JESUS’ PLAN IS SO MUCH BIGGER THAN OURS
“On one occasion, while he was eating with them, he gave them this command: “Do not leave Jerusalem but wait for the gift my Father promised, which you have heard me speak about. 5 For John baptized with water, but in a few days, you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.” 6 Then they gathered around him and asked him, “Lord, are you at this time going to restore the kingdom to Israel?” 7 He said to them: “It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by his own authority. 8 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” (Acts 1:4—7)
The disciple’s interests were not what Jesus was addressing. They were still thinking about their agenda. They gathered around Jesus and asked him, “Lord, are you going to restore the kingdom of Israel at this time?” Although Jesus was about the people of Israel, He was not about the political kingdom of Israel.
Jesus was about the Kingdom of God. Jesus was about a much bigger kingdom than Israel’s kingdom. There are many things that I can learn from this conversation between Jesus and his disciples. I know, first and foremost, that my agenda and plans are not always aligned with Jesus’ purpose and plans.
Jesus COMMAND his disciples: DO NOT LEAVE JERUSALEM BUT WAIT FOR THE GIFT MY FATHER PROMISED. The Gift of the Holy Spirit will empower them for God’s Kingdom work. Jesus’ plan was for his disciples to WAIT FOR THE GIFT, so they would receive power when the Holy Spirit came on them, and they will become His witnesses in Jerusalem, Judea, and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.
Jesus’ plans for salvation and restoration differed significantly from the disciple’s agenda. One of the lessons disciples of Jesus were so narrowminded about their vision and goals. Jesus has included Jerusalem, all of Judea, Samaria, and the ends of the earth. However, the disciples were only thinking of the restoration of the kingdom of Israel. The kingdom of Israel was a political kingdom headed by religious and political groups. That was not Jesus’ priority. Jesus was about the kingdom of God to influence not only Israel but the whole world.
Another great takeaway this morning is that Jesus talked about time. He said to his disciples, “It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by his own authority.” In other words, that is the Father’s business. He knows when he will take care of that.
So many times, people set timelines for God to work in. God ignores our timelines. He only operates and works in His timeline. What I need to do is to see ONLY his purpose and what he wants me to do. I need to focus on God’s purpose, God’s timing, and God’s plan and His empowerment. The best way to see God’s plans and goals are fulfilled in my life are to do precisely what Jesus said to his disciples to do:
- Obey his Command: Do NOT leave Jerusalem…WAIT FOR THE GIFT.
- He will EMPOWER me…Baptized with the Holy Spirit
- Focus on Jesus’ plans…Not my plans
- God’s plan is so much bigger than my plans.
- The Holy Spirit will only operate where He wants me to stay and wait.
- Jesus does not follow my plans; I must follow his plans.
I must obey and wait for the Holy Spirit’s direction and empowerment. So many times, I tend to assume the work of the Holy Spirit. Today, I am learning to surrender my agendas and plans to Jesus so that His objectives and agendas are met in my life. I am impatient and often want to do things ahead of Jesus. I must know that I follow Jesus and not the other way around. I will submit to Jesus leading daily in my life. I will allow the Holy Spirit to baptize me afresh on my journey to do what He wants me to do.
Jesus, I surrender my will and all my plans and agendas to you. I ask that you continue to teach me to listen to the voice of the Holy Spirit. Please help me to focus on what you want to accomplish rather than what I think is best. I ask that you lead me to fulfill all that you plan for me to do. Baptize me and anoint me daily for your purpose. Help me always to see the bigger picture of what you desire to do rather than allow my small thinking to dominate my journey. I look to you daily. Amen!