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Tuesday: Waiting and Mission — 18 Comments

  1. There is a lot of difference between waiting and filling in time. Waiting means preparing, not sitting around doing nothing. We are having a bit of roadwork done near us. They are remodelling an intersection and putting in a set of traffic lights. When they announced the project and put up signs that this project was going to take place, some people had the idea that it would all happen by the next weekend, Local social media buzzed with accusations of delay and some thought it was never going to happen. Some 12 months later the project is underway and we can now see that the task is quite large. Powerlines and telephone cables have had to be rerouted, new drainage systems put in, new curbing and guttering, the road base ripped out and a new one installed. The control wiring for the new set of lights was added. It's a multi-million dollar task and some people thought that all they had to do was install about 6 traffic control lights on poles.

    Of course, the delay between the announcement and the commencement of the project was not spent sitting around doing nothing. The whole project needed to be planned and the logistics sorted out. Plans were drawn, Engeneering calculations performed, and contractors needed to be engaged so that they could come in at the right time to do their bit and not get in the way of one another. The "waiting" time was really "preparation" time.

    We Seventh-day Adventists sometimes paint a picture of ourselves as waiting for the Lord to come, or, waiting for the outpouring of the Holy Spirit. Are we preparing or just filling in time?

    • In my studies of project management, I was taught by the world that: "Failing to plan, is planning to fail.", Benjamin Franklin.

      In my journey with King Jesus, I have learnt to:

      "Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.", King Jesus in Matthew 6:34 KJV.

      The ways of God are considered foolish to those of the world.

      God is in control, of Everything. Always.

      Allow Him to prepare you:

      "Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men.", King Jesus in Matthew 4:19 KJV.

      • I think that quite possibly the message that Jesus is giving is more about not worrying about the future, rather than mot preparation and planning for the future. I am very much aware of some people who have the idea that "The Lord will provide!" The main problem with that is I know who has ended up doing the providing - often their congregation.

        God can and does lead us to prepare for the future. That is why I do not have to worry about it.

        • Ola Maurice 🙂

          My favourite verse (written using OHP pens on the front cover of my KJV Holy Bible):

          "I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes.", King Jesus in Matthew 11:25 KJV

          Google search on prudent :
          "Acting with or showing care and thought for the future." i.e. planning & preparation.

          "Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.", King Jesus in Matthew 18:3 KJV

          Little kiddies do not plan nor prepare. They just have fun in their innocence & give thanks to those who provided them (via God of course) with the opportunities to have fun.

          Just: Trust & Obey. That's all it takes. Simple Dimple.

          "Trust in the Lord with all thine heart, and lean not to thine own understanding." (Proverbs 3:5 KJV)

          "In all thy ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct thy paths." (Proverbs 3:6 KJV)

          • Brendan, many other Bible figures were involved in preparation. Nehemiah was an extensive planner. Joseph's used the wisdom God gave him to prepare for the years of famine. Solomon and David before him planned extensively for the temple.

            God created humans with the ability to plan and make decisions. If He had wanted robots, He would have created those. We need to submit all our decisions to Him, but He created us to act. The two are not mutually exclusive.

          • Another example I just thought of is the parable of the talents (Matthew 24). The good servants were definitely not the ones sitting around. And the master trusted them to use the resources they were given and make decisions. I think the principle applies to our mission.

  2. In a Spirit-filled way my area needs a decent garbage disposal; peacefully and without confusing or conflicting outbursts.
    Help me pray for such a project please.

    • I also need a decent garbage disposal. I am constantly troubled with "wild imaginings". Most of them negative. Also impure thoughts intrude my mind sometimes even during prayer. Please pray for me.

  3. When we put effort into preparing ourselves, the Lord has better material with which to work as He leads us in the way He would have us go. God appears to want what is unique to each of us in reaching those around. In the end, it is all about perfecting each and everyone, who ultimately populates God's Earth made new.

  4. The disciples prayed and felt lead to choose Matthias to take Judas' place. The lot fell on him, but maybe they were too hasty. It seems that God was looking to have Saul (Paul) take Judas' place. We don't even hear of Matthias other than this decision. Jesus told them to wait. The disciples seemed restless, but tried to pray and bring God into what they already decided to do.

