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Wednesday, January 14, 2015

The Strength of Waiting

Isaiah 40:30-31 (ESV)
30  Even youths shall faint and be weary,
            and young men shall fall exhausted;
31  but they who wait for the LORD shall 
            renew their strength; 
     they shall mount up with wings 
            like eagles; 
     they shall run and not be weary; 
            they shall walk and not faint.

I hate waiting. I would rather do something that would cause something bad to happen that is going to happen anyway than wait for it to happen. If will drive my car faster if I think its going to break down. Somehow I believe that will cause it to break down faster. Then, I can get if fixed. Otherwise, I am only waiting for it to break. That kind of living can wear you out. It depends on what you can do. It never waits for someone to do anything.

Of course, always waiting for others doesn't get anything done. It is totally dependent. There is no virtue in doing nothing. There are no medals given to soldiers who waited for somebody to do something. There are no awards given to athletes who never suit up. The medals and ribbons go to those who run. The people in the stands just wait.

The key is knowing when to wait and when to act. Acting without waiting will simply wear you out. You are constantly active and never satisfied.

And it doesn't matter how old you are either. Even young people will get tired when they constantly act. Those who are wiser know that acting is important but not as important as acting at the right time. That way your strength is not exhausted meaninglessly.

Many times I have told myself that I was tired in the ministry. I have gotten tired because I an always trying to please people I am always trying to "force" my church to grow. I am always trying to make things happen. But it is like pushing a huge rock up a hill. I get tired for all my effort but see very little progress. The Bible says that building a house without the Lord is a labor in vain. I suppose I am the poster child of "labor in vain."

So, I can either be tired or wait until my strength is renewed by the Lord. Waiting is not a weakness but a means of gaining strength when the waiting is for the Lord.

I just recently took a turn at trying to worry something into a better place. I went after worrying as if it were an Olympic event. I am sure that I won the gold but nothing happened from my worrying. Maybe I should have tried praying. Praying is asking and waiting upon the Lord to do what needs to be done. There is strength in this waiting. I can attest that worrying will wear you out.

I commit myself to the Lord. I ask for Him to work in me. I wait for His direction and strength. Then I am not so tired anymore. Yes, that's the way its supposed to go.


Anthony Chia said...

In my last sermon to a small group of people, I told them there is only the simplicity of the words of God (or the Word) but it is NOT necessarily easy to live it out. The truths of God could be simple and could be so simple at times that it is profound, and men do struggle with it. There is NOT the easy way to well-being and prosperity from the Word, despite much exploitational (new word, ah) selling by some people or preachers. There is the phrase, "simple AND easy"; why? Because it may be simple but it is NOT necessarily easy to do. Or we often say, "He makes it look so simple and easy". I am NOT saying things cannot get easier, but we must NOT forget that often before "he makes it look so easy", there has been the much "hard work". Nowadays, the word, work, in some of our Christian fellowship or churches seems like a taboo or plague even, to be avoided; it is so very wrong. If you get what I mean, these brothers and sisters are badly indoctrinated with "don't work or you will fall from grace!"; "don't try or should or ought, or you will go down the slippery road of works, and that will get you to fall from grace." "The way is so simple, just bask in grace!", say so many, nowadays (wrong!).

That was NOT the core message of the sermon, though. The core of the message which took me years to come to better realization and to walk in, was this "The Secret to the well-being of a believer is, to LOVE GOD." What does it got to do with waiting, that Ps Prentis is centering on, in the article?!

The Spirit impressed upon me that one of the ways to tell people that, that is the way to go (love God) is to show to them the "love your God" in the promises that they so much want, for their well-being. The passage that Ps Prentis cited is a great and wonderful promise, even though I did not use that; I used Rom 8:28, Ps 91 (note v14 - because he loves me, said The Lord), and 1 Cor 2:9. Interestingly, it was in recent months that the Spirit impressed upon me to include 1 Cor 2:9. What is in 1 Cor 2:9 and what does it got to do with "wait for The Lord" or "those who wait for The Lord" as in the Isaiah 40 passage cited in the article?


Anthony Chia said...

Cont. From above
The Apostle Paul wrote 1 Cor 2:9, and he applied it from Isaiah 64:4, which reads "Since ancient times no one has heard, no ear has perceived, no eye has seen any God besides you, who acts on behalf of THOSE WHO WAIT FOR HIM."

Now, see how Paul re-wrote it: 1 Cor 2:9 - "... “What no eye has seen, what no ear has heard, and what no human mind has conceived” - the things God has prepared for THOSE WHO LOVE HIM-"

Now, does not that give you a fresh insight/angle on waiting?!

There can be this condition (oh, again taboo to so many!) to the promises of God (you can just look at the other 2 sets of promises I have given); and I pointed to the people listening, that the "wait for Him" was pointing to a broader thing, that broader thing, Paul said is "loving God". Here is a simple, yet profound and yet not necessarily easy thing to do, "you wait if you love". For God loves and He waits, for you and I to ........

Waiting is part and parcel of Love! No space right now, to talk about power of Love, but you get the idea - there is great power in love. Waiting is part of love, and there is great power for your waiting for The Lord or in your love for Him. But you got to love Him, learn to love Him; the Gospel is the Greatest Love Story; it is God loves you, it is you accept His love, but it is NOT complete unless and until you love Him. When you love Him and so you wait, the power of love (God is Love) will flow out to you, for He loves you. Fresh perspective for readers - root waiting in love, root waiting in love; for God, and for people.

We are first of all, a people of faith, a people of promises, NOT facts, and so, we wait. Salvation is first of all, faith, NOT facts, and as the Apostle Paul pointed to us, Salvation is a hope. And Paul said if you strip it to the core, what is left is faith, hope and love. In faith, we wait, we have to wait; in hope, we also wait, and in love, all the more, we wait. It is simple, yet profound, yet not necessarily easy to do. Nonetheless, we are to do it. I can prescribe no better way than to work at it; the winner athlete makes it look so easy; ah, but that is not before much working at it. Work or wait, is no dirty word!

Anthony Chia, high.expressions