Once when [Jesus] was eating with them, he commanded them, “Do not leave Jerusalem until the Father sends you the gift he promised, as I told you before. John baptized with water, but in just a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.” (Acts 1:4-5)
My wife, Marti, likes to call this the “Go to your room” command. Jesus made it very clear that after He ascended, His disciples and followers were not to do anything but wait in Jerusalem until they were baptized with the Holy Spirit. This must have been a somewhat anxious time. The risen Christ had ascended to heaven in a cloud; they would not see Him any more; and they were supposed to go to their room — the upstairs room of the house where they we’re staying, possibly the same room they had shared their last supper with Jesus — and wait to receive the Holy Spirit. They were to be baptized, or “placed into” the Holy Spirit. Problem was: no one knew what this was. No one knew what they were waiting for.
“Hey you guys, anybody think they might have gotten the Holy Spirit in the last couple hours?” Can’t you imagine the uncertainty? The thing they were waiting for was something they had not experienced. And so they waited. “They all met together and were constantly united in prayer, along with Mary the mother of Jesus, several other women, and the brothers of Jesus” (1:14).
They did the one thing they could do — pray. Pray and wait and wonder.
I think today Jesus does the same thing. I think He sends us to our rooms to pray and wonder and wait for the Holy Spirit to give us direction. The important thing is that we don’t do anything without Him. Who knows what they would have done if left to their own devices. They could have made a mess of things because it would have been their idea of what they were supposed to do, not God’s. I wonder how much of what goes on these days is people carrying out their idea of what they are supposed to do with no thought to the Holy Spirit. How much do we run ahead of the Spirit?
But how do you know? How do you know if you are relying on the Spirit? Hear are a few signs.
- You have a confidence that does not come from your own strength or natural ability.
- You have a healthy sense of fear and trembling knowing that God is working in you according to His will.
- If the Holy Spirit isn’t involved, you are in big trouble. In other words, you don’t have a fall back. You are out on a limb, so to speak.
- You have a fire burning in your soul to be used by God.
- You are out of your own resources but running on God’s.
- You know what it means to have everything coming from God and nothing from you.
- You should be worn out, but you are energized.
- In demanding situations, you open your mouth and are amazed at what comes out.