Saturday, August 25, 2012

Wait on the Lord

Wait on the Lord;
Be of good courage,
And He shall strengthen your heart;
Wait, I say, on the Lord!
Psalms 27:14 (NKJV)

 Our society has taught us that we should expect things immediately.  Three minutes for a meal for the family through a drive through is the goal for most chains.  Thirty minutes to have a pizza prepared, cooked and delivered.  Accelerated degrees to obtain your masters and bachelors at the same time or getting your bachelors in a shorter period, quick communication with texts, face time, instant messaging and quicker Christianity. 

However, that is not the way of God.  The word wait is mentioned 144 times in the Bible.  People waited on the same promises of God for seventy years.  We give up if it is not immediate.  Jacob wrestled with the Angel of God for an answer through the night.  We grow weary of after five minutes of prayer.

Preachers apologize if the service goes past an hour and a half.  People walked for days to catch a glimpse of Jesus, waiting without food to hear him speak.  I can remember being in services where God moved, and the four hours we were there seemed like five minutes.

When you are seeking God, it can not be rushed.  We must wait on Him.  

In the waiting....

I was reminded today of a song by Greg Long that came out around the time of 9/11 called In the Waiting.  It says:

The gift nobody longs for, still it comes
And somehow leaves us stronger
When it's gone away
I try and pray for Your will to be done
But I confess it's never fast enough for me
It seems
the hardest part is waiting on You
When what I really want
Is just to see Your hand move
I want a peace beyond my understanding
I want to feel it fall like rain
In the middle of my hurting
I want to feel Your arms as they surround me

And let me know that it's okay
To be here in this place
Resting in the peace that only comes
In the waiting
Time to let it go and just believe
Trusting in what no one else but You can see
Freedom from the fears that close me in
When I can't get beyond where I have been
But then again
The silence doesn't mean that I'm alone
As long as I can hear
That I am still Your own

I used to sing that song so much at church, as I knew that I was sitting in the waiting.  As I re-read  Answered Prayers  from 2008, I realized how quickly time can fly and that God truly does give us peace in the waiting when we let it go and just believe.  I have been trusting for my husbands salvation since 2000.   I am still holding out for that answered prayer.

There was a message preached back in Sept 2000 right before we moved out of Lee's Summit,  to this date it stays with me when I feel like giving up.  It was a service I really didn't even want to be in.  My children wanted to be in church, so I had dragged myself there, almost daring God to move me.  It had been a really rough month, my best friend from childhood had died after a short stint in the Children's Hospital leaving behind three children.  I just felt alone.

The story was of David, from I Samuel 30:1-19 and into II Samuel 2:4.  David had been in battle and he and his men came back to find Ziklag destroyed, women and children gone.  They wept and actually talked about killing David blaming him for the situation.  David however strengthened himself in the Lord.  God told him to pursue the enemy and that he would overtake them and recover everything.  He did, they won.  The Philistines battled Israel. Saul was killed.  David grieved for Saul and then was anointed King. 

The preacher made the point that David had already been anointed by Samuel to be the next king.  He had his promise, but in Ziklag he faced destruction.  It would have been easy to give up, but he didn't.  Three days later he received his promise being appointed into his anointing as King.    The preacher made this statement that has always been with me "Your promise is always closer than Satan wants you to believe."

Sometimes, God has given me little glimpses of that promise over the years, but next month it will be 12 years since I really started seeking God for that promise.  Other times, and more often, a preacher will make a comment that brings flooding back that message that has kept me going all these years.  I will be at that breaking point, broken before God crying out for it to stop.  Then, I have that little thought, if you give up now, what if your promise was to come tomorrow.  Sometimes it may take several days for me to be strengthened, but God does always come through.

I would love for my promise to come in three days, as David's did, or for it to even have been the years that went between his anointing and appointing.  But I know that God is faithful to His promise and it will not return void.  Joshua and Caleb waited 45 years for their promise, I will just hold on to my promise and look for the lessons God has In the Waiting.

Has given...

Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord,  as His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue, 2 Peter 1:2-3

Tonight, the word HAS stuck out as I read this scripture. Has given is a present perfect verb tense indicating that God gave it in the past and we still currently possess what was given. So if God has given us things, why do we not have them?  We must grow in our knowledge of Christ.  As we grow in our knowledge of God, we are able to understand all the gifts that he has already given us and can use those gifts to further His kingdom.

So what has God given to those who follow and obey Him, according to New Testament scriptures: 
  •  He has given us eternal life
    •  I John 5:11
  • He has given the Holy Spirit 
    •  Acts 5:32, I John 3:24, I John 4:13 
  • He has given assurance that there will be a judgement day
    •   Acts 17:31
  • He has given us the spirit of reconciliation  (to reconcile others to Him and the Body)
    •  II Cor. 5:18
  • He has given us authority to edify (instruct and lift up)
    • II Cor. 13:10  
  • He has given us all things that pertain to life and godliness (conforming to the laws and wishes of God)
    •  II Peter 1:3
  • He has given us an understanding that we would know Him 
    • I John 5:20
Having read these scriptures I am now aware of what God has given to me.  I must accept as fact what God has given me in order to walk in what I already possess.  I must not take for granted what Christ died for me to have.
  • I have eternal life, Christ died that I would have it.  
  • I have the Holy Spirit living inside of me, Christ ascended to Heaven so He might come and dwell on the inside of believers. 
  •  I have assurance that one day I will give account for my actions,  Christ was raised from the dead.  
  • I have the ability to reconcile others to Christ and each other,  God reconciled me to Him through Christ Jesus.
  • I have the ability to edify others and not tear other down,  Christ does not want His body destroyed. 
  • I have life and godliness, God and was called by his glory and virtue.
  • I have understanding, it continues to grow as I learn more of God and truth.