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 showed himself to these men 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.”So when they met together, they 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.”Wait for the Promise.When God tells you what His plan is for your life or when you realize what your purpose is on this earth. You don’t magically just become it. It’s something that you grow into. It happens to you. It’s a part of the journey. It’s not like oh, ding, boom. Now I’m suddenly an awesome preacher, now I’m suddenly the head of philanthropic organization, now I’m suddenly police office of the year, now I’m suddenly a mentor, the perfect dad …But it’s in you. It’s there. But there are probably some things that are going to have to happen between realizing and being. Maybe a lot of things. One of those things is that you are going to have to wait.
How many of you like to wait? What do you hate waiting for? What is it that makes you crazy???
How about the lady in the grocery store who doesn’t realize that she needs to fill out the check until the last minute. What about when you have an appointment and the person doesn’t show up on time?
Our society is so geared toward not waiting. We have the express lane at the grocery store – 12 items or less. We have the self check so you don’t even have deal with a cashier. We are right now, microwave people. I can go on chipotle.com and order my burrito online, call and confirm it and walk into the restaurant to the head of line and pick it up and walk out. I don’t have to wait, if I don’t want to. And if it’s delayed for some reason, the manager is going to give me free soda. That’s what happened to me. It was great.
The website says, “Don’t stand in line. It’s virtually delicious. DSL allows you to order your food without all the muss and fuss. When you finish your order, just come to our restaurant, head straight to the cashier, and we’ll have your burrito ready for you.”
Why should I wait if I don’t have to? I don’t have to wait. But what if God asks you to wait?
“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.” What if God asks you to wait and it’s for something good. What if God asks you to wait?
God has a plan for you. He does! I promise you He does. Maybe you already know maybe you don’t but He does!!!
For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. (NIV)“I know what I’m doing. I have it all planned out—plans to take care of you, not abandon you, plans to give you the future you hope for.” (The Message)What if God asks you to wait and it’s for something good. Something that you really want, something that you’ve always hoped for. God has confirmed it. He has brought it to your attention; He has showed you what’s coming. He’s gonna do it. But not this second. You’ll have to wait. Can you?Song of Solomon 3:5“I charge you, O ye daughters of Jerusalem, by the roes, and by the hinds of the field, that ye stir not up, nor awake my love, till he please.”I charge you…. Now the #2 definition on Merriam Webster.com says that charge means:Merriam-Webster.com2 a : to impose a task or responsibility on <charge him with the job of finding a new meeting place> b : to command, instruct, or exhort with authority <I charge you not to go> c of a judge : to give a charge to (a jury)But what really struck me was definition number #1:archaic : to lay or put a load on or in : LOAD b (1) : to place a charge (as of powder) in (2) : to load or fill to capacity c (1) : to restore the active materials in (a storage battery) by the passage of a direct current through in the opposite direction to that of discharge (2) : to give an electric charge to <charge a capacitor> d (1) : to assume as a heraldic bearing (2) : to place a heraldic bearing on e : to fill or furnish fully <the music is charged with excitement> f : ELECTRIFY 2 <the crowd was charged by her performance>Now definition #1 leads me to believe that if God charges you to do something, if he charges you to wait, then he also fills you with the ability and the capacity to do it.The Message Bible says,“Oh, let me warn you, sisters in Jerusalem, by the gazelles, yes, by all the wild deer: Don’t excite love, don’t stir it up, until the time is ripe—and you’re ready.”It’s a warning too. Wait. Wait. Wait.Ladies, remember being young. Remember finding out that there was someone on this earth for you? Yeah that was exciting. I believed that. I used to pine away for him. I used to write poetry and think about him and talk about him and dream about him and wish for him. I believed that God had created someone for and that I would meet him someday and we’d get married and it’d be great. I believed or maybe I just hoped, maybe I just hoped. Because I didn’t wait, waiting was hard. I wanted this man, I wanted to find him. I really did. So I pretty much was always looking for him, yeah, always looking, it wasn’t the kind of faithful expectation that view as a Christian trait. It was more like desperation. I remember writing a poem called, “Are you the one?”Meet a guy. He’s cute. You date. You become boyfriend and girlfriend. It gets serious. You start talking about being together, you start talking about a lot of things….maybe there’s a little pressure happening, maybe you are afraid to lose him. Maybe you better do something before he goes away…maybe….But if he’s not the one, then you’ll have made a big error. How do you know if he’s the one? How do you know? The answer, you wait and see. You wait. What’s that campaign, True Love Waits? I don’t know much about their philosophy beyond the name of the ministry but that part is true. Love waits.1 Corinthians says that Love is patient and kind. It probably wouldn’t tell you that if you don’t give it up that you not gonna have a boyfriend anymore. I don’t think love would say that. Love would wait.
