The Presence of God #5 June 25, 2018

Wait on the Lord; be strong and may your heart be stout; wait on the Lord. Psalm 27:14

Here’s the same verse in the Passion Translation:

Here’s what I’ve learned through it all; Don’t give up, don’t be impatient. Be entwined as one with the Lord. Be brave and courageous and never lose hope. Yes, keep on waiting for He will never disappoint you!  Psalm 27:14 TPT

waitGod

When we find ourselves in times of waiting for God to answer our requests, to show up, to step in, to intervene, it can be one of the most difficult disciplines in our Christian walk.  Not just once or twice, but several times in the scriptures we are commanded to ‘wait upon the Lord’.  [Yes, I said ‘commanded’. Sorry, it’s not a suggestion!]  Yet everyone of those verses come with the promise of a blessing for those who will wait and not give up, nor take matters into their own hands.

Those who 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. Isaiah 40:31

Those who wait for Me shall not be ashamed.  Isaiah 49:23

Let’s be honest – it’s mega difficult to wait!  Who likes it? Nobody I know.  Personally I’m a great fan of verse 126 in Psalm 119: ‘It is time, O Lord for You to act!’  I like that one, don’t you?

Here’s the rub: it’s in what I call the ‘between times’ of His conscious Presence with us, that our true spiritual maturity is evident….or not.  Most of life, whether we like it or not, is lived ‘between times’ of His conscious manifest Presence and His ‘unconscious’ Presence with us.  It’s easy to have faith, to worship with soaring devotion and to love Him and one another when His Presence overwhelms us.  But it’s when that conscious, delightful Presence of the Lord is not so evident that our life of faith and trust has occasion to shine.

The book of Hebrews makes clear that without faith, we cannot please God. Our faith is precious in His sight – and perhaps, most precious when answers to our prayers seem to be delayed..and then delayed some more.

I often think of the hundred and twenty in the Upper Room after the Ascension of the Lord Jesus. He had commanded them to return to Jerusalem ‘and wait’.  Acts 1:4

Put yourself in their place for a moment. The Master they so loved, the One they’d lived with for three and a half years had disappeared into a cloud.  They return to Jerusalem.  One day passes, two days, three days…how long did it take for the first person to voice what perhaps many were thinking?

‘Peter, how long do we have to wait? Why hasn’t He come back yet?’

There can be no doubt that they were missing Him, missing His presence.

Now consider this: they had the SAME promise you and I have. ‘I will never leave you nor forsake you.’  But He wasn’t there, at least not physically.  They couldn’t look into His face.  They couldn’t hear His voice.  They were men just like us. ‘How long do we have to wait?’

There’s only one answer: until the Lord’s perfect moment.  He is never late and He is never early. He is ALWAYS right on time – His time, not ours.

Our willingness to wait in faith believing, is what in part demonstrates how much we love and trust Him.  Look at how Paul amplifies a precious verse from Isaiah:

For since the beginning of the world men have not heard, nor perceived by ear, neither has the eye seen a God besides You, who acts for the one who waits for Him.  Isaiah 64:4

Paul writes to the Corinthians: Eye has not seen nor ear heard nor has it entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those who love Him.  I Cor. 2:9

Paul didn’t misquote Isaiah.  He made the connection for us between waiting and loving.  Those who will wait upon the Lord, even when His presence seems more like absence, demonstrate their love for the Lord in the waiting.

Application

We have something worth waiting for, brothers and sisters.  Eternal, glorious life in the Manifest Presence of our blessed Lord and the entire cloud of witnesses, those saints who have gone on before us, as well as myriads upon myriads of angels.

Are you waiting right now for the Lord to answer a prayer, fulfill a desire, meet a need?

Be encouraged that your faith in the “between times” is precious in His eyes.  Hang on, wait with joy. Don’t let the enemy tempt you to impatience or discouragement.  His promises NEVER fail and His Presence will NEVER leave you!

One thought on “The Presence of God #5 June 25, 2018

  1. Thanks for this and for quoting Isaiah 40:31. It has not occurred to me before that the time of waiting is a time of renewal and refreshing–a time to be enjoyed, really! God bless.

    Like

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