Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Redlining on Reserve

Here in the Wild West, many of us, in our desire to serve God and His mission, are redlining on reserve. The needle of our rev counter is far right, while the needle of our gas tank is far left. Either we blow a gasket or run out of gas. One of the two.

Acts, by definition, is action-packed. The author, Luke the doctor, begins,"In my former book, Theopholis, I wrote about all that Jesus began to do and to teach." His former book was the the Gospel of Luke. Acts is a continuation of this Gospel, describing what the church, the spiritual body of Christ, continued to do and to teach after Christ ascended to heaven.

Acts 1:1 warns us that its going to be a busy book. But if we listen closely, the narrative has an ebb and flow to its rhythm. Its more waltz than techno. It begins with 40 days of convincing proof, mainly around the dinner table. Much eating, touching, and teaching about the kingdom. And a command to 'wait until the Holy Spirit comes." A book of action begins with a fish supper and a command to wait. Go figure.

And then at last some action. From waiting to walking. A 3/4 mile walk to be exact, to the Mount of Olives, for Jesus' astounding ascension, and then a question from two angels, "Why do you stand there looking into the sky? Go back to Jerusalem." Again, the ebb and flow of waiting and walking.

Followed, of course, by a 10 day prayer meeting if you do the math. 10 days of waiting in one place. Waiting for the promise of the Father. Waiting for power to witness. Excruciating. I sometimes wonder whether casting lots for the 13th apostle wasn't just because they were bored and had run out of words to pray.

When the Holy Spirit does come at Pentecost, it is dramatic and fantastic. Pentecost. Babel reversed. A church united in its diversity. The glorious destruction of self reliance. The church birthed out of the 'Let Us' of the Trinity.
A new-born church thrust into a world of witness and work. But empowered by the womb of waiting. The ebb and flow, the rhythm of waiting and working.

I am persuaded that the only way to sustain our work for the Lord, without blowing a gasket or running out of gas, is to find the rhythm of waiting on the Lord of the work.
So? Are we willing to wait?


  1. Nice post, Alan.

    You touch on a delicate spot, where many would flinch if they were to be gut honest. There is far too much effort being made in the flesh, whereas God would have us before Him, waiting for a fresh impartation in the Throne room, even if that waiting means weeks or months. I'm of the mind that, for some, God would stow away for years, only to bring out, like the best wine, for last.

    "Unless the Lord builds the house..." becomes a new message all over again when we are through with putting any confidence in the flesh, even that which seems good, so we might touch Heaven and walk in the power of "Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven." Then is when His kingdom comes.

    Trust Him, Alan, be strong in the Lord, and may the Word of God be a lamp to your feet and a light to your path.


  2. Thank you Elizabeth. I resonate strongly with your words.