Wait A Minute
Do you like waiting for things? Does it depend on what you are waiting for?
Intro: Hunters wait for the kill
Pregnant women wait 9 months for the birth
Patients wait on the doctor
Husbands wait on their wives while they shop
Kids who have been bad wait on their dad to get home
Teenagers can hardly wait until they can drive
Drivers wait on traffic and trains
I hate to wait. I hate to stand in line. I hate to sit in traffic. I hate when they lock me in the little room in the Doctor’s office and I have no idea why it is taking so long to come in and see me.
Impatient – want it now!
Psalm 62:5 “My soul, wait quietly on God alone.”
The Bible implores us to wait.
Waiting is not the absence of movement! You wait right here. Don’t do anything.
Waiting is not delay! Even though it might feel that way.
God doesn’t have us wait just to play the waiting game.
He doesn’t have us wait just to be mean or to try our patience.
Waiting is preparation!
Something should be happening while we wait. Drives me nuts when I think that it is a waste of time, but while we are waiting we have to realize that God is preparing us for something.
When Moses was leading the Israelites through the wilderness they were waiting to enter the Promised Land. They wasted a lot of time while they were waiting because they did not realize that God was preparing them. He was preparing them to be a nation, to be His representative to the peoples around them.
Jesus had been preparing his followers. After the crucifixion and resurrection the disciples went to Galilee where Jesus told them that He would meet them. It was there in Galilee that He gave them the Great Commission to go to the nations and make disciples.
Jesus was there, gave them their assignment. Let’s go!! I’m sure that Peter grabbed his stuff and was headed for the door.
Acts 1:4-8, 12-15
Acts 1:4-8 (NASB95)
4Gathering them together, He commanded them not to leave Jerusalem, but to wait for what the Father had promised, “Which,” He said, “you heard of from Me; 5for John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.” 6So when they had come together, they were asking Him, saying, “Lord, is it at this time You are restoring the kingdom to Israel?” 7He said to them, “It is not for you to know times or epochs which the Father has fixed by His own authority; 8but you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth.”
Jesus tells them why they have to wait:
The time is not right – they were still expecting Him to come back as the ruling King. They still hadn’t caught the picture of what he was doing.
They are not ready
Can’t go out under their own power, need the HS to guide them.
So they have to wait.
So, what do you do when you have to wait?
Acts 1:12-15 (NASB95)
12Then they returned to Jerusalem from the mount called Olivet, which is near Jerusalem, a Sabbath day’s journey away. 13When they had entered the city, they went up to the upper room where they were staying; that is, Peter and John and James and Andrew, Philip and Thomas, Bartholomew and Matthew, James the son of Alphaeus, and Simon the Zealot, and Judas the son of James. 14These all with one mind were continually devoting themselves to prayer, along with the women, and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with His brothers.
The passage goes on to tell about the selection of the one to fill the vacancy left by Judas.
But they still had to wait.
Luke 24:49 Jesus said, “Behold, I send the Promise of My Father upon you; but tarry (wait) in the city of Jerusalem until you are endued with power from on high.”
They were commanded to wait.
Let’s see what lessons the disciples learned as they waited.
Lessons from The Disciples as they waited
THE PURPOSE OF THEIR WAITING vs. 4
To receive the Promise of the Father-
To receive the POWER of the Holy Spirit
What are you waiting for? Healing, Job, Finances, Son or daughter, loved one to come home, His will for your life
What is the purpose of your waiting?
God wants to prepare you as you wait. Circumstances, people around us.
God wants you to learn and grow spiritually as you wait.
Remember that you are not waiting just to be waiting.
1. THEY POSITIONED THEMSELVES to receive the Promise vs. 12-13
They were in the right place- Jerusalem
They were in the right place- the Upper Room
What about you? How are you waiting? Are you putting yourself in a position to receive God’s promises?
We have to put ourselves in the right place. We have to be in the right place physically: It is not just that the disciples were in the Upper Room, but that they were with other believers.
We have to be in the right place spiritually: That means that while we are waiting we are working on our relationship with God.
Waiting is not the absence of movement; we are to be doing something while we wait. We are wasting time and missing opportunities to witness and minister to others if we are doing nothing while we wait.
We have to put ourselves in the right position so that when the time is right we are ready.
Vs 14 shows one of the most important things that we are to be doing while we wait:
Acts 1:14 (NASB95)
14These all with one mind were continually devoting themselves to prayer, along with the women, and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with His brothers.
2. THEY PRAYED WHILE THEY WERE WAITING
-John Wesley said - Nothing happens in the Kingdom of God unless it is preceded by prayer
We have got to pray while we wait.
We are called to prayer-
Pray without ceasing 1 Thess. 5:17
Vs. 14 says in prayer and supplication, some translations leave out the word “supplication”- that is PLEADING and BEGGING
This means these disciples, while they were waiting, prayed earnestly.