But waiting is so hard, I didn’t wait. You know some parents think that they can’t tell their kids to follow a rule if they broke the rule. That is not true. The very reason why you can tell them that is because you did break the rule. You can tell them the consequences, the pitfalls, the drama…Tell them to wait. They won’t like it but tell them anyway and tell them why you know…tell your story….
Don’t have so much pride or shame that you can’t tell them…tell them okay?
“Daughters of Jerusalem, I charge you by the gazelles and by the does of the field: Do not arouse or awaken love until it so desires.”Wait….But what if you don’t know how to wait? What if you have no point of reference? What if waiting is not a good thing to you? What if waiting triggers nothing but bad memories? What if every time you’ve had to wait, you’ve been disappointed?What if your Dad told you that he’d come pick you up and take you somewhere and he never showed up? Or what if your Dad lived far away and waited all year to visit him and when you asked if you could come for vacation, he told you he couldn’t afford it. When just a few months before he’d bought a brand new motorcycle. Or what if you fell in love with a guy and he gave you a ring and he never married? What if waiting hasn’t gone too well for you?What if your point of reference is that when you trust someone to handle something for you they screw it up, they don’t come through, they let you down? What if experience has taught you that if you have to choose between waiting and trusting someone do something for you and doing it yourself….well forget it, you’d rather do it yourself because at least then you know it will get done? hhahahahaa. Well, you’re right. It will get done. But it won’t be the way God planned and it might not be what God planned and it might not be who God planned.Abraham and Sarah got a promise from God. God told Abraham and Sarah that they would be the father and mother of many nations but that was in chapter 12 and by chapter 16 and who know how may miles; days, months or year Sarah hadn’t gotten pregnant so she got tired of waiting…
Now Sarai, Abram’s wife, had borne him no children. But she had an Egyptian maidservant named Hagar;so she said to Abram, “The LORD has kept me from having children. Go, sleep with my maidservant; perhaps I can build a family through her.”
Abram agreed to what Sarai said. So after Abram had been living in Canaan ten years, Sarai his wife took her Egyptian maidservant Hagar and gave her to her husband to be his wife. He slept with Hagar, and she conceived.
When she knew she was pregnant, she began to despise her mistress. Then Sarai said to Abram, “You are responsible for the wrong I am suffering. I put my servant in your arms, and now that she knows she is pregnant, she despises me. May the LORD judge between you and me?”“Your servant is in your hands,” Abram said. Too much drama for Abram. “Do with her whatever you think best.” Then Sarai mistreated Hagar; so she fled from her.Drama!!! Call Maury Povich!!! Not waiting has not only cause problems for Abraham and Sarah, it caused problems for Hagar and Ishmael too, it caused so much drama and hurt that Abram basically punked out and told Sarah to do whatever with Hagar. So you see how well that went, it got so bad that Hagar fled into the desert alone with her baby and God had to come and have a talk with her. Now if you believe that Ismael, Abram and Hagar’s son, is the father of all Muslims and Isaac, Abram and Sarah’s son, is the father of all Jews then you know that the problems didn’t stop there at that generation; it’s caused problems right up until today…..But it’s really hard to wait or to stand still and go with the program if you don’t like what’s about to happen. What is God’s plan is something that you don’t agree with? Or that you’re afraid of? I mean there are lots of people in the Bible and in real life that have run away from the plan, turned away from God out of fear. And some will just argue with God…Mark 8:31-When Jesus start explaining to his disciples about how he would suffer and be rejected by his own people and that he would be killed and in 3 days rise again and Peter really had a problem with that whole plan and he took Jesus aside and rebuked him. Jesus checked Peter right then, he said, “Get behind me, Satan” and told Peter that he didn’t have the things of God in mind. Ouch!
