Good Leaders Are Worth Waiting For

"And they cast their lots, and the lot fell on Matthias, and he was numbered with the eleven apostles." Acts 1:26

     As I sit and reflect on this weekends message I can't help but see myself in Peters decision to fill an empty position with haste. I have done this same thing and always regret it. Why do we feel that we need to help God out and why do we often act in haste with something so important?
To get the answer we must look at the text in Acts 1:9-26. There we see that Jesus commanded the disciples to go and wait for the filling of the Holy Spirit. So they did...120 of them squeezed into the upper room and waited...and waited... and waited...for 10 days they waited for the promise to come. But, it's never easy to wait. Maybe the first few days were easier as we're told they all continued "with one accord in prayer and supplication." But, at some point in the 10 days of waiting Peter stood up in the midst of the disciples and suggested that they fill the position left by Judas. At first reading we see nothing wrong with this, but when we look more closely at the principle, the process and the price we discover a whole different side to this decision and one that we all can learn from.

The Principle was simple...fill the position that was left by Judas the betrayer therefore fulfilling scripture. Peter remembered that Jesus spoke of the 12 tribes sitting upon the 12 thrones in heaven and of course thought he, as the leader of the Early Church, was responsible for filling that empty spot. Not knowing when Jesus would return, Peter took it upon himself to fill this position. The Process he used was casting lots. This process was derived from the Old Testament and was last used in the New Testament when the soldiers cast lots for Jesus garments. Mark tells us..."And they crucified Him, dividing up His clothes, they cast lots to see what each  would get." Mark 15:24. As Peter used this method to chose the twelfth apostle, the lot fell on Matthias who is never again mentioned in the Bible. We can't help but wonder if Peter was operating in the Spirit or in his flesh. Meaning well, but not yet baptized with the Spirit, it's possible that Peter once again would pay the Price for acting impulsively. 

Many believe that Peter selected the wrong man, and should have waited to chose Paul as the twelfth apostle. Paul certainly proved himself worthy of being called one of the twelve. We read of Paul's conversion, ministry, and missionary journeys which make up more than half of the Book of Acts and the majority of the New Testament. To say that he was anointed and used by God is an understatement! Even though Paul had a rough start with the other apostles, he knew that God hand selected him for a special purpose...using the "foolish things of the world to confound the wise."

 We can learn several lessons from this possible mistake of Peter's. First, we learn that it's important to wait on God for His approval before selecting a leader. Next, we see that although Peter did select Matthias out of necessity, God chose Paul out of obscurity. And finally, we should remember that haste always makes waste. When we're tempted to act impulsively we must remember that there are always consequences to making hasty decisions. Sometimes we, like Peter, can feel the need to act upon an impulse, but do yourself a favor and DON'T! Rather, WAIT upon the Lord to reveal His perfect will in His perfect timing and with His perfect resources. Remembering that God won't always chose the most obvious people to serve Him in radical ways, but will often use the ones waiting in the wings who are being prepared to rock this world...if we will but wait for them!