Kendra Graham Fall Bible Study: “Suddenly”

Welcome to Kendra Graham’s online Bible study. Our prayer is that you  will grow deeper in the knowledge and understanding of God’s Word and His promises for you. 

Suddenly

Acts 2:2-3

And SUDDENLY there came from heaven a noise like a violent rushing wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting.

(3) And there appeared to them tongues as of fire distributing themselves, and they rested on each of them.

What Does it SAY?

Suddenly– came from heaven, a noise- rushing wind, filled the house where they were sitting, appeared to them as tongues of fire distributing, rested on each of them.

What Does it Mean?

  HOW many of us feel like it takes God FOREVER to act “SUDDENLY”.   I know I am feeling that right now.

 It is very uncomfortable to answer the questions, “Hey Kendra, what now? You quit all the jobs you got paid for and now what exactly are you doing?”

 Cue the awkward silence. (LOL! Right?) I do not like having the appearance of just sitting.  I have the temperament where “just sitting” is not ok.  I am a busy person.  I always have somewhere to go or somewhere I should have been five minutes ago.

 Recently, as the last box was unpacked, I found myself without a list of “to do’s” that would take 16 hours of time each day.  Then the question started, what now?  Ok God! I AM READY! GO!

Silence

A week or so ago I was reading Acts 2 again and I got stuck on that word… SUDDENLY.  What happened “suddenly”?  Well, suddenly the house was filled with the Holy Spirit and It rested upon each of them.  After the Holy Spirit came, things got pretty intense.  God started working all over Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria and to the utter most part of the earth (Acts 1:8) SUDDENLY started to come to fruition.

How long did it take God to work suddenly?  Well, in this case it took 10 days.  In other cases it took generations.

“LOOK! I AM sending My messenger to clear the way before Me; and the LORD whom you seek, will SUDDENLY come to His Temple” Malachi 3:1. God promised He would come Himself, to mankind, back in Genesis, and then FINALLY – Luke 2:11, For unto us was born this day in the city of David, a Savior who is Christ the Lord.”

I want God to work faster.  I don’t want to feel awkward.  I want to understand why God has lead me here.  I have heard plenty of sermons encouraging  “in the meantime” just do something, anything.

Is that what I need to do?  Is that what the disciples did?  In the meantime- they had their orders to be fishers of men, and to testify to what they had seen and heard, and “feed My sheep” (Matthew 4:19, John 21:16, Acts 1:8). It’s not like the Great Commission was not given, right?  So they should just come up with a blueprint of their ideas, and flow chart their callings out, with present goals and future goals and what success looks like and then get after it? And along the way God is going to bless their goals, right?  In the meantime- so you don’t have to feel that awkward silence, stay busy?  Doing good things, for God, right?

Personally, I think that it is easy to become religious exhibitionists.  I think we TRULY want to do great things for God.  I think that is the heart of it, but somewhere we get the idea that we need to manipulate God in order to get Him to use us in the way and time that appeals most to us.  We end up getting busy in programs  we were never called to because we want the praise and approval of others, and we don’t want to look like we are, well, just sitting.  I know that is the direction my heart goes in anyway.  I just need God to hurry up and act SUDDENLY.  All these other things in my life happened suddenly, so what now? What next?

What did the disciples do?

Luke 24:52-53 gives us a little insight. They returned to Jerusalem with great joy, (53) and they were continually in the temple, praising God.

Acts 1:14 These all with one mind were continually devoting themselves to prayer… (NASB)

Jesus did tell them that they would receive power after the Holy Spirit came  upon them. Sure, but we know sitting was definitely not their strong suit.  In John 21 they fished while they waited.  Here in Acts, however, things change.  The disciples embrace the silence and fill it with anticipatory praise.  They fill their days with praise and prayer, while they are waiting for God Himself to lead, direct and empower them.

The thing about God’s calling on your life, is that it is a call that is absolutely impossible for you to do! Isn’t that GREAT?!?!!  Even today, we cannot do what God has called us to do without Him empowering us.  We are not clever enough, or brave enough, or powerful enough to do it on our own. We are dependent on God, not the other way around.

I love how the Holy Spirit came to all 120 followers of Jesus waiting in that house that day.  It was not just Peter or John, but the Holy Spirit was given to each person present, sitting in that house, in the presence of God as they DEVOTED themselves to prayer.  They knew the calling, but needed God to do the leading.  What if they were out and about busy doing important things for God in the meantime?  The verse says, those present, in HIS presence, in that house, received the Holy Spirit, the POWER to do that which they were called to do.

It’s not about what I can do for God, it never has been, it’s about what He wants to do through me.  It’s about what He wants to do through you.

It’s HARD to sit and devote ourselves to prayer and just sitting in the presence of God.

Psalm 16:11, “You will show me the path of LIFE; in Your presence is fullness of joy.”

What Does it Mean to Me?

Do you know what God has called you to do?

Have you ever decided to go ahead of God and start the work instead of waiting for the Holy Spirit to come and empower?

What are you devoted to?

When has God worked suddenly?  How long did it take?

LIVE IT OUT

Lord, I have this tug on my heart of what I want to do! I want to do so much for You!  Help me to put all my notions aside, and instead just enjoy Your presence.  Open my eyes to see where You are suddenly working around me! May my “ACTs”, the movement in my life, be towards where YOU are.  AMEN and AMEN!


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