May 23 I Saturday
1 Chronicles 19-21
“Then they prayed, ‘Lord, you know everyone’s heart. Show us which of these two you have chosen to take over this apostolic ministry, which Judas left to go where he belongs.’” —Acts 1:24-25
We live in an age of the instantaneous and we expect the instantaneous. That makes waiting a particularly vulnerable time in the life of a Christian because
it is during that time when we usually attempt God’s work in man’s way.
That is exactly what happened in choosing the disciple to replace Judas. In the process the disciples used, there are three aspects to consider: the good, the bad and the beautiful. The good was that in the upper room, the disciples were in constant prayer with a group of about 120 others. The bad was that they did not wait to receive the gift of the Holy Spirit, which
Jesus had told them to, and He had never given any instructions to replace Judas.
In choosing an apostle, there were two qualifications the disciples required: he had to have been around for three years and he had to have been a witness to the resurrection of Jesus. That limited the field to Joseph called Barsabbas (also known as Justus), and Matthias. The disciples prayed for guidance in choosing the right man, and then drew lots, with Matthias as the winner. They had narrowed the field down to two men when there were at least four others, the brothers of Jesus—James, Joseph, Judas and Simon—who were all present and eminently qualified. Their prayer also seemed a bit suspect. “You know everyone’s heart, Lord,” yet they chose only two in the running. That’s like saying,
“I’ll go anywhere in the world for you, God. Is it Ontario or Manitoba?”
Again and again, people step out of the will of God during the waiting times. We put pressure on ourselves, eager to do something for God, rather than deriving what we are to do from listening and waiting for God to speak. Matthias had his fifteen minutes of fame. We never heard of him before and Scripture does not mention him again.
Yet, the beautiful is that God chooses the unexpected. He brought the right man to the fore and that man was the Apostle Paul, a former persecutor of Christians. When God says, “wait”, we trust Him. He is not bound by time, and what we do in the waiting period is always a big test. Dr. John Moore, a Scottish preacher known to many, once said, “God’s delays are not His denials.” If we are in the bad place, impatiently trying to fix what we believe God is not fixing, wait for the beautiful to come along because it will.
Prayer: Dear Lord, grant me the patience to always wait upon You, and not rush into any plans of my own.
I want Your will, not mine. Thank You, Lord.