IN THE DAYS OF HIS POWER SERIES.
TOPIC: WAIT, I SAY, ON THE LORD
Rev. Innocent Chukwudi Peace-Udochukwu
President Living Fountain Ministries Int’l LIFOM
“Wait on the Lord: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the Lord.”
— Psalm 27: 14.
THE Christian’s life is no child’s play. All who have gone on pilgrimage to the celestial city have found a rough road, sloughs of despond and hills of difficulty, giants to fight and tempters to shun. Hence there are two perils to which Christians are exposed; the one is that under heavy pressure they should start away from the path which they ought to pursue,— the other is lest they should grow fearful of failure, and so become faint-hearted in their holy course. Both these dangers had evidently occurred to David, and in the text he is led by the Holy Spirit to speak about them. “Do not,” he seems to say, “do not think that you are mistaken in keeping to the way of faith; do not turn aside to crooked policy, do not begin to trust in an arm of flesh, but wait upon the Lord and, as if this were a duty in which we are doubly apt to fail, he repeats the exhortation, and makes it more emphatic the second time, “Wait, I say, on the Lord.” Hold on with your faith in God, persevere in walking according to his will; let nothing seduce you from your integrity,— let it never be said of you, “Ye did run well, what did hinder you that you did not obey the truth ?” And lest we should be faint in our minds, which was the second danger, the psalmist says, “Be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart.” There is really nothing to be depressed about, there is no real danger, you are safe while God lives, and while Christ pleads, and while the Spirit of God dwells in you; therefore be not dismayed, nor even dream of fear. Be not timorous and unbelieving, but play the man; “Wait on the Lord: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart.” The object of our discourse this morning will be the encouragement of those who feel in any degree whatever dispirited and depressed on account of the hard places of the way, or the opposition of the world. May the Divine Spirit, whose peculiar office it is to be the Comforter of his people, now give the oil of joy to all who mourn, and courage to all who tremble.
First, God is to be waited on; secondly, courage is to be maintained; thirdly, waiting upon God will sustain courage; and, fourthly, experience has proved this,— for David sets his own seal to the text when he says, “ Wait, I say, on the Lord.” As much as to say— I have tried and proved the power of communion with God, and therefore personally give my advice that you do continually wait upon the Lord, and you will be greatly strengthened.
No one likes to wait. But we wait in traffic, in car pool lines, in holding patterns, in grocery stores, for the foursome ahead of us, for the doctor, for a spouse, for a baby, for retirement, for sermons to get over, or for Jesus to return.
Waiting is not just something we have to do while we get what we want. Waiting is the process of becoming what God wants us to be. What God does in us while we wait is as important as what it is we are waiting for. Waiting, biblical waiting, is not a passive waiting around for something to happen that will allow us to escape our troubles. Waiting does not mean doing nothing. It is not fatalistic resignation. It is not a way to evade unpleasant reality.
Those who wait are those who work, because they know their work is not in vain. The farmer can wait all summer for his harvest because he has done his work of sowing the seed and watering the plants. Those who wait on God can go about their assigned tasks, confident that God will provide the meaning and conclusions to their lives and the harvest to their toil. Waiting is the confident, disciplined, expectant, active, and sometimes painful clinging to God. It knows that we will reap a reward.
“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.”
Waiting on God and moving when He tells us is a sign of obedience. He blesses those that are sensitive to His guidance and accomplishing what He desires for our lives.
Waiting upon God can be one of the most trying of all trials. However, remember a ’trial’ is a test and the greater the battle the greater the victory.
In order to understand how to wait upon the Lord accurately, first we must see what’s the purpose of using an Eagle to explain the act of waiting upon the Lord?
Legend says that an Eagle at the age of 30-50, flies to a high place and there it endures a harsh trial of endurance and change. It can’t fly because its feathers are overgrown. Therefore it plucks all the feathers from its body. It plucks its talons from its feet because the talons have grown curled and useless. Its beak has grown too long and curled. It breaks its beak against a rock. Defenseless, it cries out and waits for the time of renewal.
Other Eagles hear its cry, and come to aid. They fly overhead, scaring off predators, and they bring food to their incapacitated friend.
Second, what does it mean to wait? In Hebrew (qavah – kav-waw’) the figurative meaning of the word is “to bind together like a cord.” It doesn’t mean to tie a cord around a bundle of sticks to keep them together. Instead, it’s the process of making a rope by twisting or weaving small strings together to form the rope. The more strands that are twisted or woven together in a rope, the greater is its strength. The literal meaning of the word is “hope”.
Like it happens to Eagle God makes us to go through harsh trials of endurance and change. This is necessary to shape our Christian character and faith. In such time we need to unite with the Lord like strands of a rope by waiting upon Him. This unity renews our strength. So let’s learn how to wait upon Him.
“Cast not away therefore your confidence, which hath great recompense of reward.”
“For ye have need of patience, that, after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise.”
The very situation that you are facing right now could be a trial of endurance and change. God makes His children to walk through such times because it’s the only way prepare you to meet God’s plan for your life. To take away what is unnecessary, and shape up your character and attitudes.
Waiting on the Lord requires patient trust
We live by the adage: Don’t just stand there, do something. While God often says to us: Don’t just do something, stand there.
Waiting means that we give God the benefit of the doubt that he knows what he is doing.
Waiting is God’s way of seeing if we will trust him before we move forward.
That trust is a patient trust. Whether it has to do with our relationships, our finances, our careers, our dreams, or our churches. We have to trust that God knows what he is doing.
Waiting on God reminds us that God is in control
Sometimes people ask, “But what do I do while I’m waiting?” Good question. During those waiting times take on the active role of a watchman. “I wait for the Lord, my soul waits,” declared the Psalmist, “I wait for Yahweh; I wait and put my hope in His word. I wait for the Lord more than watchmen for the morning – more than watchmen for the morning” (Ps. 130:5-6). In biblical times, watchmen vigilantly guarded the city. They watched for enemies who might attack at night, and they waited for the sun to come up. They were alert and obedient, ready to respond when needed. When called upon, they sprang into action. But on the other hand, watchmen didn’t make things happen. They didn’t control the rising of the sun. They couldn’t speed up the process of the dawning of a new day. A watchman knew the difference between his job and God’s job.
Waiting reminds me that I am not God
As a man, I want to fix things. I want to fix my problems, my relationships, my conflicts, my career, and my church. Fixing and controlling situations and people is like trying to expedite the rising of the sun. From time to time I have to be reminded that I am not God (Aren’t you glad?). My job is to be a watchman. I need to have a watchman’s attitude: a confident and alert expectation that God will do what he said he will do.
Waiting on God increases my strength
Sometimes I struggle to remember that it’s good to wait for the Lord. It isn’t easy. It goes against the grain of our quick-fix society. But, there’s a hidden benefit in waiting. In times of waiting my soul is revived and spirit is renewed. Isaiah wrote, “but those who trust in the LORD will renew their strength; they will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary; they will walk and not faint” (Is. 40:31)
Dirt will rub off when it is dry; be bravely patient. Wait you upon the Lord, commit everything to him, and he will see you through, even to the triumphant end. All that you can do in your own justification will only make more mischief. Hands off, there, and leave it with the Most High.
So we close by repeating our blessed text: “Wait on the Lord: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the Lord.” May he keep you waiting courageously for Christ’s sake.
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