I started reading in the book of Acts last week and right from the start, I had questions. Here is a really quick synopsis of Acts 1:
Acts was written by Luke and His goal was to show the growth of the church through regular people/apostles and their actions. He starts by shedding some light on the Holy Spirit and the timing of God. I love verses 7 and 8 in chapter one.
He said to them: “It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by his own authority. But you will receive powerwhen the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses…”Acts 1: 7-8
Just another reminder that we are not in charge but that we are commissioned with great power. Back to the synopsis, Jesus ultimately says to the apostles that He will come back in the form of the Holy Spirit to be with them. I understood all of those verses without any questions and love the thought of Jesus being with me in the form of the Holy Spirit, but by verse 15 I started to have questions. The disciples (apparently 100+ men at this point) held a meeting to discuss which one among them would take Judas’s place in the ministry and story of Jesus. They needed someone, who by my understanding was a witness to the resurrection, to be a leader for their movement. It all came down to two or three verses where the group threw out two names and one was chosen. Matthias was chosen to be the leader and replace Judas and they gave him eleven men to accompany his journey. For reference, that takes place in Acts 1:23-26.
So, here is my question(s), “when do I know if I am being called to be Matthias or one of the eleven?” You see Matthias is the chosen leader at this point. He was commissioned to go and lead a group of eleven inan effort to grow the church. How do I know when I am the one supposed to beleading an effort or when I should follow someone else’s lead? Do you ever havethis question?
I think often times we get bogged down in the question or worse; we know the answer and don’t like it. Kelly, what do you mean? Well, you can stay in the space that I am in now, wondering. I could sit and think about how I don’t know whether I should be leading or following and ultimately do neither. We don’t want that. The flipside is that I could know that I am supposed to be leading and be unwilling. Or know that I am being called to following when I think I should be leading.
That’s a mouthful. My thoughts have led me to focus more on the following piece. I think we have a problem with following these days. I think my generation doesn’t understand the concept of following or see the value. Many of us want to be leaders and think we are capable of it right now.
Between now and next week I am going to research the value of being a follower and give you a summary. In the meantime, say a quick prayer in preparation, “God, will you help me to understand what following looks like in my life. Will you show me places where I am doing it well and places where I am lacking. Help me to see the truth. Amen.”