Not Our Timing

Key Texts: Acts 1:1-11

In my former book, Theophilus, I wrote about all that Jesus began to do and to teach until the day he was taken up to heaven, after giving instructions through the Holy Spirit to the apostles he had chosen.  After his suffering, he presented himself to them and gave many convincing proofs that he was alive. He appeared to them over a period of forty days and spoke about the kingdom of God.  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.  For John baptized with water, but in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.”

Then they gathered around him and asked him, “Lord, are you at this time going to restore the kingdom to Israel?”

He said to them: “It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by his own authority.  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.”

After he said this, he was taken up before their very eyes, and a cloud hid him from their sight.

They were looking intently up into the sky as he was going, when suddenly two men dressed in white stood beside them.  “Men of Galilee,” they said, “why do you stand here looking into the sky? This same Jesus, who has been taken from you into heaven, will come back in the same way you have seen him go into heaven.”

Just before His ascension to heaven, Jesus said something hugely important – not only for those first followers of years ago – but for us today:

“It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by his own authority.  But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you….”

What God accomplishes He does according to His divine timing – not the schedule we mere humans try to set.  We can hover over our smartphones, calendars, spreadsheets, personal organizers, and strategic plans all we want – and those things do have some value.

But when it comes to being a part of what God is doing in the greatest sense, and at the deepest level, we must remember that His timing – and not ours – is the key to it all.

Does it mean we are to take no initiative – just waiting on a hillside somewhere, dressed in white robes, waiting for Jesus to return and take us all home to our “mansions in our sky”?  No I think we have some important kingdom work to do in the meantime and that takes initiative and a willingness to act – strategic plans and all.

I am simply saying that we must always remain attuned, as best we can, to the guiding influence of the Holy Spirit along the way.  Then and only then can we do what God intends.

Don’t throw away your personal organizers and schedules.  Don’t declare that your iPhone is a thing of the devil (though sometimes I swear mine might be).

Do pray, and search the scriptures, and wait, and listen.

The Spirit, like the wind, blows where and when the Spirit will and according to God the Father’s timing the kingdom will come.

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