On January 1, we began forty days of early morning prayer to launch the new year. In the early church, God took a small group of disciples hiding up in the upper room and sent them out to turn the world upside down. He accomplished this by the power of the Holy Spirit through the Word of God. During these forty days, we will be reading the book of Acts together to see how God uses His Word to build His church and pray that He might do the same in our generation.
One of the first questions the disciples asked Jesus after he rose from the dead is, “Lord, will you at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?” (Acts 1:6). They saw the problems with the Roman occupation of Israel. They saw the oppression that their fellow Jews endured. They longed for restoration, in accordance to the promises of the Bible. And they wanted Jesus to do it.
Similarly, we often see the problems in the world and wonder why Jesus doesn’t do something about it. But we forget that Jesus desires to work through us. Look at Jesus’ answer to their question. They want to know if Jesus will restore the kingdom, and Jesus answers, “But you…” His purposes in the world are accomplished through us.
Us? Yes. Really us? He knows our frailty and weakness, so he continues, “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you” (Acts 1:8). These disciples failed Jesus at the cross. But they were God’s means for the restoration of the kingdom. How? The power of the Spirit.
Why does God pour out His Spirit upon such week and frail disciples? “And you will be my witnesses, in Jerusalem, in Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth” (1:8). He pours out His Spirit so that we might be His witnesses — to the ends of the earth.
Lord, we confess we want you to just do all the work. But you have chosen to work through weak and frail vessels like us. Pour out the power of your Holy Spirit in our generation, that we might be your witnesses to the end of the earth.