This broadcaster has 368 podcast archives available on-demand.
Keep up-to-date with this broadcaster on social media and their website.
For most of us waiting is never easy in our culture, waiting for anything is not considered to be a virtue anymore. Waiting is something that children hate and adults due to everything in our culture and in our society and seem to be expanding throughout the world is instant.
We do have instant food and instant drinks.
Instant dioxin and even they have no manufacturing antique while you're waiting, in fact I read this week that the average person. The average course gets agitated within a period of 40 seconds waiting for an elevator.
40 seconds and then become to show visible agitation is a problem that most people bring this agitation they bring this in patients they bring all of this into their faith and into their walk with the Lord in the expectation for instant things grows by the same proportion as a grows in society at large. So we want instant worship, instant sermons you wish instant answers to prayers and if we don't get instant answers to prayers we think is something wrong what's going wrong here. What's wrong with me.
What's wrong with and why am I not getting answers to my prayer right now. The problem is because about instant society we tend to think of God as just another person would try to treat God just like if he's another friend of somebody down the road. We have lost that vision of God of so being awesome God and being a transcendent God being a magnificent God who is in control of the whole universe. What I mean.
But we treat God, just as another person.
Well, the best way I can give it using form of illustrations that you can relate to. When you get the silent treatment from your angry spouse.
What happens when normally happens you get confused and you'd feel isolated right infected with George Bernard Shaw who said silence is the most perfect expression of scorn heard about the man the other day you look very sad and his friend was asking was it why you looking so sad. Is it well is it that my wife said that though she would give me the silent treatment for 30 days and he said why you said about that is that today's the last day.
No beloved friends would tell your God is not like the repeat. This God is not like that when God is silent is not because he's angry. As I understand the Scripture in all the decades I've been studying at Zion I comprehend the word of God.
I have learned from the word of God that there are several times when God is silent in our lives. There is the silence of conviction where God is waiting for you to come under conviction to stop doing what you are doing that you're not supposed to do and until you come to that point of conviction. God is silent is waiting. Then there is the sonic of mercy is the most misunderstood silence of God. It is out of mercy for you that God waits and let you wait. Then there is the silence of testing God is testing you to see whether you really trust him for good or for a moment.
Then there's the silence of love, out of love for you. God does not give you what you ask for immediately because sometimes you don't know what you're asking for what you're asking for today. It might be a disaster tomorrow, but God knows that and that's why he is silent when God is silent is probably because he is putting you through his practical school is putting you through this training school when God is silent is possible because he's trying to teach you something or some truth about yourself that you need to know in your relationship with him. When God is silent. It is possibly because he wants to see how you can really trust his word that you trust his promises not just when the sun is shining, but even when it's pouring rain.
When God is silent as possibly to get you client so that he can work on your behalf. When God is silent is possibly because he loves you so much that he wants you to rest on his love and confidence in acts chapter 1 verses 12 to 26 God gave the apostles. Avoiding but that was not a waste of time.
There was a period for waiting. It was a period for preparation for them to be able to receive the Holy Spirit of God. God always when he keeps you waiting for a purpose. It's always for purpose of preparing you for something greater in your life. What is this lesson and the lesson is this God is doing things in your life you cannot see that God is doing things in your life which you are totally unaware of God is doing things in your life in order to develop your character and that takes time and possibly you cannot see it. What was God doing in a period of 10 days.
10 days seem long for us but when you understand the circumstances.
There were men in the upper room will understand. It felt like an eternity.
10 days ten-day. What is God doing what God was training the apostles to know how to pray together.
He was training them how to fellowship together. He was training them on how to study the Bible together. He is training them on how to discern the will of God together.
He was training them to practice simple obedience to his command together. So, my beloved friend next time you are waiting upon the Lord know that he is working his purpose for you in your life next time you are waiting upon the Lord know that he is working things out for you. A good and for your best. Next on the waiting upon the Lord know that beyond the shadow of death that his silence is either to bring you under conviction that his silence is because of his mercy on you that his silence is because it's testing you that his silence is because he's teaching you patience and perseverance all because he loves you. You see a friend of mine used to say God is not going to get a bunch of spoiled brats to rule and reign with him in heaven. So he trains us to become mature to become wise.
