Waiting on the Lord

 

The command to wait on the Lord is found extensively throughout the Old and New Testaments. In the Old Testament, it is more about waiting for the Lord’s providential care, but most New Testament references relate to Christ’s second coming. In all cases, it is about waiting expectantly and with hope. Fundamental to being able to wait is trusting God’s character and goodness.
Waiting on the Lord is something the godly do. It’s about holding on tight, hoping with expectation and trust, knowing that our Lord is not making us wait just to see how long we can “take it.” There are times when God will delay His answer, and we will at times wonder why He seems so reluctant to intervene in our affairs: “I am worn out calling for help; my throat is parched. My eyes fail, looking for my God” (Psalm 69:3). But, knowing the Lord, we trust that He will come at the perfect moment, not a second too soon or too late.
Waiting on the Lord necessitates two key elements: a complete dependence on God and a willingness to allow Him to decide the terms, including the timing of His plan. Trusting God with the timing of events is one of the hardest things to do. The half-joking prayer, “Lord, I need patience, and I need it RIGHT NOW,” is not far removed from the truth of how we often approach matters of spiritual growth and the Lord’s will. To wait on the Lord produces character in the life of the Christian in that it involves patience (see James 1:4). Waiting involves the passage of time, which is itself a gift of God.
The word wait in the Bible carries the idea of confident expectation and hope. “For God alone my soul waits in silence . . . my hope is from him” (Psalm 62:1, 5, ESV). To wait upon the Lord is to expect something from Him in godly hope, “and hope does not disappoint” (Romans 5:5). We wait on the Lord in a way similar to how we wait on the arrival of out-of-town relatives, with loving anticipation of seeing them again. All creation eagerly awaits God’s restoration: “The creation waits in eager expectation for the children of God to be revealed” (Romans 8:19). Those who wait for God to keep His promises will not be disappointed.
Waiting on the Lord involves being at rest in the Lord. Psalm 23 provides a lesson concerning being still. Sheep will not be at peace near rushing water, but they will lie contentedly by “still” water, and that’s where the Good Shepherd leads us (Psalm 23:2). The words “He makes me lie down” can be translated “He causes me to rest.” When we, like sheep, are still, we are resting in the Lord and trusting our Shepherd.
Being still means we have ceased from following our own agenda or ingenuity; we have stopped trusting in our own strength and will power. We are waiting upon the Lord to exchange our weakness for His strength (see 2 Corinthians 12:9). The apostle Paul had a “thorn in the flesh,” and, as he gains spiritual insight, he understands that the affliction is a protective suffering meant by God to keep him from sin. As a result, the apostle is content to rest in God’s grace. God does not remove the thorn; He gives Paul a place to be still in the bearing of it. Paul learned to be still and wait on the Lord.
To wait on the Lord is to rest in the confident assurance that, regardless of the details or difficulties we face in this life, God never leaves us without a sure defense. As Moses told the panicky Israelites trapped at the Red Sea by Pharaoh’s army, “The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still” (Exodus 14:14). The heavenly perspective comes as we focus not on the trouble but on the Lord and His Word. When it seems God has painted us into a corner, we have an opportunity to set aside our human viewpoint and wait upon the Lord to show us His power, His purpose, and His salvation.
When we don’t choose to wait on the Lord, we solicit trouble for ourselves. Remember how Abraham and Sarah did not wait on the Lord for their child of promise; rather, Sarah offered her maid, Hagar, to Abraham in order to have a child through her. The account in Genesis 16 and 18 shows that their impatience led to no end of trouble. Any time we fail to wait on the Lord and take matters into our own hands—even when we’re trying to bring about something God wants—it leads to problems. When we “seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness” (Matthew 6:33, ESV), we can allow God to work out the rest of the details.
This doesn’t mean we sit idly by as we wait on the Lord to act on our behalf. We should not spend our time doing nothing; rather, we should continue to do the work He has given us to do. Psalm 123:2 says, “As the eyes of slaves look to the hand of their master, as the eyes of a female slave look to the hand of her mistress, so our eyes look to the LORD our God, till he shows us his mercy.” That is, we should look to God with the constant anticipation and willingness to serve that a servant shows to his master. The idea of waiting on the Lord is not like waiting for the dentist in the waiting room (thank goodness!). Rather, the sense of waiting on the Lord is somewhat akin to what a waiter or waitress does in a restaurant. Our attitude and actions should be as those of a waiter anticipating and meeting the requests of the one he’s waiting on. Our waiting on the Lord is not biding our time until we finally get the service we’ve been waiting for; it’s filling our time with service to the Master, always on our feet, ready to minister.
The command to wait on the Lord means that we are to be near Him and attentive so that we may catch the slightest intimation of what He wants for us. We naturally think of ourselves as self-sufficient. We turn here and there and expect help from our own ability, from friends, or from circumstances. But in the spiritual life we are taught to distrust self and depend upon the power of the Holy Spirit.
Waiting on the Lord involves the confident expectation of a positive result in which we place a great hope—a hope that can only be realized by the actions of God. This expectation must be based on knowledge and trust, or we simply won’t wait. Those who do not know the Lord will not wait on Him; neither will those who fail to trust Him. We must be confident of who God is and what He is capable of doing. Those who wait on the Lord do not lose heart in their prayers: “This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us” (1 John 5:14).
Waiting on the Lord renews our strength (Isaiah 40:31). Prayer and Bible study and meditating upon God’s Word are essential. To wait on the Lord we need a heart responsive to the Word of God, a focus on the things of heaven, and a patience rooted in faith.
We should not despair when God tarries long in His response, but continue to patiently wait on Him to work on our behalf. The reason God sometimes waits a long time to deliver is to extend the goodness of the final outcome. “Therefore the LORD waits to be gracious to you, and therefore he exalts himself to show mercy to you. For the LORD is a God of justice; blessed are all those who wait for him” (Isaiah 30:18, ESV).

