“Then they returned to Jerusalem from the mount called Olivet, which is near Jerusalem, a Sabbath day’s journey. And when they had entered, they went up into the upper room where they were staying: Peter, James, John, and Andrew; Philip and Thomas; Bartholomew and Matthew; James the son of Alphaeus and Simon the Zealot; and Judas, the son of James. These all continued with one accord in prayer and supplication, with the women and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with His brothers.” Acts 1: 4-6
The disciples did not expect Jesus to force them into lockdown. They had scarcely celebrated Jesus’ resurrection. The events of the Cross were still fresh in their minds.
They would have assumed Jesus to say, “Go and evangelize the world now. Don’t waste any time. Go fulfill all your dreams.”
But, surprisingly, Jesus said, “Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift my Father promised, which you have heard me speak about.”
They were to wait for the Holy Spirit. There was no time frame for the wait. Oh, how challenging it must have been to pause and wait.
The disciples obeyed and proceeded into lockdown.
How did they spend their quarantine? They all continued with one accord in prayer and supplication.
I am sure the disciples conveyed their frustration to God as they prayed. They surely asked God to hurry up with the “Comforter.” The days of waiting became long, tedious, and monotonous.
How exhilarated they must have been when the Holy Spirit finally descended on them, and the church was born.
Today, we find ourselves in the same situation that the disciples were in 2000 years ago. We too are locked in. We also are anxious and fear the future.
I wonder what the disciples prayed about. I’m sure Peter recalled his denial of Jesus. Perhaps he repented for cutting off Malchus’ ear at the Garden of Gethsemane.
Thomas must have felt like a fool for doubting Jesus Resurrection. He thanked Jesus for giving him a second chance despite his disbelief.
Maybe James and John laughed at what their mother asked of Jesus: VIP seats.
The rest of the disciples reminisced about the many times that Jesus said, “Oh ye of little faith,” and “How come you still do not understand!”
All they could do was pray and keep up with the news about Jesus and what happened to him.
Today, we are privileged to join with the disciples their lockdown and feel what they felt. Today, we spend the days after Easter the same way they spent it: in lockdown.
What are some things that you, too, need to revisit in your Christian life? What do you need to repent of? What decisions do you need to take? Do you need to submit and surrender your control so that you might become a vessel fit to receive the Holy Spirit?
When the disciples asked Jesus about the end times, a question we are all pondering these days, Jesus’ answer was, “It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by his own authority.”
Even if I see signs of the end days, I need not become too occupied trying to estimate when the end will be. I need to busy myself with one thing: acknowledging my utter helplessness and total dependence on God and His mercy.
I will expect God to dazzle me with a new anointing of His Holy Spirit.
I will be ready when this lockdown is over to go forth with new power, and a fresh anointing, unlike anything I have experienced before.
I will minister with humility, not seeking personal fame, gain or glory but seeking only His glory and His renown.
I will beseech the Holy Spirit to take total control so that I may be fully used for His glory.
Thank you, Father, for Emmanuel, God with us, who took a human form so I can get to know you and gave me the benchmark to discover who I am in you.
Before this pandemic Lord, I presumed those were the perfect times for me to achieve all my dreams and my plans.
Thank you for this standstill that helped me reassess my life and evaluate what is truly valuable and dear. Thank you because you care enough to sculpt me into your likeness, into a vessel that will change the world.
Thank you for your word and for the baptism and indwelling of the Holy Spirit when I accepted you as Savior. But, Lord, there is a deep yearning and hunger in me now that I have reassessed myself and found myself lacking. I yearn for your Spirit to overpower me and take total control.
I pray that you would get me out of this lockdown with a superabundance of your Spirit, a light that shakes away all darkness, all doubt, all fear and all panic. May I go into the world to proclaim Jesus in power and faith, a power that supersedes all fear, a power I have never experienced before even if I have known you for decades or ministered to thousands.
When the Lord gives us the GO sign, may we be unleashed into this world with new power, the power of a Spirit-filled life. A life of fearlessness and authority. GO.