Can I take just 3 or 4 minutes of your time and ask this one question? Here it is. How important was it to Jesus for His followers to be baptized with His Holy Spirit? The answer is found in this verse.
“And, being assembled together with them, commanded them that they should not depart from Jerusalem, but wait for the promise of the Father, which, saith he, ye have heard of me.” Acts 1:4
I will tell you upfront that my answer is really simple, in fact, too simple. And yet, I don’t know if I have ever heard or read this question answered in the way that I am about to share.
Believe it or not, Jesus revealed the great priority of this baptism when He spoke the four-letter word “wait”. While each word of this verse carries much significance, to me, none even comes close to the weight of the word “wait”. (Forgive the Burns’ humor.) There might be those who would differ from me and suggest that the word “command” should occupy the number one power-word spot. Let me explain the reason for my choice.
Consider this. With just the command of staying in Jerusalem, believe me, life would have continued on as normal for Jesus’ followers. After His return to heaven, each of Jesus’ followers could have obeyed the command, obtained legal documents to set up their 501(c)3 not-for-profit individual evangelistic ministries, set up churches around Jerusalem, gained a few followers, preached and taught and totally missed out on the purpose for their abiding in Jerusalem.
But the word “wait” changed everything. This word informed the men and women to gather together in Jerusalem and S-T-O-P, don’t go anywhere or do anything UNTIL. Did you catch that? You see, the wait and receive was to precede the go and do. The wait demanded that there was to be absolutely zero ministry activity UNTIL The “Go ye….” command shared in Matthew 28:19-20 was to be placed on hold indefinitely UNTIL they had received the power needed to go out and change their world. (Acts 1:8) Then, and only then, could they go out equipped and prepared to complete their heavenly assignment which was “…be witnesses unto me in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.”
Let me personalize the reason for this post. For those who have not experienced this incredible baptism in the Holy Spirit, I am excited to tell you that this wait and receive can begin and end right now, right where you are. You see, this waiting doesn’t have to be a protracted, drawn-out period of time. The infilling of the Holy Spirit that was poured out on the day of Pentecost is readily available for those who will stop and determine I’m not going anywhere UNTIL. Don’t wait until a later date. The wait begins right now, right where you are. That’s right. It doesn’t have to be in a church service, small group meeting, or at the pastor’s home. The receiving comes by asking the Father for the infilling of the Holy Spirit. (Luke 11:13). Did you catch the simplicity? Ask the Father to fill you with the Holy Spirit right now, right here just as He did to the believers in Acts 2, 10, 19 and He will respond and give you the gift promised. (Joel 2:28-29, Acts 1:4,5) Get ready. It’s the “I’m not going anywhere or do anything UNTIL” that will allow a newfound relationship with the Holy Spirit will begin, a new way of communicating with the Father with words that are a heavenly language will start (Acts 2:4, 1 Corinthians 14:2,4,14), and the power to change your world will be provided. (Acts 17:6). It is – Stop! Wait! Ask! Receive! Go!
I know that I’ve shared a lot of information in this post. Got questions? I am just an email away. [email protected].