I am going to send you what my Father has promised; but stay in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high. Luke 24:49.
When the Advocate comes, whom I will send you from the Father(the Spirit of truth who goes out from the Father ) He will testify about Me. And you must also testify, for you have been with me from the beginning. John 15:26-27.
But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth. Acts 1:8
Can you remember your last act of obedience or disobedience to a directive you received from the Holy Spirit? If you’re not yet a follower of Jesus Christ; do you recall a prompting you had to read the Scriptures or to pray and you ignored it? You probably thought it couldn’t be God because you’re not living for Him. Not necessarily true, and here is Truth to debunk your thinking. The Lord appeared to us in the past, saying, “I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with unfailing kindness.” Jeremiah 31:3
He’s always wooing and drawing you. Just quiet your heart before Him.
Jesus was about to leave His disciples, He had arisen from the dead as promised, and now it was time to return to His Father and now, our Father. Before leaving, you could say, He was tying up loose ends. Giving final instructions to the eleven, (Judas had committed suicide). Their willingness to follow His command completely and willingly, would result in the birth of the early Church. They were demanded to stay in Jerusalem until they were given the promised Spirit of Truth. Stay until they received the transference of Power from on high. They were to remain in one accord. No disunity. They had no idea when or how. They were given one command only: STAY IN JERUSALEM.
Let’s take a peek into what was going on in the upper room in Jerusalem shall we?
First they set about to replace Judas to fulfill what had been written centuries before in Psalm 69:25 and Psalm 109:8.
Remember what I said about the Old Testament concealed and the New revealed? Well this is another example. Acts 1:12-26. You are familiar with the drill…go read your….you got it.
Acts 2:1-6 When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one accord. Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them. Now there were staying in Jerusalem God-fearing Jews from every nation under heaven. When they heard this sound, a crowd came together in bewilderment, because each one heard their own language being spoken.
We can safely say that God knows how to draw a crowd. Jerusalem is the epicenter of Israel. Everyone gathers there for big events. It’s kinda like Washington D. C. At this time you could call it a United Nation’s meeting. Because many nations “just happen” to be there that morning. Yeah right! There are no coincidences with God only divine appointments. He planned and timed it perfectly. The New Testament church, bought by His Blood, was about to be birthed in one day. They thought they were just assembling out of obedience to Jesus’ command, they had no idea what was about to take place. They had no idea that a revival was about to break out. They had no idea that Nations were about to be birthed into the Kingdom of God’s dear Son. And we too, have no idea what our obedience or disobedience is about to give birth to.
Let’s take a peek again, shall we?
Verse 14: Then Peter stood up with the Eleven, raised his voice and addressed the crowd. ( some in the crowd thought they were drunk) He told them from start to finish about Jesus and he gave such a compelling account the crowd responded.
Verse 37:When the people heard this, (go read what they heard) they were cut to the heart and said to Peter and the other Apostles, “Brothers, what shall we do?” Peter replied, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the Name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. Let’s jump to verse 41: Those who accepted this message were baptized, and about three thousand were added to their number that day. Wow! From 120 obedient folks, the Church of Jesus Christ grew to 3,120 Believers; and the Lord added to the Church “daily” those who were being saved. V 47. On that day Their obedience paid off and God was pleased to offer salvation to every nation, race and tongue. Acts 2:5-11
Are you catching this? I pray your curiosity will be aroused to go find out what’s going on over there in the book of Acts. You’ll never fully understand how the Christian Church was birthed without reading this Book. So let’s go back to my original question. Can you remember your last act of obedience/ disobedience? What was the result? The Apostles(the originals)along with 109 other individuals gave themselves over to obedience, and stayed in Jerusalem, in the upper room, fasting, praying and worshiping, waiting for a promise- A promise that did not come with a date or time. I didn’t read that they were impatiently or anxiously waiting. But I did read that they were in one accord. We can’t come in agreement over ice cream flavors. We can’t come in agreement over what color carpet to put down in the church building. No wonder we’re not experiencing the promises of God.
We are microwave Christians/people. Instant gratification. We want patience and we want it now! Did you miss out on God’s promises or His invitation to wait on Him through impatience? The Church was born out of a willingness to put self aside and follow Jesus’ command, not request, to STAY in one place for however long it took, until The Holy Spirit showed up. No one went home. No one had other plans. They remained in one accord and prayed. We can’t get enough people to show up for a Bible Study or a prayer meeting today. Too busy! We can’t get Christians to read their bibles once a month let alone daily! You cannot grow as a child of God without His Word.
If you continue reading the book of Acts, you’ll embark on a wonderful journey of the young church. You’ll also read of supernatural miracles performed by uneducated fishermen. Persecution and testing a plenty, still they grew. Another example of God using the weak things of the world to shame the strong. 1 Corinthians 1:27. A Word spoken, the shadow of Peter bringing healing, handkerchiefs and aprons that touched Paul brought healing. Just a few of the miracles performed by ordinary men who were filled with the Spirit of God; and All this came about because they STAYED.
Partial obedience, is disobedience. God has set very high standards for His children. Standards we cannot live up to without the help of the Holy Spirit. What the disciples had to do moving forward,required total obedience and abandonment. If you’re stumbling through life, complaining that “you don’t get no breaks” check your obedience meter. If the harder you work, the less you have to show for it, Check your obedience meter.
If you are raising children who are living in reckless rebellion, check your obedience meter. If you’re failing in relationships, go ahead say it! So what was your last act of obedience or disobedience? What has been the result?
The Apostles received the promise because they stayed where Jesus demanded them to. Not suggested or asked them to. We don’t like being told what to do, neither do we like being corrected. But the blessing will flow through no other way. Obedience is the key. I believe part of the reason the church of Jesus Christ is not experiencing the things we read about in scripture is our lack of adherence to God’s Word. We want to shape and control the narrative. But here’s what God has to say about that.
“I AM the Lord that is My Name! I will not give my glory to anyone else, nor share my praise with carved idols.” Isaiah 42:8
Now what part of that don’t we understand? When God speaks He’s not asking for our opinion. Just our obedience. It is far better to obey than to suffer the consequences. Ask King Saul! 1 Samuel 15. The plans God has for us are good, but it requires our participation and obedience. Jeremiah 29:11-14. We’re struggling because of our stubborn will getting in the way of His will for us. Listen! God doesn’t care if you’re conservative or liberal, educated or under educated, rich or poor. He can handle all our idiosyncrasies. He only needs your willingness to obey and submit to His Word. Is that too difficult for you? Believe me you don’t want the alternative.
I’m hearing these words from Isaiah 55 in closing. Seek the Lord while He may be found; call on Him while He is near. Let the wicked forsake their ways, and the unrighteous their thoughts. Let them turn to the Lord and He will have mercy on them, and to our God and He will freely pardon.
Dear Heavenly Father, in the Name of Jesus. I ask for your forgiveness for my disobedience to your Word. I can’t go back and correct those mistakes, but I can and will repent and move forward in your will for my life. Your Word promises me there’s no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus. (Romans 8) thank you for drawing me with your loving kindness. In Jesus Name 🙏
The Lord is good to those who hope in Him, to the one who seeks Him; it is good to wait quietly for the salvation of the Lord. Lamentations 3:25-26
Written by permission of the Holy Spirit.