https://www.gotquestions.org/wait-on-the-Lord.html

A Confession

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There is a difference between being a “Christian” and following Christ.  When I went to church before I picked up my cross I, when I did try to follow Him, would be the typical showing up on Sunday, postponing my morning cigarette so my sin didn’t get looked down on.  Dressed up, put on my saved face and acted the part for the duration of the service.

1 John 3:6 Those who live in Christ don’t go on sinning. Those who go on sinning haven’t seen or known Christ.

I pretended around other Christians on days I wasn’t at church because I wanted them to approve of me. The truth was, I lived a very ugly life.  If you were to secretly record my life as I really lived it, I would have never been welcome in a church.

Titus 1:16  They claim to know God, but they deny him by what they do. They are detestable, disobedient, and unfit to do anything good.

Flash forward to my true conversion.  I am aware that the Lord sees everything I do.  Every day I am aware of this and now all I want to do is please Him.  I fall short more than I care to admit.  And truth is, everything I do falls short in light of His holiness.  But I know He sees my heart and I know that He sees how much I want to please Him and that is what matters most.

Psalm 119:20 “My soul is consumed with longing for your rules at all times.

That being said.  I have smoked for all of my teenage years and my adult life.  It has been the one thing I have been unable to put down.  I have asked Him to remove it, but of course He isn’t gonna slap it out of my hand.  I would have just picked up another if He did.

I often fluctuated between searching scriptures to find a loophole and falling face down sobbing over my disobedience.  I would commit over and over again for the last 2 years to put it down and then I would stub a toe or the dog would look at me funny and I had to go feed my addiction.  I have even tried to compare the sinner I used to be to what He has transformed in me now and tried to tell Him that at least I’m not doing…. or …. but when the Holy Spirit refused to let me settle on that lie, I finally stopped that.

 

Then I began a few months ago, praying not for Him to take it, but to change my mind about it.  Daily I have pleaded in prayer for Him to give me a mind that will let go.  The past few weeks I have begun to actually see it differently.  And I began to see that I must let go of all things that come before Him.  No matter how uncomfortable.  I believe I would die for Him, but I won’t let go of an addiction… very sad realization.

