These all continued with one accord in prayer and supplication…. (
Before He ascended to heaven, Jesus had spoken of the coming of the Holy Spirit as, “the Promise of the Father.” (
Acts 1:4-5) The comprehensive promise of God is in the
person of the Spirit—God with His people to indwell them and empower them ( Acts 1:8). The events described in Acts chapter one,
portray a church preparing for the Promise.
In chapter two, God will send His mighty Wind from heaven. They cannot make the Wind blow, but they can
set their sails. How can we, as the
people of God today, prepare for the Promise of God to launch us into the deep
waters of His mighty work?
There must be submission to God’s will (v.12). Jesus had commanded them to wait in
for the Promise to be experienced, and this is what they did. Fuller blessing calls for fuller submission, “And we are His witnesses to these things,
and so is the Holy Spirit whom God has given to those who obey Him.” ( Jerusalem Acts 5:32) It is
God who does the work, but He does not do it apart from us. When I yield to Him, my life becomes a
channel for the power to flow.
Preparing for the Promise also requires unity in God’s love (v.13-14a). When there is strife and division, the gentle Dove of Peace—the Holy Spirit—takes flight and withdraws His favor. No church can be mightily used of God without unity of purpose. There is always potential for conflict in the church because we are made up of so many different personalities and preferences. In that upper room, you had a boisterous leader named Peter, a quiet listener named John, a struggling pessimist named Thomas, a meticulous accountant named Matthew, and a patriotic zealot named Simon, for example—all so different, but united in love. The church is Christ’s Body, with different parts by design, so that together we are healthy and strong to impact the world in a way we can never do when divided.
Prayer is another indispensable preparation for God’s Promise to be manifested (v.14). Prayer must be our consistent pattern. They “continued” for ten days in prayer, then preached for ten minutes and three thousand were converted! We pray for ten minutes, preach for ten days, and if three are saved, we declare revival has come! We can pray too little, but can never pray too much. Prayer must be offered in faith. They were seeking the Promise of the Father. They believed He would come—He did! What might happen if we would trust God more? This prayer was a corporate offering—a harmony of voices lifted to God. The Lord promises where there is agreement in request, there is assurance of response (
The final preparation was the disciples’ attentiveness to the Word of God (v.15-26). They moved to replace Judas Iscariot with another Apostle. Scripture was their motivation. They positioned themselves to hear from God and responded in obedience and faith. Matthias was raised up into a leadership position. When the Scriptures speak, God speaks. The church must listen to His voice if we would know His will. Are we positioned to receive God’s power? This is how the church can impact the world!