On Sunday Pastor Jeremy Johnson continued our series “Church of Power” by teaching us that God is in the midst of the tension we face between when the promise is spoken and when the promise is being fulfilled. The waiting is just as important as the promise because the waiting is what leads to the fulfillment.
In Acts 1:4 Jesus makes a promise to the disciples: “On one occasion, while he was eating with them, he gave them this command: ‘Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift my Father promised, which you have heard me speak about.’” The gift he is referring to is the gift of the Holy Spirit. The disciples inquired about the time they would receive this promise but He told them in verse 7 that they would not know the time or the date. Their only job was to wait. In a society of drive-thru windows and front of the line passes, waiting has become a hard concept for us to grasp. It can seem like a form of punishment, when in reality it’s just as much of a gift as the gift itself. Without the process, you won’t receive the promise. If the disciples left Jerusalem before Pentecost they would have lacked the power to do what God had called them to do in the first place.
Often times when we can’t handle the tension, we try and manipulate the Word into our timeline and do things we were never supposed to do while we wait. Peter did this when he replaced Judas with Matthias. He ended up placing all kinds of requirements that God never issued on the one who should replace him and used earthly means (casting lots) to choose him (Acts 1:21-26). Yes, it was prophesied that someone needed to take the place of Judas but God didn’t choose Matthias. He later chose Paul, but because Paul didn’t match their requirements they never would have chosen him. We cannot allow ourselves to continue to reduce a supernatural God to natural means. If we do, we trap ourselves in the chains of religion that Jesus died to set us free from.
In Isaiah 49:2 it says, “He made my mouth like a sharpened sword, in the shadow of his hand he hid me; he made me into a polished arrow and concealed me in his quiver.” God is doing the same with us. There’s a tension that has to be created between the bow and the arrow before the arrow is released. You may feel like you are in a season of hiddenness, nowhere near the fulfillment of the promise God has given you. The truth is, the tension that you think is holding you back is actually the very thing that is going to propel you forward into the promise! The promise is worth the wait because it’s only in the waiting that we can obtain the strength to carry the weight of the promise. Don’t give up. Trust that God knows what He’s doing and lean into Him as you wait for the promises of your life to be fulfilled.