One Deep Blessed Cry
The salvation of the righteous is from the Lord, he is their stronghold in the time of trouble. (Psalm 37:39)
Our heart is the scene of a divine operation more wonderful than Creation. We can do as little toward the work as toward creating the world, except as God works in us to will and to do. God only asks of us to yield, to consent, to wait upon Him, and He will do it all.
Let us meditate and be still,until we see how right and blessed it is that God alone do it all, and our soul will of itself sink down in deep humility to say (with Jacob): “ I have waited for thy salvation, O Lord.”(Genesis 4:18) And the deep blessed background of all our praying and working will be: “Truly my soul waiteth upon God.”(Psalm 62:1)
There can be no good but what God works; to wait upon God, and have the heart filled with faith to pray for His mighty power to come down, is our only wisdom.
Our private and public prayer is our chief expression of our relation to God; it is chiefly that our waiting on God must be exercised. If our waiting begins by quieting the activities of nature and being still before God; if it bows and seeks to see God in His universal and almighty operation, alone and always ready to work all good; if it yields itself to Him in the assurance that He is working and will work in us; if it maintains the place of humility and stillness, and surrenders until God’s Spirit has quickened the faith that He will perfect His work; it will indeed become the strength and the joy of the soul. Life will become one deep blessed cry; “I have waited for thy salvation, O Lord.”
There are two things that every Christian must grasp. The first is what God is desiring to do in us and through us. The second, which I find the more difficult of the two is the timing of God. We know that the beginning of our relationship with God begins with Him. Jesus as He introduces the Holy Spirit says of Him:
“Nevertheless I tell you the truth. It is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if I depart, I will send Him to you. And when He has come, He will convict the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: of sin, because they do not believe in Me; of righteousness, because I go to My Father and you see Me no more; of judgment, because the ruler of this world is judged. “I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come. He will glorify Me, for He will take of what is Mine and declare it to you.”
That relationship begins only when the Holy Spirit convicts us of our need of a Savior. When I was 16 I started playing with a gospel band. We played a lot of churches every weekend for over a year. I was at church, there were times when the pastor would give an invitation for salvation but my hear was not moved. I suppose at that time I felt I was in someway ok since I was “working” for God. But there came the night of August 22. We had been invited to sing for a revival at a small Assembly of God church. That night the Holy Spirit revealed my sinfulness and my need for a Savior. Though there had been many invitations before, this time was different for it was not a preacher but the Holy Spirit making my need known. That began a journey of seeking what God desired to do in and through me. It’s not always been easy to find that for I confess I want God to tell me everything right now. But I have learned that if we wait on God, He will make His will known. Waiting on God doesn’t mean going about life on our own and making our own choices. It means that we seek, we ask, we search the scriptures while we are waiting for God to make known His will.
The second thing, perhaps the more difficult one is finding the time of God. Many times God will make known His desires well in advance of His time. For example, Abraham was given God’s plans years before they came into being. God had promised him a son. As we read that story, we must learn that the most dangerous place for us is the space between the revelation of God and the fulfillment of that revelation. Now to give Abraham credit, he waited a long time before he tried to bring the fulfillment of the promise to pass. Let’s take a moment and visit the promise. God said to Abraham that he and Sarah would have a son. As time went by and that didn’t occur, Abraham modified the promise. He and Sarah decided that God had promised a son to Abraham and any means of having that son would fulfill the promise. So they brought Hagar, the servant into the equation and the Ishmael. O the trouble they brought with their attempt to rush the promise, to modify the promise, and to produce the promise with their own abilities. It’s interesting that in due season, God brought about the original promise with all its details when it was humanly impossible for it to occur. The lesson from this that we must learn is that every promise God makes He keeps. It is not up to us to make it happen.
The other side of the coin is when God moves, we must be ready and move with Him. Timing is just as important as plan. Both must originate from God. When the Israelites were in the wilderness traveling to the Promise Land, God spoke to Moses that it was time to move. When Moses presented that to the congregation, they insisted they were not ready to move at that time. After some time went by they approached Moses and said, “We’re ready now.” God’s response was, “You can go but I won’t go with you.”
Let’s sum up. First, we must wait until God makes known to us His desires. We must wait until He initiates His plan for us. When He speaks we must respond, whether its in the initial call to salvation or the call to service. We can only respond to His call, we have no ability to begin on our own. Second, we must fit ourselves into His timetable and move in His rhythm. We cannot modify or move the schedule that God has set in place. We cannot be too early nor too late, for either will cause us to miss the activity of God. As the people of God, we must hear what He wants, when He wants and how He wants us to move. Like the Israelites we must keep our shoes on ready to move but we must not be like Abraham or King Saul and move before our time nor like the Israelites and attempt to move too late.
As you can see, this doesn’t come easy but it’s worth the wait! The Bible says that in the fullness of time, God brought forth His Son and we see how powerful of a thing it is when promise and time come together in God’s order. May God give us grace to seek His will and to know His time.
Dr. John Thompson