Letting Go and Letting God
The twelve disciples lived with Jesus every day for three years. He had taught them directly from scripture and by example. They had watched his miracles and healing of the sick. They saw him calm the storm and multiply the loaves and fishes. They did not always understand him but they relied on his loving and calming presence. And now he was leaving them. When would he return? Reading from the Book of Acts:
When the apostles had come together, they asked Jesus, “Lord, is this the time when you will restore the kingdom to Israel?” He replied, “It is not for you to know the times or periods that the Father has set by his own authority. But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” When he had said this, as they were watching, he was lifted up, and a cloud took him out of their sight. While he was going and they were gazing up toward heaven, suddenly two men in white robes stood by them. They said, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking up toward heaven? This Jesus, who has been taken up from you into heaven, will come in the same way as you saw him go into heaven.” (Acts 1:6-11)
The angles reassured them. Jesus would be returning. Do we have that same assurance today? We are living in chaotic times. Is today’s Church looking for a way out? The rapture perhaps?
God does not want us to be overcome with discouragement. The Apostles were living in difficult times. Jesus told them that they were going to receive power from on high. Then he called them into action. They were going to be his witnesses and change the world.
The psalmist wrote:
Sing to God, O kingdoms of the earth;
sing praises to the Lord.
He rides in the heavens, the ancient heavens;
he sends forth his voice, his mighty voice.
Ascribe power to God;
his majesty is over Israel;
his strength is in the skies.
How wonderful is God in his holy places!
the God of Israel giving strength and power to his people!
Blessed be God! (Psalm 68:33-36)
They would soon discover that God magnifies power through human weakness. The Apostle Peter wrote:
Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, so that he may exalt you in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him, because he cares for you. Discipline yourselves, keep alert. Like a roaring lion your adversary the devil prowls around, looking for someone to devour. Resist him, steadfast in your faith, for you know that your brothers and sisters in all the world are undergoing the same kinds of suffering. And after you have suffered for a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, support, strengthen, and establish you. To him be the power forever and ever. Amen. (1 Peter: 5:6-11)
We need the same power of the apostles. When Jesus prayed for the twelve he also prayed for those who would follow:
”I have made your name known to those whom you gave me from the world. They were yours, and you gave them to me, and they have kept your word. Now they know that everything you have given me is from you; for the words that you gave to me I have given to them, and they have received them and know in truth that I came from you; and they have believed that you sent me. I am asking on their behalf; I am not asking on behalf of the world, but on behalf of those whom you gave me, because they are yours. All mine are yours, and yours are mine; and I have been glorified in them. And now I am no longer in the world, but they are in the world, and I am coming to you. Holy Father, protect them in your name that you have given me, so that they may be one, as we are one.” (John 17:6-11)
We are among the chosen ones who have followed. We live in a difficult and challenging world. It is no more difficult than the time of the apostles. Now is.not the time to look for an escape. It is not a time to run and hide. Rather, it is a time for bold action. It is a time of consolidating the kingdom or God on the earth before our Lord’s return. Are we up to it?
That is not the real question. Apart from Jesus we can do nothing. The apostles were just ordinary people. But they waited upon the Lord. They were then clothed with power from on high. What about us? Jesus needs our witness throughout the land, throughout the world. Let us begin in our families. Let us begin in our neighbor hood. Let us begin even in our churches,
People joined the early church because they saw the power of God at work. We need to tap into that same source of power. Does it fit our denomination? It is far too late for those kind of questions. A great revival is needed. A great revival is here. God is pouring out his glory on all who believe, who humble themselves to him. and repent of their sin.
if my people who are called by my name humble themselves, pray, seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land. (2 Chronicles 7:14)