We have to be careful that our prayers are not vain repetitions like Jesus warned us about in Matt 6. Our prayers are to be conversations with God and our prayers should also consist of times of earnestly listening for God. Jesus gave us a model for what should be in our prayers. I don’t know that He ever intended for us to recite the model. It is a framework to model our prayer after.
Vicki and I went to a cooking class last week.
Chef said “Recipe is just a guideline. You have to tweak it and personalize and make it yours. Have fun with it. Try different things.”
It is just her words on the page until I experiment with it, give it a try and it works for me. Then it becomes my recipe, based on the recipe of the master chef.
Suzie’s biscuits. Gotta try it for yourself.
Experiment with your prayer. Driving, on the beach, while you cook, while you wait on the train. Out loud, quietly, written down, in art, music.
We have all these expressions that make it ours.
We can even use the Psalms as a guide and make the prayers of the psalmist our prayers. Not by reciting the words but by feeling the emotion of them and making them mine. They give me a starting place when I don’t have words of my own. We find every emotion in prayer in the psalms.
The apostles knew the importance of prayer:
They were passionate in their prayers
They were persuasive in their prayers
they were serious about their prayers
We should always pray
3. THEY WERE PATIENT & PERSISTENT WHILE THEY WERE WAITING vs. 14
…these all continued…
They didn’t quit while they were waiting – they kept asking and asking and asking
They didn’t complain while they were waiting
They didn’t throw in the towel while they were waiting
They didn’t turn their back on the Lord on day 3 or day 9. They kept waiting.
Ps. 37:7 “Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for Him.”
4. THEY REMAINED POSITIVE WHILE WAITING vs. 4
How? Because they had a word from God.
Remember Luke 24:49 when Jesus spoke to them- His Word
Vs. 4 he commanded them to wait for the Promise of the Father
They had faith to believe it would happen. The promise would come.
Hebrews 11:6 “But without faith it is impossible to please him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.”
They knew their faith would be rewarded. They had walked with him and saw him work. They saw the miracles. They saw his resurrected body. They knew his word was always true. You gotta get a word from God
We have to know the Scripture so that we know the promises of God and know that they are ours.
5. WHILE THEY WAITED THEY PLACED PEOPLE IN PROPER POSITIONS vs. 24-25
They were gettting ready. They were preparing for the ministry ahead. Had to get the right people in the right positions.
They got on with the business of the church. Let me rephrase that, they got on with the business of Jesus Christ. We need to make sure that we don’t get caught up in just being busy, we need to be busy with the work of Christ, taking care of each other and ministering to the people around us.
They continued to pray and worship.
They made sure that they had leaders in place.
They prepared while they prayed.
They knew that God would keep His promise to them and that the Holy Spirit would come. And when that time came they needed to be ready. They already had their assignment.
What a shame it would have been for the Holy Spirit to come and the apostles not be ready.
Waiting is part of being a Christian.
God uses the time while we wait to teach us patience.
He uses our waiting to teach us about ourselves and He uses our waiting to teach us about Him:
Noah waited 7 days for the dove to return so that he could learn that God did keep His promise to him.
The people waited while Moses went up the mountain to meet with God and bring down the commandments. They didn’t learn much on that one.
Saul didn’t wait on Samuel as he was instructed to and worshipped in his own way. His impatience cost him his kingdom. He learned how important it was to worship God exactly as God instructed.
Psalm 25:3 (NASB95)
3Indeed, none of those who wait for You will be ashamed; Those who deal treacherously without cause will be ashamed.
Psalm 27:14 (NASB95)
14Wait for the Lord; Be strong and let your heart take courage; Yes, wait for the Lord.
Psalm 37:34 (NASB95)
34Wait for the Lord and keep His way, And He will exalt you to inherit the land; When the wicked are cut off, you will see it.
Isa 64.4 says that God acts on behalf of those who wait for Him.
Lamentations 3:25 (NASB95)
25The Lord is good to those who wait for Him, To the person who seeks Him.
Abraham received God’s promise because he waited on God.
We have two choices:
We can wait on God and waste our time doing nothing while we are waiting or we can wait on God and prepare ourselves for what is coming.
We prepare ourselves by
Making sure that we are in the right position – in a fellowship of believers, encouraging them and letting them encourage us.
By praying and building our relationship with the Father.
By learning patience and persistence.
By remaining positive as we rely on God’s promises to us.
It’s your choice. What are you waiting for and How are you going to wait?
Do it the right way and then we will be able to proclaim as David did
Psalm 40 : 1-3
I waited patiently on the Lord; and he inclined to me and heard my cry
He also brought me out of a horrible pit
Out of the miry clay and set my feet upon a rock and established my steps
He has put a new song in my mouth
Praise to our God
Many will see it and fear
And will trust in the Lord.