So, I finally made up my mind that everything would go wrong the moment I put down the habit.  I prepared scripture to read every time I felt weak.  I was gonna cling to Him every second I was tempted or it felt too hard.

2 Corinthians 12:10 Therefore I am well content with weaknesses, with insults, with distresses, with persecutions, with difficulties, for Christ’s sake; for when I am weak, then I am strong.

And you know what?  It’s working.  Every day there have been legitimate catastrophes, begging to get a relief with a cigarette.  But funny thing is, I know they are going to happen so rather than seeing cigarettes as relief, I see the self deception.  They won’t fix anything.  I did find myself asking Jesus today how this agitation and confusion (withdrawal) is pleasing to Him.  And yet I know I am doing it because I love Him, and that pleases Him.

Jeremiah 17:10 I, the Lord, search the heart, I test the mind, Even to give every man according to his ways, According to the fruit of his doings.

I ask for anyone reading this, that you would pray for me.  I am going to continue having many hurdles and I want so desperately to be obedient.  I don’t pretend I am without other sin, this one is just predetermined, and I don’t want to live with the guilt and shame any longer.

Fight The Good Fight

 

“Let go and let God” is a phrase that cropped up some years ago and still enjoys some popularity today. Actually, the Bible never tells us to “let go and let God.” In fact, there are so many commandments about what we are to do that it completely contradicts the way most people interpret “let go and let God.” The popular idea of “letting go” is to adopt a sort of spiritual inertia wherein we do nothing, say nothing, feel nothing, and simply live, allowing circumstances to roll over us however they may.

The Christian life, however, is a spiritual battle which the Bible exhorts us to prepare for and wage diligently. “Fight the good fight of faith” (1 Timothy 6:12); “Endure hardship . . . like a good soldier of Christ Jesus” (2 Timothy 2:3); “Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes” (Ephesians 6:11). Letting go, in the sense of sitting back and watching events unfold however they may, is not biblical.

Having said that, though, we have to understand that the things we are to do, we do by the power of God and not on our own steam. The truth is that working at “letting go” is just as much as an effort-filled work as anything else we try to do for God and not nearly as easy to do as some things. So let’s look at the Christian life and see exactly what we are to do.

To begin with, Jesus was clear that, apart from Him, we can do nothing (John 15:5). The truth being imparted here is that we can do nothing of eternal value apart from Christ and the power of the indwelling Holy Spirit. We can do lots of “stuff” and assume we’re doing it for God, but if we are doing it on our own power, we get the credit, and there is little or no eternal value to it. The picture of the vine and the branches in John 15 is very appropriate. Christ is the vine; we are the branches. Everything branches need to bring forth fruit comes from the vine—water, nutrients, the genetic material of life itself—while nothing is provided by the branches. The branches are simply something to hang the fruit on. The same is true of the Christian life. We are a conduit through which Christ displays His (not our) fruit.

So what has all this to do with “letting go”? Many people believe that, if we are truly in a state of “letting go,” we will be able to cease from striving and struggling. But Jesus said that we are to “strive” to enter the narrow gate to eternal life (Luke 13:24), not to sit by and wait to die so we can gain heaven. By striving, He means that we should be diligent, active, and earnest and that we should make every effort to overcome our sinful tendencies, in order to prove that we are truly His children. We are also to strive to do the work of the kingdom, whatever form that takes in our lives. This is the reason He gives us spiritual gifts, so that we can edify one another and bring glory to Him.

Furthermore, when we struggle, we assume the problem is that we are not letting go and letting God. The reality is that we struggle for a variety of reasons. One is that we have a weak faith. We just don’t have enough confidence in God to rest in the reality of His nature and have the peace that comes with a strong faith in Him. For instance, when trials come or we experience illness, financial ruin, or the death of a loved one, do we really believe that “God works all things together for good for those who love God and are called according to His purpose” (Romans 8:28)? If we don’t know God intimately, it’s very hard to trust that He is working all things together for good. But if we do know Him, if we have spent time digging into His Word and meditating on His works and His nature, we have faith in His plan and purposes, His love for us, His sovereign control over all circumstances in life, and we rest in the “peace that passes all understanding” (Philippians 4:7). But if we don’t know Him, we will always struggle against life’s hard circumstances.

