Behold, this is our God, we have waited for him, that he might save us. This is the Lord; we have waited for him; let us be glad and rejoice in his salvation.(Isaiah 25:9)
In Isaiah 25:9 we have two precious thoughts. (1) This is the language of a Gods people who have unitedly waiting on Him. (2) The fruit of their waiting o is that God has so revealed Himself that they could joyfully say, “Lo, this is our God….this is the Lord.”(Isaiah 25:9)
Note this repeated phrase, “We have waited for him.” In the time of trouble the hearts of the people had been drawn together, and ceasing from all human hope or help, they had with one heart set themselves to wait for their God.
Is this not just what we need in our churches? Are there not evils in the church of Christ to which no human wisdom is equal, evils that are robbing the church of its power? Have we. Ot culture and money and pleasure threatening its spiritual life? Are not the powers of the church utterly inadequate to cope with the powers of infidelity and iniquity and wretchedness?
And is there not a provision made in the promise of God, and in the power of the Holy Spirit, that can meet this need? And would not united waiting upon God for the supply of His Spirit most certainly seem the needed blessing? We cannot doubt it.
The object of a more definite waiting upon God in our gatherings would. Every much the same as in personal worship. It would mean a deeper conviction that God must and will do all. It would require a more humble and abiding entrance into our deep helplessness, and the need of entire and unceasing dependence upon Him. We need more living consciousness that the essential thing is to give a God His place of honor and of power.
I’m sure that most of us had no inkling that we were going to face this year of challenges. Most of our normal activities were affected in some way especially how we functioned as the church. Responses varied from one end of the scale to another and most felt like little to nothing was stable in the ever changing environment.
This must be to some degree what the disciples were experiencing as they gathered in the upper room. Everything had changed. They remembered that first change when Jesus called them from their comfort zone of fishing and collecting taxes and the like. They remembered how they had become accustomed to the daily journey and ministry with Christ, taking comfort that they were with the “expert” who guided and instructed them at every step. I’m sure that this became comfortable for them especially having the security of Christ’s presence. Then came the crucifixion that none of them anticipated. All their dreams and hopes were crushed and they had gone from being part of a popular group to hiding in fear for their lives. There can be no doubt that their emotional and mental state was stretched to its breaking point. Just when all seemed lost, they experienced the pendulum swing again for Christ had risen and once again they were with Him. From scripture we find that in their minds everything was back where it should be. With the exception of Judas, they were once again the disciples waiting for Christ to again lead them as had been the case in the past. Then came the gathering on the mountain where they heard the plan. Christ was leaving them once again and they were to start the ministry again but without His physical presence. They met and initially they attempted to recreate the old norm by choosing a replacement for Judas. Like us, they perhaps felt that if they could create as much of the old norm as possible, maybe everything would return to how it used to be. Left with the last words of Jesus and a reminder from an angel , they met in an upper room. They recognized they were clueless how to begin. Everything they knew and all they had done previously was gone. They knew they must carry out the commission of Christ but how to do that was far beyond their knowledge. Then they remembered, “Tarry in Jerusalem until you receive the promise of the Father, the gift of the Holy Spirit.” So together they waited. They waited in unity and expectation. They laid aside personal preferences and desires opening their hearts to what God had promised. The church was birthed, the gospel was preached around the world and the kingdom of God grew.
Let us admit that never have we faced such uncertain times. Let us acknowledge that all our collective wisdom is not sufficient. Let us cease demanding that we fully return to all the old things and ways. Let us recognize that our status has changed and will likely never return to pre-Covid. Let us wait before God for new instructions, let us be open to the guiding of the Holy Spirit. Who knows, what is yet to come may very well eclipse all we have ever experienced as the church. Let us wait together. Let us wait united. Let us wait expectantly and let us believe that God is moving among us to bring to pass His plan for His church. Let us wait until He comes.
Dr. John Thompson