Waiting for the Holy Spirit

Waiting for God is not laziness. Waiting for God is not going to sleep. Waiting for God is not the abandonment of effort. Waiting for God means: first, activity under command; second, readiness for any new command that may come; third, the ability to do nothing until the command … More


Luke starts out by building a bridge between his Gospel and the book of Acts (vv. 1-2). At the close of the Gospel according to Luke, he had left the believers in the temple praising God. Now he picks up the story and explains what happened next. He explains to Theophilus what Jesus “began both to do and teach” in His human body, and how He continues to “do and teach” through His spiritual body, the church. We don’t know for sure who Theophilus was, or even if he was a believer. Some Bible scholars think that he was an important Roman official. It seems that he was a Christian, or at least a seeker who was carefully studying the Christian faith.

Before the Apostles could undertake a humanly impossible task of convincing a Christ-rejecting world of the truth of the Gospel, they needed a forty-day period of post- resurrection contact with the Lord. Jesus appeared and disappeared during those days, and the believers never knew when He might show up. During this time He gave them “many infallible proofs” of His resurrection (v. 3). Apparently the disciples must have become filled with excitement and enthusiasm during these visits, and got the idea they could conquer the world. But such enthusiasm would not last. It may have been sincere but it had no staying power and certainly no saving power. They needed more than that, so the Lord cautioned them to wait in Jerusalem for the coming of the Holy Spirit before they began their service for Him (v. 4). He then reminded them that John baptized with water, but in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit (v. 5). At Jesus death the disciples were scattered and disillusioned. After seeing the resurrected Christ, they were fearless and risked everything to spread the Good News around the world


I am sure that it was not easy for the disciples to wait on the Lord to give them the power needed to do His work. It may not be easy for me to wait on Him either but if I try to do things without His power it will be useless. I just want to be faithful in sharing the gospel as He opens the doors and gives me opportunity.

Acts 1:1-5 (English Standard Version)

In the first book, O Theophilus, I have dealt with all that Jesus began to do and teach, until the day when he was taken up, after he had given commands through the Holy Spirit to the apostles whom he had chosen. He presented himself alive to them after his suffering by many proofs, appearing to them during forty days and speaking about the kingdom of God. And while staying with them he ordered them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the promise of the Father, which, he said, "you heard from me; for John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now."

View this passage in NIV (Bible Gateway) »