On the other hand, there is a positive reason for struggling—it is good for us and is God’s plan to grow and mature us into the people He wants us to be. Struggles are just one of the ways He strengthens us for the hard things life throws at us. Each one enables us to be stronger and better able to handle the next one. Trials are designed to show us and others that our faith is real. “Your faith will be like gold that has been tested in a fire. And these trials will prove that your faith is worth much more than gold that can be destroyed. They will show that you will be given praise and honor and glory when Jesus Christ returns” (1 Peter 1:7). In Christ, we can face the trials of life with grace and good humor and complete faith that whatever God has for us is ok. This comes from years of walking with Him, trial upon trial, struggle upon struggle.

 

 

https://www.gotquestions.org/let-go-and-let-God.html

My Favorite Quotes By The Late Great Keith Green

Sometimes I contemplate the people I look forward to meeting in eternity.  Keith Green is at the top of my list.  I love his music and his sold out passion for Jesus. I want to thank him when I get to heaven for all the inspiration I still to this day, receive from His ministry.

Outside of his sincere Christ centered music, he had said some pretty thought provoking things, of which these are my favorite….

 

Sitting At The Feet Of Jesus

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5 Ways to Sit at His Feet

 

1. Give your to-do list to the Lord.

Sometimes it is so hard to hear the Lord’s voice through all of the hustle and bustle of our day. We stress and obsess about our to do list and all of our many appointments. The best way to focus in on our time with God {and to leave our to do list behind} is actually to take our to do list along with us! Get alone and get quiet. Ask God to bring to your mind all that you must get done. Make a list of these things. Then, spend time praying through each item on the list. As God brings more tasks to your mind, write them down. Don’t worry that it is unspiritual to stop halfway through a prayer and jot an item down. It helps you to clear your mind and then allows you to focus better on your time alone with God. He is concerned about all of the details of our life even if it is our plan to go grocery shopping or run to the dry cleaners.

2. Get intentional.

Treat your time alone with God as serious as any other appointment you have. When you have to go to the dentist, you brush your teeth and make sure you show up on time. Why do we assume our time alone with God will just happen spontaneously? Learn to treat it with intentionality. Write down the time you will spend with God in your planner or set an alarm on your phone. Have a plan for what you will read in the Bible or whether you will write in a journal or listen to worship music.

3. Read and write.

Get a hold of a good devotional book or Bible study workbook. Use them to help you know where to read in the Bible. But don’t just read the Bible. Write your thoughts down too. Keeping a journal–whether it is a paper one or a file on your computer or tablet—will help you grow your relationship with God. You will process as you write out your thoughts. Also learn to both read and write prayers. Read prayers in the book of Psalms out loud to God. Then, write out your own specific prayers to Him as well. It will amaze you when you go back later and see the ways that God answered your prayers.

4. Make a recording and memorize.

Use an online app or program such as Audacity to record yourself reading out loud any verses or passages of scripture you would like to memorize. Then, load them on an iPod, phone or MP3 player. Pop in the headphones and listen to the verses each day as you walk, do housework or cook dinner. It makes it so much easier to memorize this way!

5. Discover the Bible’s non-negotiables.

Grab a Bible and a notebook. Pick a New Testament book such as James or Colossians. Read it through stopping each time you see a non-negotiable command that we as Christians are supposed to do. When you come across one, write it down. For example:  James 1:19-21 says…

“My dearly loved brothers, understand this: Everyone must be quick to hear, slow to speak, and slow to anger, for man’s anger does not accomplish God’s righteousness.  Therefore, ridding yourselves of all moral filth and evil, humbly receive the implanted word, which is able to save you.”

So you would write in your notebook:

When dealing with others, I need to:

~ Be quick to listen

~ Be slow to speak

~ Be slow to get angry because being angry doesn’t accomplish the things of God.

I must also:

~ Get rid of that which is morally wrong and evil.