So if God tells us his plan and we have a problem with it then our minds are not right. Not saying that you are crazy but we have a problem and it can lead to, well issues …. Maybe you think God’s plan sucks…but if you’re standing there and the plan seems to be going forward anyway, maybe you’ll try to stop it… Dude, Jesus told Peter that he’d die and that he would rise in three days but the idea of Jesus dying and leaving them alone, the idea of waiting for that three days to see if he would rise again, that idea was too much….I mean what if he didn’t come back what if all that Peter left behind to follow Jesus came to nothing? What if after all he’d sacrificed and endured so far to follow Jesus would end in a horrible death. What if he didn’t come back? What then? Peter couldn’t let that happen so when the soldiers came to the garden of Gethsemane to get Jesus, Peter had to stop it.
We are leading up to the moment where things would never be the same, we are talking about a change in the universe, a paradigm shift that would save the entire world and from this side of the scriptures, we are might be like, “Dude, what the?!!!” But if you were Peter, what would you have done if someone was coming for you boy like that? Come on dawg, what you do if someone was coming for Ayanna? What would you do if someone was coming for Tara? Y’all saw me at the block party when that boy was trying to struggle with Lewis, didn’t my pregnant, cane carrying behind “run” over there and jump between the two of them? Yeah, dawg, I wasn’t having it, was I?
Peter did what a lot of us would do, he pulled his sword from the sheath and struck Malchus and cut off his ear. But you know what happened? Jesus didn’t come to his senses, in Luke it says that Jesus put Malchus’ ear back on and told Peter to “Let them be. Even in this.” In Mark, it says that He told Peter to put his sword away and said, “Do you think for a minute that I’m not going to drink this cup that Father gave me?”
So much drama, poor Peter, he couldn’t stand the idea of waiting that three days, it was too hard, it hurt too much, it was too scary. What if it doesn’t work? What if he really doesn’t come back, what if He really isn’t who He says he is? Why would God come and make friends with me and tell me all this great stuff and talk about how much power He has and about this coming kingdom and then turn around and let somebody kill him, I mean that’s crazy!! How could Peter trust it? How could he trust Him? I wonder if that is why he denied him…
But Jesus went anyway. Peter couldn’t stop him. Jesus didn’t change his plan, he went anyway. And he was arrested, and interrogated, and sentenced, and beaten, and cursed, and mocked. He was compelled to carry his own cross to the place of His crucifixion and they nailed him to the cross and they raised Him up and he suffered right there in front of everybody. In front of his mom, in front of John and the other women, in front of believers and non-believers, in front of mockers and haters. And then he died. And they took his body down and placed him in a borrowed tomb and they scattered. And they waited, well, some of them waited and some of them gave up and went back to what they were doing before, some hid in fear….
And guess what? Early in the morning on the first day of week, Mary Magdalene went to the tomb and the stone was moved and she ran to Peter and told him that Jesus was gone. Someone had taken Him. Peter and (was it John?) ran, they ran like they were racing each other to the tomb and found that he really wasn’t there. And (John?) believed. He believe right then.
Lovely. John believed, lovely but what about Peter? Well, Jesus appeared to the disciples and he restored Peter. Even though Peter denied Him, Jesus let Peter know that He was still His dawg and He told Him that he had a plan for Him. He still had a plan for Peter. Before that whole incident when Jesus had to check Peter and call him Satan, Peter had confessed to Jesus that He believed that He was that Christ, the Son of the Living God. Jesus said, “God bless you, Simon, son of Jonah! You didn’t get that answer out of books or from teachers. My Father in heaven, God himself, let you in on this secret of who I really am. And now I’m going to tell you who you are, really are. You are Peter, a rock. This is the rock on which I will put together my church, a church so expansive with energy that not even the gates of hell will be able to keep it out.”
