On Pentecost the Holy Spirit came upon the disciples and life as it was known took a radical shift. It’s a great moment in history, however I think it’s worthwhile to look at what happened before the Holy Spirit descended in order to learn about God. Acts 1 tells us:
- The disciples spent time with Jesus gathering instruction
- Then they gathered together
- They waited
- They prayed
- They acted on a prophecy (replacing Judas to fulfill what was declared in the Psalms)
That last one strikes me the most. I don’t think it would have been easy to re-live the pain of Judas’ betrayal and replace a man that had been an integral part of their ministry up until Jesus’ death. Yet God gave them permission to do so. I believe this was part of a healing process to restore what the devil had taken and prepare them for what was coming next.
Sometimes in life we forget to take time for these things. We get excited about a call from God and forget to ask Him how to prepare. We jump ahead; we want it NOW. We don’t want to wait. And once we’re in it, we have trouble stepping back and taking breaks. We want it to be greater, stronger, more, to keep the momentum going… even at our own expense. Then we end up burnt out or with a ministry that’s doing good, but somehow falling short of our grand expectations.
When God says ‘wait’ or even ‘stop’, listen.
The disciples listened well, and their devotion prepared them for one of the greatest harvests ever recorded. 3,000 souls were added to their number in one day. ONE day (Acts 2:41).
I’ve been in ministry over a year and I have yet to see that many join the cause in one day. I believe it’s because I often miss God’s subtle movements and strategies. I get too caught up in my own head and plan, or I question His ways too much thinking my fast-paced ideals are better.
I’m not saying life and ministry need to be about numbers. Whether it’s 3,000 or just one soul saved, the work is worth it (it’s no small matter when one person’s life is changed, it affects eternity, both theirs and ours).
What I am suggesting is our strategies need to come from heaven. God’s words should make more sense than our own. And we need to do life and ministry TOGETHER. As a family, the body of Christ (1 Corinthians 12:27).
If you are not where you want to be in your life, ministry, or relationship with God, I encourage you do just as the disciples did:
- Gather together with believers you trust
- Discern if there’s anything the devil has taken that needs to be restored
- Act on what you hear
It’s that simple.
And remember: It is good to love your neighbours, but make sure you don’t get so busy focusing on people that you forget to love them “as yourself”. Or more importantly, that you forget your first call, to love God with all your heart, soul, and mind. That comes before anything else(Matthew 22:37-40).
Be blessed friends!
Global Prayer Catalyst Assistant
Youth For Christ Canada