God’s power has broken in on our world. God’s presence is once again in the midst of human beings. God’s new creation has been inaugurated and will one day be consummated in all of its glory.

All of these realities find expression in and are confirmed by the resurrection and enthronement of our man, Jesus.

Jesus was raised from death. He was not merely resuscitated–brought back to mortality, only to die again. He transcends mortality, he has vanquished death, he has removed sin, he has gone before us into God’s new world as the first-fruit of many more to come. He restores all that was lost in the fall of humanity.

For this, and for so much more, Jesus is Lord.

As a glorified human being, the prototype of what all believers will one day be, Jesus is reigning over both heaven and earth. He has once and for all assumed the role that all human beings were supposed to assume in God’s first creation.

From his glorified and empowered position in heaven, his presence is with us on earth. He sustains us through every difficulty.

After his suffering, he showed himself to these men and gave many convincing proofs that he was alive. He appeared to them over a period of forty days and spoke about the kingdom of God. 4 On one occasion, while he was eating with them, he gave them this command: “Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift my Father promised, which you have heard me speak about. 5 For John baptized with water, but in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.” 6 So when they met together, they asked him, “Lord, are you at this time going to restore the kingdom to Israel?” 7 He said to them: “It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by his own authority. 8 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”

The first disciples learned that the Lord’s power and presence are mediated through God’s Holy Spirit. In order to access that power, that divine presence, human beings must sometimes act in ways that are counter-intuitive:

  • Instead of speaking, we must listen.
  • Instead of doing, we must wait.
  • Instead of planning, we must pray.

When we assume this posture before God—humbly listening, patiently waiting, obediently praying—his Spirit comes to us and fortifies us, strengthens us, empowers us, encourages us. It is then—and only then—that we are ready to engage the mission to which God has assigned his church.

Any action on our part without this preparation will result in human results rather than divine.

Look around and see that this is true. Some churches can attract huge crowds with spectacular events. I have nothing against huge crowds. But, I would rather have a small group of committed disciples who are filled with God’s Spirit than a multitude operating on a secular agenda.

The latter may be able to “get more done” but the former are able to make God smile. Through these who are willing to embrace God’s mission on its terms, God can, is, and will accomplish the mission.

And all the glory will be his.