In West Texas during the Depression Mr. Ira Yates was like many other ranchers and farmers. He had a lot of land and a lot of debt.
He wasn’t able to make enough on his ranching operation to pay the principal and interest on the mortgage. He was in danger of losing his ranch. With little money for clothes or food, his family lived on government subsidy.
Then a seismographic crew from an oil company came into the area and told him there might be oil on his land. They gained permission to drill a well, and he signed a lease contract.
At 339.8 metres they struck oil. The first well came in at 80,000 barrels a day. Many subsequent wells were more than twice as large. And Mr. Yates owned it all, and had owned it all for years.
Over the next three years, several more wells were drilled producing over 41 million barrels of oil. Then in 1929 the Yates well came in producing 200,000 barrels of oil a day! A world record. Oil at that time was being sold at $1.19/barrel.
In 1929 $238,000 a day was a lot of money. Today it would equate to about $3.4 million a day! From just one well! A new town sprung up as a result of the Yates oil field. They named it Ira-ann after the Yates couple. Today it is Iraan, Texas.
On January 11, 1989 the Yates Field, now one of the largest oil producing fields in the world, produced it’s 1 billionth barrel. Today, it is still producing, and it is estimated that there is an additional billion barrels of oil still in the field. The Yates family went from dirt poor to multi-billionaires
You and I too often can be a lot like Mr. Yates. We are heirs to a vast treasure and yet we often choose to live in spiritual poverty.
We can get despondent, frustrated, disappointed, questioning our faith and doubting our heritage while all the while there is a power that is available to us- the power of the Holy Spirit.
Acts 1 is a bridge between the events of the Gospels and the events marking the beginning of the work of the Church.
After Jesus had risen from the dead He spent 40 days teaching and encouraging His disciples, and as a result they were changed drastically.
Before they had argued with each other, deserted Jesus, and Peter had even lied about knowing Jesus.
Now Jesus had spent time with them, talking and sharing with them. The more they heard the more they believed, the more excited they became. They were ready to get to work.
So what did Jesus say, Wait! Wait?
“But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk and not faint” (Isaiah 40:31)
Wait? They had waited three days, they had waited for three years, and their people had been waiting for generations.
But Jesus’ word of wisdom to his anxious followers at a crucial juncture in history was WAIT!
Jesus wanted them to wait so they could go forward on the basis of GOD’S POWER, not their own.
They paused not because they weren’t ready or they didn’t want the future, they paused to allow God to lead them.
In waiting they were demonstrating their willingness and desire to follow God however He was to lead.
“Behold I send the Promise of My Father upon you; but tarry in the city of Jerusalem until you are endued with power from on high”. Luke 24:49
Acts 1: 5 – “For John baptized with water, but in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.”
Jesus didn’t say maybe or might. He states unequivocally and absolutely: “you will receive the Holy Spirit.”
Jesus’ promise of the Holy Spirit and the power He gives is a transforming, liberating redeeming, life changing power that can change the course of nations, history, you and I, your church and community.
The Greek word for power is dunamis, it is the root of the word dynamite. It is explosive, changing power.
Holy Spirit gives us not just the power of miracles; He also gives us power that brings courage, boldness, confidence, insight, ability and authority. As individuals we need this power to face the challenges and temptations of this world, we need this power to fulfill our individual and corporate church vision. We need the infilling of the Spirit.
Today, wait on Him, ask for the Holy Spirit to clothe you and fill you with His power, and then allow Him to lead you.
Prayer: Holy Spirit please fill me with your power. Thank you that when I wait on you Lord you renew my strength and give me all the ability I need to do whatever lies before me. In Jesus Name Amen.