A couple of weeks ago I was evaluating myself on how often I actually work on spiritual disciplines and I felt the Lord speak to me about my Bible study habits. It seems that I have not been digging in deep enough into the Word and really studying it for myself. So, I prayed over what exactly to begin studying and how I would go about doing it. I decided to go with the tried and true method of Inductive Bible study introduced to me via Kay Arthur books. Then came the task of praying over what book of the Bible to inductively study.
This is where the Lord has been speaking to me about my own unbelief. Now, this word, unbelief can take on may different meanings. To me, lately, it means that I have trouble believing God to give me certian guidance regarding ministry and believing that His timing surpasses all. My problem is that, I get going in a task of ministry and want to go full force ahead, taking the wheel in my own hands rather than letting God do the driving. So, this is where I end up in the book of Acts. Jesus gave all of the disciples specific tasks on His own timing. They did not question or try to take control, but obeyed and went about the business of spreading the Gospel. I hope to learn from how the disciples proceeded in their ministry through this look at Acts.
The following is a Bible study and devotional look at this integral book of the Bible. Note: this study will not cover every chapter of Acts
Begin by reading Acts 1
Mark in your Bible every time you see the words Holy Spirit, and witness.
**A closer look at Acts 1
In verses 1-11, what are the big instructions and directives that Jesus gives to the disciples?
Jesus specifically instructs them to stay in Jerusalem and await their promised baptism of the Holy Spirit.
The disciples correlate the baptism of the Holy Spirit with Jesus restoring His Kingdom in Isreal. In verse 7, how does Jesus correct this thought process?
Jesus tell them to hold their horses and that it is God’s perfect timing that will bring about the Kingdom.
What is their specific task in the meantime?
To be Jesus’ witness in Jerusalem, Judea, and Samaria only after receiving and working in the power of the Holy Spirit.
This spoke to me as I read over verse 7 again and again. “It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by His own authority.” Although these verses are refering to the coming of Christ’s Kingdom, I felt the Holy Spirit telling me to hold my horses and not try to figure out God’s timing in my own life! I neeeded to go about the business of being His witness and follow His specific instructions for ministry that He has laid out at this particular time!
Do you have the same issue with jumping ahead of God? What is the problem with this type of action?
I feel like the main problem is that I begin to work on my own agenda and not wait for God’s agenda when I begin to be impatient and jump ahead of God. What kind of fruitlessness would my life be if I ministered in my own agenda and not His!!
Back in Acts 1, search the key words you highlighted and look at the next reference to the word Witnesses.
Peter is speaking to the disciples about finding a replacement for Judas Iscariot, but we can take note of this verse for ourselves.
What does Peter say we should be witnesses of? And by whose power is this to come from?
We are witnesses to the resurrection of Christ only by the power and the guiding of the Holy Spirit.
LIVE IT OUT application:
Living out the Kingship of Christ should be our main goal in our lives as Christians. This excerpt in Acts shows us that the King does not just sit on His throne and watch us from above. Instead, Jesus gives us part of Himself, the Holy Spirit, to be a witness to His Kingship. This Kingship was exemplified at the resurrection. Our King defied death and now sits over His Kingdom as LORD of LORDS. Guess what, we have a part in this Kingdom, too! What a great responsibility it is to be witnesses and proclaim His Kingship to the world around us. I mentioned that the Lord has been speaking to me about ministry. You have a ministry too! I challenge you to submit to the King and allow His Spirit to guide you on how you are to be His witness. The Holy Spirit will give you specific tasks in His own time and it is your job to obey and stay within those tasks. Don’t even think about jumping ahead. There is danger in living outside of the courts of the King. That danger might be as simple as unproductive and futile work-ugh!! I want to be productive for the Kingdom, don’t you??
That is why, by the power of the Holy Spirit, we must LIVE IT OUT!