He trains us to become discerning. He trains us to become patient. This 10 day period from the time that they saw Jesus resurrected Jesus Christ ascended into heaven after he's been with them for 40 days.
This period of 10 days was the time from when they saw him going up to heaven to the time that the Holy Spirit was poured out upon them. On the day of Pentecost. That was a 10 day period of time and that waiting period was serving three purposes purpose. Number one waiting for the Lord was to strengthen the apostle. Secondly, waiting for the Lord was to separate the apostate versus 16 to 20. Certainly waiting for the Lord was to solidify the anointed verses 21 to 26. I hope you are impressed because I am waiting for the Lord always strengthens God's people always always waiting for the Lord strengthens the apostles waiting for the Lord will strengthen those who love him, waiting for the Lord will strengthen those who belong to him, waiting for God's plan waiting for God's timing will ultimately strengthens the saints of God. How first in this incident. By teaching them obedience in acts chapter 1 verse four basis go to Jerusalem and wait. There was a command he commanded him to wait here in verse 12.
While they doing you find them obedient to the command of Jesus he should go and wait for his wife and 12. Is there waiting patient. Do not leave Jerusalem run to tell you why in a minute. There's a reason for that they should not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the promise of the Holy Spirit to be fulfilled until the morning he and give them a clue as how long is going to take for the Holy Spirit to come upon them. So they waited for the Holy Spirit. How many of us would've gotten restless by the third day for fifth eighth day a week past.
Now I don't believe for a moment that it was easy for these men and women. It was not easy.
Most of this apostles affect all of them, with the exception of Judah spent all came from the Galilee region which is north of Israel. Jerusalem is in the South, so that all away from home, away from the familiar surroundings away from the loved ones that where you from there families have been away for a while. Some of you might remember that after the resurrection, Jesus did not show up for a few days already saw the risen Christ more than once, but he did not show up for couple of days and you know what happened. Peter got restless in chapter 21 verse three of the gospel of John is that I'm going fishing. The way things are going fishing and the others followed him. And Jesus appears to them on the shore of Galilee is a form of rebuke in here.
The apostles could have said look, Jesus is not going to happen and that we need to get on with life. We need to leave Jerusalem and get back north to the Galilee region.
We need to go home to Nazareth and all the other villages from where we came. We need to get on with business. We need to get on with life. For we can't just sit around and do nothing.
Please listen to what I'm going to tell you the one thing you are not supposed to do while you're waiting for the Lord is nothing that you hear that the one thing you're not supposed to do while you're waiting for the Lord is nothing that is nowhere in the Scriptures are found in all of the New Testament that God called anyone who was sitting there idle that were doing whatever they were doing and God came spoke to them and called to do the serve and do a minister for God and that the apostles were thinking in terms of ministry and really are becoming really spiritual record of said man. There are people to be one. There are ministries to be done. There are villages and towns that need to be evangelized.
I want to tell you something I hope you never forget the most important obedience. The most important obedience in your life is the obedience that you practice when you have no earthly idea or earthly reason as to why you are called to do what you're called to do. I will repeat this the most important obedience in your life is the obedience that you practice when you have no earthly reason as to why you're called to do what you're called to do. Listen to me carefully, you are not learning obedience. If you have all logical explanations given to you ahead of time if you know all of the water where, who, when that's not obedience you will have not obeyed yet you have not learned obedience yet if you know all the circumstances and all the facts surrounding the situation. But when you cannot see any rhyme or reason why you should do what you are being called to do when you're practicing simple obedience. Some of you might be going through a situation like this right now some of you are going through a tough time testing waiting, and you have no understanding of why you're being asked to obey by the Lord you been asked to submit to the will of God, and you cannot see all you can see is… This you have no light of reason you have the light of logic. You have no light of action that me tell you, on the authority of the word of God that God is teaching you simple obedience. Simple obedience. The disciples were being strengthened by waiting. How there were learning obedience, but also in waiting. They were not only learning obedience.
They were learning hundred and 20 of how to fellowship together and here you thought the family reunion was hard and this was not just a few hours of the day and then you got your hotel rooms, Oreo houses, this is not even for the whole day and then go to rooms of got your homes was day and night in one room hundred and 20 of the police listen carefully to what I'm going to tell you. I know that there are people who can get on my nerves. I know that I know that some people can drive us nuts and understand some people who just take this.
