Coming in Confidence
For you, O Lord, are my hope, my trust, O Lord, from my youth.(Psalm 71:5)
Above everything, when you wait on God, do so in the spirit of abounding hopefulness. It is God-in His glory, in His power, in His love longing to bless you- that you are waiting on.
If you say you are afraid of deceiving yourself with vain hope, because you do not see of feel any warrant in your present state for such special expectations, my answer is: God is the warrant for expecting great things. You are not going to wait on yourself to see what you feel and what changes come to you. You are going to wait on God- to know first what He is, and then, after that, what He will do.
The whole duty and blessedness of waiting on God has its root in this, that He is such a blessed Being- full to overflowing of goodness and power and life and joy- that we, however, wretched, cannot for any time come into contact with Him without that life and power secretly, silently beginning to enter into us and blessing us.
God is Love! This is the one, only, and all-sufficient warrant of your expectation. Love seeketh out its own: God’s love is just His delight to impart Himself and His blessedness to His children.
Come, and however feeble you feel, just wait in His presence. As a feeble, sickly invalid is brought out into the sunshine to let its warmth go through him, come with all that is dark and cold in you into the sunshine of God’s holy, omnipotent love, and sit and wait there, with one thought: Here I am, in the sunshine of His love. As the sun does it’s work in the weak one who seeks its rays, God will do His work in you.
Oh, do trust Him fully!
My thoughts constantly return to some of the songs of faith we’ve sang over the years. One of those says: On Christ the Solid Rock I stand, all other ground is sinking sand. The last verse of that song says: When He shall come with trumpet sound, O may I then be found in Him…
This seeking of God and waiting on God is the life blood of Christianity. We cannot be content with mere ritual or religion. While other religions may give way to the satisfaction of preforming rituals properly or completing some mission perfectly, Christianity is the pursuit of knowing Christ Jesus in a more perfect way.
Christ was sent, first,to the Jews, who had to a large degree ceased to pursue personal encounters with the God who spoke with Moses face to face, who met with Joshua in person at Jericho, who in visible form visited Abraham in His tent and who answered Elijah’s prayer with fire from heaven. They were content with rituals and their focus was on how they should be performed. They were waiting for the Messiah but did not expect Him to come. They settled for mere religion that at the end of the day left them in the same spiritual and moral condition even after completing their rituals.
My heart cry for the people of God in this day of great crisis is an echo of the words of Paul, “ that I may know Him!” This is the end we pursue, to know Christ. For this reason, we must constantly ask ourselves whether all we are doing is bringing us to know Christ more and more or whether it’s just something that give us a sense of completing a duty. What I’m getting at is whether our Bible reading is just a required exercise or whether we read to know the heart of God ether. Is our gathering a service(a requirement necessary for salvation) or a time to worship the Living God and experience His overwhelming presence? It’s easy to follow the ritual without heart involvement but to fully know Christ takes us beyond intellectual understanding into personal encounters with the Living Being. I realize that there is a perception that those who actually expect to experience God, to feel His presence, to hear His voice and to actually know Him is not something we should anticipate in this day. I know there are those who keep those kind of experiences in the Bible and many regard them as myth but I believe in these troubled times “We need a Savior” who makes Himself known to us in powerful ways way beyond “normal church”
“Remain in Me, and I [will remain] in you. Just as no branch can bear fruit by itself without remaining in the vine, neither can you [bear fruit, producing evidence of your faith] unless you remain in Me. 5 I am the Vine; you are the branches. The one who remains in Me and I in him bears much fruit, for [otherwise] apart from Me [that is, cut off from vital union with Me] you can do nothing.
There is a beautiful scripture I want to leave you with:
Do you not know? Have you not heard? The Everlasting God, the Lord, the Creator of the ends of the earth Does not become tired or grow weary; There is no searching of His understanding. He gives strength to the weary, And to him who has no might He increases power. Even youths grow weary and tired, And vigorous young men stumble badly, But those who wait for the Lord [who expect, look for, and hope in Him] Will gain new strength and renew their power; They will lift up their wings [and rise up close to God] like eagles [rising toward the sun]; They will run and not become weary, They will walk and not grow tired.
The Hebrew word that’s translated wait in this passage doesn’t mean wait as we know it. What it means is to enter-twine ones self with God as a vine does with a tree until they become inseparable and grow together, each retaining their individuality but also share a common bond. As we pursue knowing God, may we become so tangled up in Him that our soul cries out, “O that I may know Him.” I pray that the church will become so tired with useless activity that leaves it cold and indifferent that like the believers in the Upper Room on Pentecost, it will wait until God fills it with power and fire and passionate pursuit of God Himself. O may our heart be set on fire at the mention of His name!
Dr. John Thompson