  5. In a way, needing to use a waiting period efficiently reminds me of the parable of the talents. Matthew 25:14-30 tells of a man who gave his three servants varying amounts of talents before taking a trip. The servants who used their talents productively were rewarded. Likewise, God intends for us to use our opportunities well and to be industrious, and He rewards us abundantly, with character growth and more.

    Every moment of our lives can be seen as a waiting period for whatever comes later. We need to keep ourselves active. Luke 19:12-26.

  6. The lesson title is ‘Waiting and Mission’. I am a bit confused about the lesson writer’s comment: “While we wait for the outpouring of the Holy Spirit to help us complete the great mission of God, we must unite to encourage each other, praying for God’s Holy Spirit.” In the previous paragraphs, the lesson describes the preparations by the disciples of Jesus in Jerusalem as they awaited the receiving of the 'power from on high'.

    Are ‘we’ – the organized church - still waiting to receive the ‘pouring out of the Holy Spirit’ to be a starting signal to commence with mission work? And if so, does this mean that the individual believer still awaits this ‘corporal’ receiving of the Holy Spirit as well?

    The question at the end of the lesson also confuses me. “How can you learn to wait upon the Lord and not lose faith in the meantime?” Waiting upon the Lord for what? To receive the Holy Spirit whiles we busy ourselves with the organizational aspect of the church which, by the way, also needs to be directed by spiritfilled individuals?

    We learned in previous lessons that each individual is called to engage in mission according to the gifts received after accepting Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior. If so, after having genuinely, whole-heartedly, accepted our calling, we are considered born-again, spirit-filled disciples of Jesus Christ and ready to commence our Life of mission - 1Cor.12:7-11.

    I do not think that there is still a ‘waiting’ needed or going on of neither a personal or corporal nature to commence with living the life of a redeemed person to the Honor and Glory of God. Is not the leadership of the organized church already actively pursuing missionary goals with the inclusion of the individual Ekklesia?

  7. The context of #waiting# in the scriptures quoted in the study, was for the Holy Spirit, in that time and century.

    The Holy Spirit continued from that day, and does to this day, despite the corruption in Christiandom as Peter says it would, as follows:
    2 Peter 2:
    1But there were also false prophets among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you. They will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the sovereign Lord who bought them—bringing swift destruction on themselves.
    2Many will follow their depraved conduct and will bring the way of truth into disrepute.

    Many reformers through our two millenniums have continued with that Spirit of God, from the first century.

    I have found comfort from that Spirit with the ministry of the SDA church and some others.

    If Christ Jesus lives in my house (mind and heart) why should I look out the window of my house all day for his coming, since he is in me doing his work ! Christ in you the hope of glory !

    Shalom 🙏

    Sincerely in Christ 🙏

  8. I assume the waiting the question at the end is about is the latter rain. In Acts 1, the disciples were waiting for the initial outpouring of the Holy Spirit and were commanded to wait. We can learn some things from them, but I don't think we are "waiting" in the same way for the latter rain. We already have the Holy Spirit, so we should be working in the Spirit's influence right now. To me, as we work under the influence of the Spirit, we are being prepared for the greater outpouring of the Spirit.

  9. In the upper room, the disciples could still be in a kind of shock because of Jesus' betrayal and death. In every situation, praying should always be the right attitude. Thus, the wisdom coming from God is searched, and His will can be fulfilled in our lives.

  10. The account here about the choosing of the believer, Matthias, to replace Judas, to be the 12th Apostle is somewhat confusing, because the Apostle Paul claimed to have been chosen by Jesus Himself to be an Apostle also he proved to be greater in the Gospel Minsitry than most if not all of the Apostles.

  11. Could it be that the account of Matthias as being chosen by the 11 Apostles to take Judas' place is a similar move by God's people as was Abrahams' wife Sarah in telling her husband to have children for her through her maid? In other words, going ahead of God or try to help God by coming up with another plan ahead of God? Or could it be that Apostles can be more than just the original number of 12? In any case, the Apostle Paul was first a persecutor of God's true people the "Christians," but God worked in a mighty way to cast him off of his horse and blind him until Paul (Saul) became a mighty Apostle for God and even wrote "Great Gospel truths about Righteousness by faith."


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