I know there are people who are just pure pain. I know that.
Listen to me you cannot live the Christian life in isolation. We are to grow in Christ. We need people if we are to develop the character of Christ.
We need people if we are to exhibit the marks of Christ. We need people in waiting. There were learning obedience. But in waiting.
There were learning fellowship in together but also there were learning how to write together. Look at verse 14 of acts chapter 1 it says in unity.
There were constantly praying when you think you're praying about, well, possibly they were confessing their sins and their exhibited cowardice and they all ran away and left the Lord in the probably asking they be confessing their probably giving thanks for the Lord's forgiveness of their sins, giving thanks to the Lord's patience with them throughout the three years of training them and it seemed to not any more than we are able to get the lessons of life. There probably were preparing the hearts for anticipation of the coming of the Holy Spirit. There probably were reading the Old Testament as we saw graphically illustrated they were searching the Scriptures together. They really all about the death in the in the resurrection of Jesus Christ is that that's what Isaiah meant that's what his equipment that's what Jeremiah meant reading the Scripture together and praising God through the word together. Probably they were studying the book of Joel chapter 2 verse 28 to 32 about the coming of the Holy Spirit, waiting for the Lord strengthens the apostles with. Secondly, waiting for the Lord separate the apostate versus 16 to 20 tell you what an apostate is an apostate is a person who knew the gospel and even accepted it intellectually and believe that then their head but they after that they've turned their back on the gospel and with their own way. That's an apostate person who turns we have many an apostate corporate all over this country' abounds those who preach the denial of the virgin birth, those who preach the denial of the divinity of the Lord Jesus Christ. Those who preach the denial of the bodily resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Those who preach the denial that Jesus is the only way to heaven. Those who preach that denial of the fact that he is coming back, and he will judge the earth. That's apostasy.
Apostasy abounds in churches today. You see, that's what Judas Iscariot is all about Judas Iscariot was an apostate deceit.
He followed Jesus. I want the church but he had his own agenda of what I want to get out of Jesus. He followed Jesus because it was profitable for him. It was beneficial for him to follow Jesus and follow Jesus because he wanted to use Jesus. He followed Jesus only to try to manipulate him to get out of it what he wanted out of him. The people in churches all across the United States.
That's why never believe the statistics of how many millions of people go to church on Sundays.
They don't know Jesus tell you something if you think I'm happy about that. You don't know me. I weep over this said apostasy in the church of Jesus Christ. But there was an apostasy among the apostles sought the card you see when Jesus failed to deliver what Judas wanted, namely a revolution against the Roman occupiers. He turned on him and he delivered him to the rulers.
Judas represents those who throw away the most incredible opportunity. Don't ever have in the lives eternal life. Judas represents all those poor churchgoers TO go to church. They hear the gospel message. They accepted it intellectually, they are sent to it intellectually, but they never commit their lives to Jesus as Savior and Lord. Judas represents those churchgoers who have been privileged to hear the word of God, but it never takes hold of the live the lives crookedly.
Judas represents those who follow Jesus only for what they can get out of.
And when Jesus doesn't deliver the training in chapter 1, verse 16, 17 and 18 of the book of acts Peter obviously is giving us some detail account of how Judas committed suicide detail information that we don't have anywhere else right here in this tree versus obviously he was trying to hang himself from a tree that's on a cliff, and his weight must've pulled the branch and his body smashed all the way down in the Valley on the rocks and his body was cut the pieces by the way some of you may not know this, to know when Judas received 30 pieces of silver to deliver Jesus to the rulers so price of a slave when his conscience was burning within him.
He took the 30 pieces of silver and return them back to the rulers denial of these hypocrites that this is this is blood money. We can take it back to give it to charity and without money, they got a symmetry in which they buried the strangers among them.
Please let this be a warning to all of us listen carefully to I'm going to tell you, Judas, the sin of betraying the Lord Jesus Christ is no greater sin than Peter sin of denying the Lord Jesus Christ from heaven. His eyes from God's eyes. Sin is a sin. There is no one greater than the other is how God's earth does one go on to become the great apostle of God and the other one commits suicide, his body smashed in the phallic but his eternally damned in hell outcome. Listen carefully. The difference is this one truly recognized his sin wept over his sin, repented of his sin and also God's forgiveness of his sin and the other allow the accusing conscious his accusing conscious to be mingled together with his pride and he refused to repent and thus he is now spending eternity in your bits.
