Reading in Acts chapter 1 this morning. Jesus, just before his ascension is with his disciples telling them to wait for the promise of the Father - the Holy Spirit that will come upon them "not many days from now". Upon hearing this the disciples question to Jesus was however not related to the coming of Holy Spirit, how He would come, what exactly would His coming look like, feel like - rather it was this: "Lord, will You at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?" This jumped off the page at me. To my mind they were asking 'Will life get easier for us now? Will we finally be delivered from our evil rulers? Will the wicked be put in their place? Will we finally be able to rest and be at ease? Will suffering and injustice end? Will it be heaven on earth...at last?' Ever ask those kinds of questions?
What did Jesus reply? Ahhh...was it what they wanted to hear?
He replied: "It is not for you to know times or seasons which the Father has put in His own authority. But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth" (Insert the name of the place where you live).
Did you catch it???? "You shall receive POWER...and you shall BE witnesses".
Holy Spirit power to live and thrive in the midst of evil. Power to overcome evil with good. Power to be at peace in the midst of the storm. Power to proclaim deliverance to captives, to give sight to the blind, to heal the sick. Power to love, forgive, have mercy, goodness, kindness. Power to encourage. Power to impart a word to the weary. Power to proclaim the gospel message with signs following.
So friends it is not the time to be hidden away waiting for heaven. It is time to rise up and live your best life in Jesus now. (Please know that I speak these words to myself as well) I love these verses in Isaiah 60: 1-2 "Arise, shine; for your light has come! And the glory of the Lord is risen upon you. For behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, and deep darkness the people; but the Lord will arise over you, and His glory will be seen upon you."
We do live in dark times and sometimes that darkness tries to overcome us. The Word says we are overcomers. He has given us His Spirit. His light in us expels darkness wherever we go. Shine!