This devotional was written by Evangelist Wil Rice.
Is there a difference between being patient and being passive, between waiting and doing nothing? Suppose I have 1,000-mile trip to make and you find me reading a magazine in a lobby. You say, *Aren*t you supposed to be going somewhere?* I say, *Yes, I am going to Phoenix.* You say, *How are you going to get there if you are in this lobby reading a magazine?*
Well, the context is what totally decides whether I am being passive or patient. If I am sitting in the lobby of a doctor*s office, I am getting nowhere fast, but if I am sitting in the waiting area of Nashville International Airport, I am not doing nothing or being passive. I am patiently waiting for a plane that will quickly take me to my destination. What about you? Are you being patient or are you being passive? Are you waiting or are you doing nothing?* There is profound difference.
Acts 1 is all about time, waiting, and what comes of it. Verse 4 says, *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.* We are talking about Jesus giving His followers a promise, the promise of the Holy Spirit and the power He would give.
Verse 6 says, *When they therefore were come together, they asked of him, saying, Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom of Israel? And he said unto them, It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in his own power. But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you.* The reason for this power was so that they could be witnesses of Jesus Christ by the power of the Holy Spirit.
So Jesus says, *You don*t need the answer for every question if you have the power for every day, and that power is the Holy Spirit.* Then the Bible talks about how Jesus was taken from them into the heavens, and there were angels who said, *Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven.*
You find them waiting for answers, for power, and for Jesus. The thing to remember is that neither understanding nor power is limited by our waiting on God. Waiting on God culminates in them both. If I am going to have the power I need for life, I need to wait for it, to be dependent on the Holy Spirit of God. At salvation we are given the Holy Spirit to guide, remind, and convince us of the truth, and we are to follow His leading. We need to depend and wait on Him.
When it comes to the Lord Jesus and His appearing, we need to wait for that. When it comes to understanding, we are not going to get the answer to every question. In fact, when the disciples were asking about the kingdom, Jesus said, *It is not for you to know… But ye shall receive power.* In other words, don*t just stand around waiting for answers, act on the answers you have already.
The language of this entire chapter is about waiting and the promise which is going to be fulfilled. The point is that there is no good thing that you and I will lack if we are waiting on God, and there is no good thing that will come to us if we are simply doing nothing.
Today, are you just sitting around doing nothing, or are you living for God in obedience, dependence, and patient waiting?