There are only two ways to deal with soon that is the right way this the wrong way hiding it, ignoring it, denying it is the wrong way and you will end up in torment, confessing it repenting off it, asking Jesus to forgive it will send you to return the thing in heaven with him. It is that simple. The choices you Peter chose repentance chose brokenness, he chose humility but Judas allowed arrogance and pride to take hold of his heart and consequently was named in fact, verse 20 tells us that it was a choice look at verse 20 of acts chapter 1 I can show you many other verses from relatively right now. Listen carefully, those who will end up in hell. They will be there because they have chosen to go there. That is a fact that's the heart of the gospel waiting for God strengthens the apostles waiting for God separate the apostate waiting for God solidifies the anointed the set aside because the apostle waited on the Lord, they have learned obedience they have learned, fellowship, and together they have learned how to pray together but also learned how to discern the will of God together you now in my years in ministry. I have many people who have come to me with Cy Young. I feel the call of God upon me for a full time ministry development action is discouraged him discouraged. So what you do that for simply because God is always going to get his men are his woman so not worried about I've experienced it firsthand and the how God works when God has depend on you when you run all you want to make help me one bit. So I know that I'm not worried about that, but most often I meet those who see full-time ministry as it escaped from other things that God had called them to do this or that is, it is a way out. I'm amazed at times when someone comes to see Mrs. I feel called of God to go across the ocean to witness for Jesus Christ. My simple question is this.
Have you ever gone across the street to witness for Jesus Christ.tell me about a vision to witness people across the letter until you had a vision to witness to people across the street and hear the apostles of very careful in selecting a replacement for Judas.
They have put a set of criteria they have put set of qualifications they believe the Lord has given them and even then they wanted God to be the final one to call somebody to replace Judas and they waited upon the Lord, and wrote showed I'm getting close to the end, but I wanted to listen to. I'm going to tell you. You've heard me you had many of us. Many of you pray for revival. We often pray for revival and we absolutely right to pray for the revival genuine Holy Spirit revival when God's spirit is pouring upon people and we can see it with our own eyes, but I have often wondered and I continue to wonder every single day when I pray personally, publicly or privately always wonder and ask myself the question we really prepared for the revival is one thing to pray for revival, but all I really prepared for how we as a body prepared for revival that's a question we need to ask ourselves how we really prepared for you.
See what you mean by prepared for.
As I read church history I learned that when genuine Holy Spirit revival breaks out in an area or a door across the world for that matter. It is the most draining experience emotionally, physically, spiritually, the most draining thing that more than anything in the world I read this again and again in history books during times of revival people come under such conviction of their sins that that they are literally pressing into the church. The people who when they come under conviction of the sin they don't want to go home when they come under conviction of their sins and times of revival Christians, new Christians are hungry and thirsty for the word of God, the hunger and thirst for godly men and women to teach them to train them. They hungering for godly men and women to counsel them to give them wisdom to strengthen and straighten their lives, and we really prepared for that. I'm becoming more and more convinced that if we really going to experience a revival.
We had better prepare for you willing to offer yourself to the Lord and be available to him to use you when he sends a revival of the Holy Spirit. And since people in large numbers repenting of their sins want to follow Jesus as Savior and Lord. I really ready for maybe some here who do not know the Lord Jesus Christ like Judas you might have followed him from a distance in life sent to his Lordship intellectually, but you really did not know him in a personal way as Savior and Lord, would you say Lord Jesus come to you. I repent of my sins, I crowned you as Lord and Savior were standing before a holy God who sees beyond the outward expressions responding to his invitation when you say to him, Lord, I am willing I'm ready.
Use me send me prepare me father, we open our hearts to you.
We open our lives to you. We confess to you that at times I am personally ambivalent and I wonder whether I am greatly father together with my brothers and sisters, stand before you say ready and we ready to be made ready, whatever it may be that you called us to do regretting nuisance Jesus. Thanks for listening to this message from Dr. Michael.
You sat recently featured on leading the way. If you'd like to know more about us, please visit LTW.org that's LTW.Ward