Most days, I wake up thinking about the future. I want every day to count, and I try to find a way to bridge the gap between my limited knowledge, my inexperience and the direction that Jesus is leading me. I find myself trying to figure things out as a husband, father and pastor. I read books, magazines and journals in an attempt to stay ahead of the curve that seems to be almost vertical. Ever feel that way?
I sometimes wonder if my life is being shaped more by the pursuit of the efficient than by the presence of Jesus. Consider Jesus’ words to the disciples: “And behold, I am sending the promise of my Father upon you. But stay in the city until you are clothed with power from on high” (Luke 24:49, ESV).
In the context of our being commissioned as missionaries, Jesus’ instruction was “Go!” but first, “Wait.” In his book Prophetic Untimeliness: A Challenge to the Idol of Relevance, Os Guinness quotes early 20th-century French philosopher Simone Weil when he writes: “It takes the eternal to guarantee the relevant; only the repeated touch of the timeless will keep us truly timely.”
Personally, I feel more comfortable going than waiting. However, no matter how much knowledge I acquire or how hard I work, I still come up with gaps. I find voids between what I have to offer and what will usher in the abundant life Jesus promised. I am learning that those voids—where I run out of myself—are the spaces where the Holy Spirit comes in and makes up the difference.
There is a profound opportunity for God to move in this generation. The mission of God is broad and sweeping, and the hope of restored shalom is the longing of hearts around the world. But we must determine if we are willing to wait for Him. Will we wait for power from on high, or will we settle for going in our own strength?
Today, I have one priority above all others: to wait and make space so that I can be filled with the Spirit. I humbly acknowledge that without Him I will always come up short. I will take on the mission, but I will not be alone and will not be powerless. He is with me always, even to the end of the age (Matt. 28:20).
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