternity, so he needed to wait on God.
(2) Even on the night he was betrayed, he waited and made the final decisions being inspired by his Father.
So, again Jesus sought privacy.
In silence, he listened to God.
Because prayer is listening.
His heart was able to listen to his Father.
Then he remembered why he came to the world.
God was saying the same:
“The Messiah must suffer and rise from the dead on the third day, and repentance for the forgiveness of sins will be preached in your name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.”
Before taking the actual cross, he waited alone and thought about, and examined his life.
Jesus knew this process.
Then, Jesus suffered and died.
(4) On the third day, he was raised from the death.
From now on, anyone who confesses their sin and turn around will be forgiven.
After his resurrection, Jesus said to his students: (Luke 24: 45-49)
“I am going to send you what my Father has promised.
So, stay in Jerusalem until you have been empowered by the Holy Spirit.”
Jesus said this again and again.
In another time, while they were all eating, Jesus said: (Acts 1: 4-5)
“Do not leave Jerusalem.
But wait for the gift my Father promised, which you have heard me speak about.
For John baptized with water, but in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.”
Jesus asked the students to wait.
Jesus didn’t tell them exactly what would happen.
Those who wait will know.
Jesus learned that only when they were empowered by the Holy Spirit, they were able to speak of the story of Jesus.
They needed to wait, be empowered, and move with the Holy Spirit.
(4) So, they start to wait in Jerusalem.
They were waiting together in one place.
They waited one day, two day.
After they waited 50 days, the Holy Spirit came.
Suddenly a sound like the blowing wind came from heaven.
It filled the whole room.
Then what looks like tongues of fire were separated and came to rest on each of them.
Then all of them received the Holy Spirit.
The Holy Spirit empowered them.
Then they began to speak in many languages. (Acts 2:1-4)
Because they received the Holy Spirit, when they proclaim the story of Jesus, the Holy Spirit works with them.
They could help a lot of people because of the Holy Spirit.
When it is needed, the Holy Spirit enables them to heal people.
Then they were able to tell the story of Jesus wherever they go.
You may say:
“We are Korean. We are American. We don’t wait. We don’t like waiting.”
So, let me tell you how other people learn to wait.
Brother Roger of Taizé said something like this:
When you feel like walking in a thick fog, waiting for Christ means giving him the time to put everything in its place. Then a fountain of gladness springs up in the desert of your heart. It is not just any kind of joy, but that jubilation which comes straight from the wellsprings of Eternity.
I don’t know what you think of this.
But Norman Vincent Peale talks about waiting in this way:
“My own method is to seek privacy and sit quietly until I achieve a fairly relaxed state of mind and body. Then I practice conceiving of God, the Creator, as actually touching me, actually re-creating me, then, and there. I consciously “feel” new life passing from God into my body, into my mind. I picture my spirit as being renewed again, making vital electric contact. I then say aloud slowly the following affirmation, “In God (I) live, and move and have (my) being.” (Acts 17:28)… “The Kingdom of God is within me.”
Jesus asks his students to wait.
When we wait, God works in our heart.
When we wait, we experience the Spirit of Jesus works in our heart.
Whether you wait or not, God still loves you.
God loves you and gave the only Son for you.
But if you wait, you will be able to walk closely with the Christ.
If you wait, you will move with the Spirit.
Then your heart may be able to hear clearly what God wants.
In the morning or in the evening, I hope you would learn to wait on Christ Jesus daily.
When you wait, you will understand more of God.
May the Holy Sprit give you new ideas and protection.
May the resurrected Jesus be with you all.