This is a summary of a Bible study I did as I was wondering why the disciples had to wait for the Holy Spirit to come. I also added a few questions at the end for a kind of personal Bible study.
Isn’t it strange that the disciples had to wait for the Holy Spirit to come after Jesus had ascended to heaven? Why didn’t they receive the Holy Spirit the moment Jesus was out of sight? In Acts 1: 4, 5 it says: “And [Jesus] being assembled together with them, He commanded them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the Promise of the Father, “which,” He said, “you have heard from Me; for John truly baptized with water, but you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.””
So Jesus knew in advance that it would take a little while for the Holy Spirit to come. But why? As I was thinking and reading I saw many advantages of this little waiting period: The disciples gathered together with other believers, they searched the Scriptures and they prayed. It seems to me that they could use that time to gather their thoughts, to process all that had happened since Jesus showed up, and they could rest their bodies as well. God knew what they needed before they were ready to receive the Holy Spirit. At the same time, they realized that they could not go out in the world and spread the gospel without the Holy Spirit. Only with God’s help were they able to go out and do all that is written in the book of Acts.
Maybe this time between Ascension day and Pentecost, could be a good time for us as well to regroup. To gather our thoughts and to asses how the Holy Spirit is able to work through us. If you like to do this, maybe these three questions can help you:
1. In Galatians 5: 22, 23 we read the fruits of the Spirit, look them up, write each one down and write your thoughts and your hopes for each of them.
Do you realize that these fruits are already residing inside you? The moment you got born again, these fruits became part of you. Some of these fruits are visible in your life, while with others, you might wonder if they are there at all. Since they are called fruits, we can water them with the Word of God and they will grow bigger. So note which ones are still very small and study those topics/words in the Bible. And ask the Holy Spirit to help you grow in this area. And over a period of time, you will see them grow.
2. In Acts 1: 8 Jesus says that “You shall receive power after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you.” This word power (in Greek: ‘dynamis’) means: might, strength, miracle power, force, abundance, ability. You have received this power when you got born again, but are you using it? So often we don’t realize the super power we have inside of us. We live just as our unbelieving neighbour lives. But we are different. Jesus lives inside of us (John 14:20) When we walk into a room, Jesus walks into the very same room. Isn’t that amazing?
Because we realize this too little I want to challenge you to read John chapter 14 over and over again in the coming days. Let the words sink in. And if you have questions ask God. The Holy Spirit is there to show you what these things really mean.
3. Write down areas in your life where you feel weak, powerless, alone or defeated. Realize that through Christ you have the power to overcome each of these situations. God’s Word is full of power. His Word is what keeps the world together. Look up Scriptures that speak life, victory and hope over your situation. You can easily search on the internet where they are, if you don’t know where to look. Write them down and stick them on your walls, write them on your hands, or wherever you will see them. And whenever you feel weak, powerless, hopeless, you find these scriptures and speak them, think them, meditate over them. God’s Word is more powerful than anything else in the universe. And when you speak God’s Word, you are releasing God’s power over your situations.
And if you enjoyed reading this, I think you might like these things as well: