“Staring at the Sky”
Acts was written by Luke, a “part #2” of his letter to Theophilus. In Acts 1:1-11, Jesus taught the disciples through the Spirit over the 40 days before he ascended to heaven. He planned to empower them as well through the Spirit, “the gift the Father had promised” (v. 4). Thinking that the coming of the Spirit meant that Jesus would at last establish God’s earthly kingdom, they asked him if this was so. Jesus responded that it was not for them to know the time or character of what his kingdom will look like; their task was to engage the world with the gospel through the power of the Holy Spirit. Completing his forty days of teaching, Jesus “was taken up before their very eyes, and a cloud hid him from their sight.” (v. 9). They remain standing and staring into the sky when two angels appear and ask, “Why do you stand here looking into the sky? This same Jesus, who has been taken from you into heaven, will come back in the same way you have seen him go into heaven” (v. 11).
Like the disciples, when we believe the gospel, we are called to be witnesses of Christ to the world. But oftentimes, we too “stare into the sky,” waiting for an unknown something more to come before we feel equipped enough to act. We think, “Surely I don’t have everything I need right now. I need to bring something more to the table.” It is true of the disciples and of us that when we believe and receive the Holy Spirit, then in God’s eyes we are fully capable of acting on His callings in our lives. That’s not to say that thoughtfulness, planning, education, strategy, and other meaningful means have no value; rather, we should ask ourselves if we value these things too much. Do we stall in fear? Do we think we need to have every detail figured out and lined up to a “T”? Christ’s call was simply to trust in him and obey him as he provides the firepower. The truth from Acts 1 that “everything I need, in Christ I already possess” frees me from feeling like I have to wait for something more before I can act on God’s calling in my life.