“Gathering them together…”
This is a phrase that I’ve written about in the past and it’s a phrase that’s made it’s way back into my heart again by the Spirit.
After Jesus was raised from the dead and just before He ascended to heaven to be seated at the right hand of the Father, the bible tells us that He gave His disciples very specific instructions by the Holy Spirit (see Acts 1:2).
Before He gave them His final admonition, He did something that was quite unique.
He gathered them together.
It’s as if Jesus was the quarterback of heaven and He called His followers together into one final, holy huddle.
The purpose of this gathering was to tell them to wait in Jerusalem until they received the promise of the Father — the baptism of the Holy Spirit.
They knew that John baptized with water, but they were about to experience the baptism in the Spirit and fire that would be performed by Jesus Himself once He was glorified (see Acts 1:4-5; John 7:37-39; Matthew 3:11).
Prior to this monumental event, something quite interesting takes place.
The disciples come together and ask Jesus a very peculiar question.
“Lord, is it at this time You are restoring the kingdom to Israel?” (see Acts 1:6)
In other words, they were ultimately asking if this was the time when Jesus would overthrow Roman rule and occupation… if He would make wrong things right… if He would establish His earthly reign.
In short, what they were asking was a political question.
And there are a lot of political questions being asked today.
Jesus wanted to gather them around the promise of the Holy Spirit.
But they wanted to gather around politics.
Unity will never be found or attained in that arena.
The prefix ‘poly’ means many; whereas, ‘unity’ means one or oneness.
We can only be one in heart and mind when we gather around the call to be a witness for the Lord and what we need in order for that to happen.
Please don’t misunderstand me.
I’m not saying that politics aren’t important.
I’m saying they don’t matter most.
So much of what’s happening in the political realm is serving as a distraction that is taking many people from the face of Jesus and is dividing people left and right.
God wants us to gather together in unity around our need and desire for a greater baptism in the Holy Spirit, but the enemy is working hard to stop it from happening.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again… If we know what God is wanting to do, then we know what the enemy is wanting to prevent.
The disciples wanted to know if it was the hour of political power and upheaval… if Jesus was finally going to deal with the oppression of the Romans.
But it wasn’t political power that Jesus was concerned with or looking to usurp.
It was the power of the Holy Spirit that was the focal point.
In fact, Jesus tells His followers that it’s not for them to know the times and epochs the Father has fixed by His own authority (see Acts 1:7).
In other words, He encourages them to not get caught up in what’s ultimately not their business, but their Father’s.
Rather, He tells them that they will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon them and THEN they will be His witness… (see Acts 1:8).
Dear reader, I don’t need a certain someone to be my president or elected official.
What I do need is to be filled with the Holy Spirit so that I might be the witness I long to be.
Let’s not get caught up in the distraction of what ultimately doesn’t matter most.
Let’s stay focused on waiting on the promise of the Father.
Let’s gather together not around our political party, but around our need for Him.
- Brian Connolly, Faith Like Birds Ministries
Check out the previous blog!