Last Words: Wait and Go
This daddy whispers into his daughter’s ear before walking her down the aisle. We may not know what he said to her, but I’m confident the words this father spoke to his daughter are remembered by her and treasured for the rest of her life.
When the phrase “last words” is uttered, what comes to your mind?
- Maybe the last words shared by a dear friend before she moved far away.
- Perhaps those shared by a mother, a father or a grandparent as they breathed their last breath before stepping into eternity.
- They may be the last words of your beloved spouse when goodbye was said way too soon.
- Some have even suffered through the unfathomable loss of losing a precious child. Those last actions, memories, and words are precious.
Last words matter. They carry weight.
The last words of Jesus were shared with His disciples just before His ascension. They are recorded here in Acts 1 Verses 4 and 8 say this:
Do not leave Jerusalem,
but wait for the gift my Father promised…
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.
Acts 1: 4, 8
I see two commands given that day to the disciples and I believe they can be summed up in two words:
He told them to WAIT in Jerusalem for the gift of the Holy Spirit
The GO assignment meant that after they received the Holy Spirit, they would go – they would go out in concentric circles from where they were in Jerusalem…to Judea, to Samaria, and all the way to the ends of the earth.
They were to wait and then they were to go.
The Holy Spirit would be needed – He would empower them to go. Clearly, the second could not happen without the first. But why didn’t the filling of the Holy Spirit and the ascension of Jesus happen simultaneously? Why not have the Holy Spirit come down as Jesus ascended up?
Do you wait well?
If you’re like me, you like the GO part of an assignment. Give me the list. I’ll grab a clipboard and start checking it off.
Was there purpose to the waiting?
In verse 14 we learn how they occupied themselves during the wait:
They all joined together
constantly in prayer,
along with the women and Mary the mother of Jesus,
and with his brothers.
Acts 1: 1 4
Constantly in prayer. A good challenge for us. In His sovereignty, God ordained that waiting time for a purpose. The unity of the church, the single-minded focus, the coming together and praying together – that time together worked to stir up their hearts to be focused, expectant, and united.
There’s much to be gleaned here for us corporately. I believe there’s also application to us individually. Waiting time can be praying time.
Does “constantly in prayer” describe your daily life? I’ve got a long way to go in cultivating a lifestyle that could be described as constantly in prayer. I am better than I used to be, but I am not where I want to be.
- Our driving time – waiting to get there– can become praying time.
- Our walking time – waiting to finish our exercise – can become praying time.
- Our scrubbing/cleaning/washing time – -waiting to finish our chores – can become praying time.
- Our sitting in the carpool time – waiting to collect the children – can become praying time.
The woman of God transforms waiting time into praying time.
You can find the entire teaching lecture for Acts Lesson 1 here: