Waiting can be something difficult, especially when we have not expressed fully yet the gift of the Holy Spirit called: patience.
I remember when I was a child; I was not the most patient person. For every Christmas, the rule in my family was to open the Christmas gifts on the morning of 25 December. Therefore, from the age of 4 to the age of 7 while I was expecting to receive a present from Santa, I would impatiently come to the living room, during the night from 24 to 25, while everyone was asleep, to verify if Santa had brought my gift under the Christmas tree. As soon as I had checked that my gift was present, I would go back to bed reassured. Today, we can also fall into this trap and be impatient when God’s promise does not come in our own time, we try to snoop as much as possible. And we can even end up in disobedience, believing that our own way is more coherent and easier to handle. I work in Clinical Research and after a year in my previous position in the public sector, I knew it was time for me to look for the opportunity I always wanted: working in the private sector. And when I prayed about it, I remember that I felt like it was not the time just yet. I had no other choice but to wait. At the same time, I had a new Manager who was making my life very difficult. How can we wait in such circumstances?
The word wait is defined in the MacMillan dictionary to stay in one place because you expect or hope that something will happen. Wait also means to be hoping or expecting that something will happen. The wait involves the hope of the unseen. Accordingly, we know that faith is the confidence in what we hope and the assurance about what we do not see (Hebrews 11 :1 NIV), therefore patience can only be manifested when faith is involved. The question is, what is your attitude, in regard to your waiting? Do you wait in obedience fulfilling God’s perfect master plan, or do you wait impatiently disobeying God’s command during the process? Are you waiting boldly and confidently knowing that certainly the promise will come? When your mindset is to obey God, patience is certainly, the path to fulfill this commitment.
- Wait in obedience
The Bible is full of character that understood the essence of being patience and the perfume that birth of it.
Before he was slaughtered on the cross of Calvary, Jesus spent his time fulfilling his ministry. Meanwhile, he was teaching to his twelve disciples the gospel of God and how to expand it to the nations. He instructed them how to share the love by healing the sick, delivering the demon-possessed, etc. Jesus wanted the twelve to continue his work and he provided them the tools. Most of the instructions were given in the field while the disciples were with their Master. But the main asset, which would enhance the Missionary ministry of the disciples, was yet to come: the Holy Spirit. Thereby, after his death when Jesus resurrected, he informed the disciples to wait for the Holy Spirit. He beforehand explained to them the purpose of the Holy Spirit in their lives.
«13 However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come. 14 He will glorify Me, for He will take of what is Mine and declare it to you» John 16:13-14 NKJV
Although Jesus would not be with them in person, after his death, he would be through the Holy Spirit. But in what form the Holy Spirit would come?
The disciples did not know in what shape the Holy Ghost would arrive, however, it did not stop them to trust Jesus and execute his direction by waiting for him. Imagine how difficult it could possibly be to wait for the Spirit without even knowing how and when he would come? Today, it is easier for us to commonly speak about the Holy Spirit and being familiar with the gift of the Holy Spirit because many have received it before us. Yet the disciples were the first to receive the Holy Spirit in such a way. It was an unknown experience full of surprises, thus they were obedient to their Master.
«And being assembled together with them, He commanded them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the Promise of the Father, “which,” He said, “you have heard from Me; 5 for John truly baptized with water, but you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.” » Acts 1: 4-5 NKJV
In addition, Jesus did not give them much information about the events that will follow the coming of the Holy Spirit, therefore the disciples were inquisitively asking for more enlightenment. But the commandment was clear short and straightforward: wait.
«Therefore, when they had come together, they asked Him, saying, “Lord, will You at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?” 7 And He said to them, “It is not for you to know times or seasons which the Father has put in His own authority. But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”
» Acts 1:6-8 NKJV
While you wait some time, you want to understand
- How the promise will be manifested?
- What will happen after the wait?
- When will you stop waiting?
But God is a sovereign King, meaning he will share with you only what he wants to divulge and what you need to know. God has no obligation to reveal further information. It is easy to fall into the trap of feeling entitled but we are not. Hence why when the disciples were inquisitive, Jesus specifically expressed to them that they do not need to know that information. All they have to do is to obey. Do not let your inquisition make you be so impatient that you disobey. Finally, while they were altogether waiting for the Holy Spirit, he came on the day of Pentecost. The coming of the Holy Spirit was spectacular.
«When the Day of Pentecost had fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. 2 And suddenly there came a sound from heaven, as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. Then there appeared to them divided tongues, as of fire, and one sat upon each of them. 4 And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance. » Act 2:1-4 NKJV
Everyone was amazed because the coming of the Holy Spirit was above all expectations, and as fantastic as the presence of Jesus in the earth was, so the Holy Spirit was. God from heaven sent the Holy Spirit to the disciples as promised. He came in the shape of rushing wind and manifested in the disciples through tongues of fire. The gift that they were waiting for, exceeds their expectations; their obedience was greatly rewarded. When you wait on God you cannot be disappointed. The disciples waiting for the coming of the Holy Ghost promised by Jesus-Christ is a powerful example of how we should wait for the promise of God with patience, trust, and obedience even if we have only few information. Indeed, the disciples were no longer scattered, but they were all in one place, reunited in one mindset, waiting patiently in obedience and in this environment, the promise came and signed the beginning of their ministry. They reaped the fruit of their obedience.
In opposition, there are examples of people who lost their patience and disobey the instruction given by God.
to be continued