“When the holy day of Pentecost came 50 days after Passover, they were gathered together in one place,” – Acts 2:1, The Voice
Imagine waiting for the Holy Spirit. Can you envision what it would have been like, to watch as our Savior ascended into heaven promising to send His Helper? 50 days. It must have seemed like forever. The work was done! Jesus had not only paid the ultimate cost of sin on the Cross, but He had defeated death when He walked out of His tomb. With God’s kingdom seeming so close at hand, did those 50 days drag on and on?
We will not know this side of eternity, but the ending of Acts chapter one give us a clue: “Back in the city, they went to the room where they were staying—a second-floor room. This whole group devoted themselves to constant prayer with one accord…,” (1:13-14). This group did what is contrary to our nature: they waited. So often we rush to the finish. We see that, as the school year dwindles down, we are so near to the end that we can taste it. But, as with all things that are a part of God’s kingdom, we must not rush the Holy of Holies.
Why didn’t the Apostles run out and start evangelizing? Why weren’t they proclaiming the new kingdom of God, fulfilling the Lord’s prayer of “on earth as it is in heaven”? Because it was not their work to do! At least, not in the traditional sense.
We have the immense blessing of being a part of God’s coming kingdom here and now, but this is not something we do in our own strength. Think of Paul’s words to the Ephesian church, “Now to the God who can do so many awe-inspiring things, immeasurable things, things greater than we ever could ask or imagine through the power at work in us,” (3:20). Did you catch that? “the power at work in us…” Oh what a burden that has lifted! We don’t do God’s work on our own, but rather, as the Apostles before, we devote ourselves to God in prayer, and He will give us the strength to finish well.
This idea was said best by a teacher I once had: “Christ can do it, and He always said He would.” As we come to the end of the year, some of us moving on and some of us moving up, it is pertinent to remind ourselves that we serve a living God and it is only by His power that we accomplish anything. In order to be effective in this world, we must always be drawing on the only source of Water that gives life, and life abundantly.
May we live the life God has called us to, and may we always remember that we do so in His strength.