We can take a look at a tree in the season of winter and begin to ridicule it for not having any leaves. It may look dead and some are quick to grab a hatchet and cut it to pieces. But there are those who are wise who know something about process and instead of calling the tree "dead" or "dying" proclaim it as "alive", "living" and "growing". Amazingly enough the first thing Jesus tells His disciples to do after He was taken up to heaven was "Go and wait for the gift my Father promised you...". To some this doesn't make sense because waiting seems like a waste of time, especially after you've seen Jesus rise from the grave and ascend into heaven. But for all of us who desire to follow Him there is an action of waiting on the Lord that is important in our lives. It's waiting until He calls you out onto the waves (Matt. 14:22-29). Waiting until He promotes you from the prison to the palace (Gen. 39-41). It's stepping into the river and waiting for it to die down so the generations after you can walk on dry ground to safety (Josh. 3:15-17). As you may have heard before, waiting time isn't wasted time. We are called to actively wait on the Lord instead of passively wait on Him. Actively waiting on Him is to continue to pursue His presence and walk in His ways until He opens the doors of His promise.
An example is when the apostles were "waiting for the gift" of the Holy Spirit. We see that they were in the right place at the right time with the right heart. We know that after Jesus was taken up, they went straight to the upper room and were praying and seeking God together in unity (Acts 1:12-14). We also know that they met together for 7 days until the Holy Spirit came upon them. Pentecost is 50 days after passover and Jesus was in the tomb for three of those days and appeared to the disciples for a period of 40 days after He was risen. This leaves a period of 7 days of pure waiting (which visually looked like everyone meeting together in prayer and expectation of receiving the promised gift). Although they were waiting, they weren't passively waiting...they were actively waiting as they came together, "got on their knees" and sought the Lord in great expectation of what He had promised them.
The time of the Holy Spirit's coming was strategic. He came when all the nations were coming to Jerusalem to celebrate the festival. This led to around 3,000 salvations. Had the Holy Spirit shown up the day Jesus ascended into heaven the timing and placement of the outpouring wouldn't have been as effective and impactful. Also it's crucial to point out that the gift of the Holy Spirit was a prerequisite of the church starting and it was to happen before they became his witnesses that would go to the ends of the earth (Acts 1:8).
[Side Message] As Jesus was ascending, His command wasn't, "Alright guys, now that you've seen and heard all this stuff, go start the church out of your will power and get as many people in your auditorium to sing songs, pay tithes and listen to teachings." To many this is "the dream", that we would fill stadiums and start multiple "campuses" full of people who are good at singing, paying tithes, listen to sermons and attending services... but the church that Jesus gave His life for and desired to become the cornerstone of was a church of power! The truth is without the baptism of the Holy Spirit the church would've became as dead as the religious synagogues of its day. Jesus' heart was to make a way for man to commune with God and baptize His church with fire (the Holy Spirit) so that the same Spirit that raised Him from the grave would be in us to empower us to do His work and walk in His ways. We were created to have his Spirit in us.
[Original Message] We must not become discouraged when we are in a season of waiting upon the Lord. We know that when we wait upon the Lord to bring about the things He has promised, He is faithful. It's usually in a waiting season that seams so unproductive that God is doing His greatest work as He prepares and cleanses us so that He can launch us into the next season of increase. We never fully understand what God is doing or the worth of the wait until after we go through it. Those who persevere though those times of silence normally receive in them a deeper intimacy, a purer faith and greater relationship with their Savior that will enable them to stand strong in the places where He wants to take them. I believe waiting on the Lord is the greatest season that unveils who we truly are in Him. It's where the truest worship comes out of, where the greatest sermons our birthed from. It's where the testimony receives it's depth and power. It's in a season of waiting where a tree looks like it's dying, but in all reality its being set up for something greater.
Lord we thank You for where You have placed us right now. We wait on You and we thank You for Your great faithfulness. Show us how we can effectively use the things You have already placed in our hands so that this world will know You. We ask for Your Holy Spirit to rest on us and awaken us to Your great purpose for our lives. Thank You for Your presence, You are our prize, our goal and our great reward! Amen