Jesus told him that and Jesus was sticking to the plan. He restored Peter because He had a plan for him. And the plan was still the plan even after Peter denied him, even after Peter couldn’t wait those three days. Even then, Jesus loved Peter. God understands that we are human, He understands that we are weak and that we get afraid and rebellious sometimes. He understands that. And through his grace and love and sacrifice He makes provision for our shortcomings and He forgives us. He knows that waiting is hard; remember when he was in the garden of Gethsemane? He knew those people were coming for him and he knew that he was sitting duck. He knows from the day he arrived until that very moment that he was going to die. Dude, he volunteered. Can you imagine living for 33 years knowing that while you were teaching and preaching and healing and being despised and rejected that you were going to die. That you came to die? How would that feel after while? Horrible right? Waiting to die. Wow. And not some lovely noble death worthy of the king that he was but the death of thieves and robbers and low people. Not the death of king. A horrible filthy death between two thieves, yeah, that kind of death. Jesus was waiting to die for 33 years. He waited for you, he knew for 33 years that He was going to suffer and bleed and die for you. He knew the whole time and he waited and he did it anyway. Wow. So he does understand, he even asked the Father if He could get out of it. If there was another way and since there was not, He went through with it. Amazing.
But He was God, right? Is that what you are thinking, I’m only human. I’m not that strong, snack before dinner. I go to bed without brushing my teeth. I can’t even wait for anything. Dude, I suck. Waiting is hard, I don’t know….
Well, in 2 Peter 1:3 it says that we don’t have to struggle, God has given us the ability….
Everything that goes into a life of pleasing God has been miraculously given to us by getting to know, personally and intimately, the One who invited us to God. (The Message) His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness.(NIV)God does not ask you to wait to torture you. He doesn’t do it to constrain you or put you prison. Not to stop you from moving toward what you want or need. Not to cramp your style or make you unhappy. He tells you to wait to free you! To free you. Waiting can be freedom if you look at it the right way. Suddenly, you don’t have to live up the ideas that others have for you. Suddenly, you don’t have to succumb to the pressure of others expectations. Suddenly, you can say, “No, I don’t have to. I’m gonna wait. God has something better than anything that you can give me. God has something better than anything I can get by myself. I’m better than that. I can wait. I’m free to wait.” Watch everybody else run around like crazy trying to make it happen. Stop and watch and then say, hmmm, God has a promise for me and nothing out here is better then that. He promised me so I think I’ll wait.” Not saying that you should do nothing. No way, there is plenty to do and see and learn while you wait for the fulfillment of the promise.I remember on time I was crying to my mom about that fact that nobody like me and she nailed me. She looked at me and said, “What are you doing?” I was like “huh?” She was like, “What are you doing? You sitting around whining about nobody likes you? Well you’re going to be awfully boring when he gets here!” Ouch! Okay, so live, serve, praise and enjoy yourself but wait, wait for the promise. The reward is coming….Can I tell you about the amazing things that can happen when you wait for God? Remember when Jesus was about to ascend to heaven?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.”
When the day of Pentecost came; they were all together in one place. 2Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them.Now there were staying in Jerusalem God-fearing Jews from every nation under heaven. When they heard this sound, a crowd came together in bewilderment, because each one heard them speaking in his own language. Utterly amazed, they asked: “Are not all these men who are speaking Galileans? Then how is it that each of us hears them in his own native language?And Peter preached, Jesus. He explained that same guy that they had crucified just recently was the Messiah for whom they had waited. When understood who Jesus was they were cut to the heart and they asked what to do? And he explained how to be saved and three thousand people signed on!!! In one day, three thousand people joined the body of Christ. An army of Christians, souls were saved, churches were started all over the world because the disciples obeyed Jesus, because they waited for the promise. We are saved because of waiting, Jesus waited for us.If you wait on God, if you live for him, if you let him lead you, if you let him transform you and you follow His plan, he is going to bless you, you are going to get what He promised – what you always dreamed of and more than you ever dreamed of. So wait for God to change your husband, wait for God to heal you, wait for God to change you into to an amazing preacher, wait for God to give you that job, that life, wait for God to pick out the members who are to fill the pews and pay your salaries, wait for the right person who will love you like no one has ever loved you before. It’s worth the pain, it’s worth the sacrifice, it’s worth the loneliness, it’s worth the repentance, the destruction of your pride and the starting over and the falling down and the getting back up! Get yours. He made it just for you. Nobody can do it or nobody can be it like you can. It’s tailor made for you! He decided that you were worth it. Do whatever you have to do to get there. If you have to call me to remind you then do it! Get yours! It’s yours. Get what God has promised you. Get it His way. Wait for it, wait for Him. It’s worth it. Jesus and His plan and are worth the wait. I promise He won’t disappoint you.