Acts 1:6-7 (ESV)
6 So when they had come together, they asked him, “Lord, will you at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?” 7 He said to them, “It is not for you to know times or seasons that the Father has fixed by his own authority.
Can you imagine spending three years following Jesus, seeing Him crucified, resurrected, and then hanging out with Him before He leaves to take His place in Heaven? That’s where we find the disciples in Acts 1:6-7. They are hanging out with Jesus one last time before He returns to the Father, and they are concerned. They want to know what is next. Their expectation was that Jesus’ coming was all about restoring Israel back to the glory it had when David sat on throne in Jerusalem and they wanted to know if that what was going to happen next.
How often does that happen to us? We get in a groove and we set an expectation about what God will do next. We see God working in our lives and we go ahead and jump forward in our minds-eye and say “ok God is doing A so the end result must be B”. How many times has A not led to B? How many times when we have it all figured out is it not that at all? I know for myself it has been many times.
How do we know what is next? I think the response of Jesus in verse 7 here holds the key. It’s a theme that we have been hitting a lot lately. Jesus points to the Father. Jesus reminds us again that its the Father’s story. The Father sets in motion all things. He has a plan that he reveals to us a part at a time as we diligently seek Him.
My brother Chris, reminded me yesterday that Jesus teaches us in the Lords prayer how to go to the Father.
Matthew 6:9-13 (ESV)
Pray then like this:
“Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name.
10 Your kingdom come,
your will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.
11 Give us this day our daily bread,
12 and forgive us our debts,
as we also have forgiven our debtors.
13 And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.
Notice how the first part of the prayer is all about recognizing that this life is about the Father first and foremost. It is about His glory and His Kingdom and it about His will/plan.
The second part of the prayer is about asking the Father to work in our lives to get us to the next step in His plan.
So what is next? I think that is a question the Father will answer for us daily. I think the challenge is to make sure we are asking Him often.
Heavenly Father, we lift praise and worship to your honored name. Father may your Kingdom come and be established according to your plan. Thank you for your gift of citizenship in that Kingdom. Father help us today with our daily needs of provision, forgiveness, protection and guidance. Teach us and keep us. Teach us what is next. We pray in Jesus name. Amen.