“And, behold, I send the promise of my Father upon you: but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high” (Luke 24:49).
The Greek verb, kathizo, is translated “tarry” only here. In 47 other uses it is translated “sit” or “sit down.” To tarry for power, then, means to sit down quietly before God and wait. And though the primary thrust of the text is directed to the disciples waiting for the Day of Pentecost, there is certainly an application for us today. We, too, need to learn to sit down, to take a break from the daily rush or routine and be willing to wait, no matter how long, for power from on high.
And what of the power? The disciples awaited the indwelling Holy Spirit. Before they could go forth into the world to preach the gospel, they first had to have His enabling power. The divine order is power, then ministry. This Jesus reiterated when He set forth the “great commission:” “All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Go ye, therefore, and teach all nations . . .” (Matthew 28:18,19).
Believers today have the indwelling Spirit. We no longer need to tarry for His presence-rather, we need to tarry for His power. Too often we rely upon our own strength and abilities. The apostle Paul learned this lesson in the course of his ministry. In response to God’s promise, “My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness,” Paul replied, “Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me . . . for when I am weak, then am I strong” (II Corinthians 12:9, 10).
Many times the work of the ministry leaves the Christian worker weary, physically exhausted, and emotionally drained. May we, as Christ instructed His disciples, learn to “tarry . . . until [we are] endued with power from on high.” BJC