|Do Your Part|
|Posted on:||2015-05-29 01:55:50|
Before Jesus went up to heaven, the disciples asked Him, “Will you at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?” What is behind the question? Well, the disciples think of the golden age of David when Israel was a kingdom, a powerful one, indeed. They remembered past glory. They were being nostalgic. Jesus’ resurrection from the dead seemed to revive the hope for that nostalgia.
Jesus’s answer is simple: that’s not yours to worry. Let the Father worry about that. He has His own plan and timing. He knows what He is doing. Instead, focus on your part. I will give you the Holy Spirit, and with Him, you will have the power to be My witnesses (Acts. 1.7-8).
Jesus draws the boundary between God’s sovereignty and our responsibility. Of course, God is sovereign over everything, otherwise He won’t be God. At the same time, there are areas where we are fully responsible for obeying His will. Times and seasons belong to God’s sovereign will. There is nothing we can do about that. Actually, it’s a good thing that we know nothing about it.
Imagine five deadlines that are waiting for you next month. How will your life this month be like? Yes, it will be like being in a high-speed chase with the police. You will be frantic and stressed-out all the time. Nothing feels stable and solid. Everything is fast-moving. Every second matters. You can’t afford to relax even when you’re sleeping. How long can you sustain such a life? How long can you remain emotionally stable and available?
God has numerous deadlines, and He can handle them perfectly. He never misses deadlines. He is never too late. It’s just as well that He doesn’t let us have any say on matters of times and seasons. While He keeps it to Himself, He gives us the assurance that He will make all things beautiful in His time (Eccl. 3.11).
If we are not to worry about God’s timing, then what should be our focus? Our role as Christ’s witnesses. Our main question should always be: How can I represent Christ better? How can I be a more faithful witness? This is not a simple task. It’s complex and requires constant correction. If we focus on this alone, we won’t have time to worry about other things, including God’s timing.
The lesson is do your part, and let God do His. Be a more faithful witness of Christ. We know how we are far from being perfect. We also know that Christ is perfect. As people for whom Christ has died, we want to repay His love by becoming like Him. It’s not a smooth road. We stumble and fall along the way. But by the power of the Holy Spirit, we get up, and try again.
Being a witness of Christ requires understanding the mind and heart of Jesus. It’s not simply copying Jesus’ actions. Some people think being witness for Christ mean healing and feeding others miraculously. Or, others think following Jesus is mingling with those despised by the society. These are praiseworthy, but don’t necessarily mean being Christ’s witness. In fact, Jesus cautioned us that in the last days, false teachers and prophets will try to copy Him using miraculous healing, prophecy, and wonders (Mt. 7.22). I also know people who think that believing in Jesus as the Son of God is not necessary as long as you do what He did, like feeding the poor, helping the oppressed, and befriending the outcasts.
Being a faithful witness has to do with the work of the Holy Spirit. Jesus clearly said that only by the power of the Holy Spirit can we be His witnesses (Acts 1.8). it’s about a change that takes place on the inside. The Spirit gives new life and empowers Christians to proclaim Christ. He also works in us to produce love, joy, peace, etc. He reminds us of Christ’s words, and He convicts us when we commit sins. He corrects us when we have wrong mindset about God and the world. Above all, He brings us back to the Bible as God’s word.
It’s not just in us, but also among us. Yes, the Holy Spirit brought the church into the world on Pentecost. The Spirit enables us to be a community that emulates Christ. Paul said, since we are one in the Spirit, we should have the same mind, the mind of Christ (Phil. 2.1, 5). As a church, we should serve one another, not considering oneself better than others. Just like Christ humbled himself by taking the form of a servant, we should do likewise.
When taking the form of a servant, Jesus took the position of the powerless. Servant or slave has no right or power. When we are humble to one another, assuming no superiority, we are being a faithful witness of Christ. By being humble to one another, we proclaim Christ as the true Lord of the church. Nothing binds us stronger than the Lordship of Christ over the church. Nothing binds us stronger than the fellowship of the Spirit in the humble attitude of Christ.
It all started in Jerusalem, and spread to Judea and Samaria. The ultimate goal is every corner of the earth. As a church, regardless of location, we need to proclaim Christ as Lord. We remind people that one day, every knee should bow and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord. With words and sincere humility, we can be Christ’s witness. May the Holy Spirit help us do our part as an individuals and community. God himself will bring everything to perfection when Christ returns.