~ I need to spend time planting the word of God humbly in my heart. It will save me!

When we read the Bible, we learn. However, when we write out the commands in a way that is personal to us, we allow the word to take root deep within our hearts. This will help us the next time we are faced with a situation where we need to react in a godly manner but find it challenging. When we have trained our brain to recall the nonnegotiable’s of a Christian’s behavior, it allows us to act and react in a much better way.

 

 

 

http://www.karenehman.com/2014/02/5-ways-to-sit-at-his-feet/

Lonely

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If you’re feeling lonely, I pray that you’ll let God comfort you …


Are you feeling lonely? It’s strange how, at times, one can be surrounded by people and still feel very alone. In fact, you can even feel lonely among people who love you; they may not understand what you’re going through, at least not fully. But there is Someone who understands your heart completely. He knows your thoughts, feels your every emotion, and longs for you to know He’s with you and for you. Take comfort in His promises …

1. “I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever— the Spirit of truth … I will not leave you orphans; I will come to you” (John 14:16–18). You never need to feel abandoned because Jesus promises to be right there with you; He will even be, through His Holy Spirit, in you.

2. “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble” (Psalm 46:1). So many troubling situations in life can leave you feeling alone and insecure, but God is a “very present help” at all times.

3. “When my father and my mother forsake me, then the Lord will take care of me” (Psalm 27:10). Even when those closest to your heart turn away, the God of love will remain with you, safeguard you, and tenderly look after your needs.

4. “I am with you always, even to the end of the age” (Matthew 28:20). As long as you desire His presence, there will never come a time when God will leave you to fend for yourself.

5. “He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds” (Psalm 147:3). Sometimes it’s a broken heart that leaves you feeling lonely, but the Lord promises to heal the wounds and hold you close to Him.

6. “ ‘For the mountains shall depart and the hills be removed, but My kindness shall not depart from you, nor shall My covenant of peace be removed,’ says the Lord” (Isaiah 54:10). God is so faithful that you can depend on His care and attention even if the mountains crumble around you!

7. “In my distress I called upon the Lord, and cried out to my God; He heard my voice from His temple, and my cry came before Him, even to His ears” (Psalm 18:6). You never have to feel that no one hears you, because your heavenly Father always hears and understands.

8. “For I, the Lord your God, will hold your right hand, saying to you, ‘Fear not, I will help you’ ” (Isaiah 41:13).
 Loneliness will vanish when you realize the Almighty God is holding your hand!

9. “Be strong and of good courage … for the Lord your God, He is the One who goes with you. He will not leave you nor forsake you” (Deuteronomy 31:6). The Creator of the universe is on your team, and He will never leave you!

Be encouraged in the loving presence of your Savior, knowing He will always stand beside you. And why not share this list with someone you love?

 

 

 

https://www.amazingfacts.org/news-and-features/news/item/id/12018/t/9-bible-promises-for-when-you-re-feeling-lonely

Faith Like A Child

 

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What Qualities Does a Child Have?

  • A child is innocent.
  • A child is trusting.
  • A child believes without complication.
  • A child has not had time to allow the preconceived notions of the world to form his decision-making process.
  • A child receives with joy, forgetting herself with light-hearted abandonment.
  • A child is humble.
  • A child is content in the little things.
  • A child has the faith to move mountains.
  • A child is awed by majestic splendor.
  • A child takes to heart God’s Word in all its simplicity.

Think of God and the child as one would a child with his parents.

Children, full of innocence, come to their loving father and mother, trusting them to completely take care of them, to protect them, to provide for them, to correct them when they are wrong, and to love and cherish them.

Jesus is telling us that we need to have this type of trust and faith in the Father. After all, we are His children.

We should be able to come to him fully trusting, without a doubt, that He loves us and cares for us.

     Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.” (Matthew 19:14)

God reminds us in His Word that we are indeed his children.

     “See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him. (1 John 3:1)

Like a child, we should come before the Father, fully trusting in His Word, fully engaged in His Spirit, fully open to His love and His commandments.

 

 

https://ccsouthbay.org/blog/be-like-a-child