“Therefore wait for me,” declares the Lord. (Zephaniah 3:8)
“My soul wait thou only upon God” (Psalm 62:5). Let Him be all your salvation and all your desire. Say continually and with an undivided heart. “He only is my rock…I shall not be greatly moved”(Psalm 62:2. Whatever your spiritual or temporal needs are, whatever the desire or prayer of your heart, whatever you’d interest in connection with God’s work in the Thur church or the world- in the solitude or in the rush of the world, in public worship or other gatherings of the saints, wait thou only upon God. Let your expectations be from Him alone.
If you are ever inclined to think this waiting upon God is too hard or too high, remember the two foundation truths on which this blessed waiting rests: your absolute helplessness and the absolute sufficiency of your God. Enter deeply into the entire sinfulness of all that is of self, and do not think of letting self have anything to say one single moment! Enter deeply into your utter and unceasing inability to ever change what is evil in you, or bring forth anything that is spiritually good. Enter deeply into your relationship of dependence on God, to receive from Him every moment what He gives. Enter deeper still into His covenant of redemption, with His promise to restore more gloriously than ever what you have lost. And, by His Son and Spirit, He will unceasingly give you His actual divine presence and power.
And thus, wait upon your God- continually and only. No words can tell, no heart can conceive, the riches of the glory of this mystery of the Father and of Christ. Our God, in the infinite tenderness and omnipotence of His love, waits to be our life and joy.
Oh, my soul, let all that is in me rise and sing, “Truly my soul waiteth upon God”(Psalm 62:1). “On thee do I wait all the day.” (Psalm 25:5)
“My hope is built on nothing less than Jesus’ blood and righteousness,” says the hymn. It goes on to say “On Christ the Solid Rock I stand, all other ground is sinking sand.”
The sooner we come to the place of utter helplessness and hopelessness in our ability to live the Christian life; the sooner we realize our total dependence upon God and His power and holiness, and the sooner we recognize that it is Christ alone that transforms us from a wretched sinner into a “ new creature in Christ Jesus”; the more we understand our need to wait upon God.
It was the impatience of Eve that caused her to eat of the forbidden fruit. Satan convinced her that God was withholding something from her and it was up to her to find and get that something. It is the enticement of Satan and fallen flesh that pressures us to try to handle life on our own or to in someway through some human driven ritual to become holy and righteous.
It is almost in everything that the Bible teaches a paradox. It is not in our strength that we become successful, “but in my weakness, His strength is made perfect.” These words were written by Paul, a man who had diligently practiced that human attempt through keeping the law and performing rituals correctly only to find that his very best wasn’t sufficient. Paul recognized that as long as we are in these earthly bodies, we will find ourselves constantly in the battle between evil and good. At times we find ourselves wanting to do good and yet finding ourselves doing evil. He notes that even if we know what the good is, sometimes we don’t know how to do good. He concludes this revealing of his personal struggle and ours, by saying:
For we know that the law is spiritual, but I am carnal, sold under sin. For what I am doing, I do not understand. For what I will to do, that I do not practice; but what I hate, that I do. If, then, I do what I will not to do, I agree with the law that it is good. But now, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells in me. For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh) nothing good dwells; for to will is present with me, but how to perform what is good I do not find. For the good that I will to do, I do not do; but the evil I will not to do, that I practice. Now if I do what I will not to do, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells in me. I find then a law, that evil is present with me, the one who wills to do good. For I delight in the law of God according to the inward man. But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members. O wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? I thank God—through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, with the mind I myself serve the law of God, but with the flesh the law of sin.
Therefore, we conclude that it is impossible for us to ever become righteous on our own nor to successfully resist temptation completely. I’m not suggesting that we give up and surrender to the desires of our sin nature. What I’m saying is that the beginning of our pursuit of holiness is first recognizing that we are captives to sin and have no power to make ourselves free. We may have knowledge of what is right or wrong but find ourselves in practice still yielding to the whims of our old sin nature. We come to God in absolute helplessness and throw our selves on His mercy and grace and through Him and Him alone we are able to overcome temptation.
Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall. No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.
1 Corinthians 10:12-13
Notice this scripture says that it is the faithfulness of God who will with temptation provide a way out.
Our conclusion in the matter then is that we come as weak, helpless children of God who desire to live as pleasing to Him, and we sit at His feet, in His presence and wait for Him to deliver us, to restore us, and to make us over-comers. We dare not trust our own strength or merit or ability or knowledge. We come, broken, flawed, marred vessels and wait for the potter to place us on His wheel and “make us again another.”
Ephesians tells us the everything is the work of God in Christ Jesus and nothing by our works is sufficient.
But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.
So I invite you today, come sit with me at the foot of the cross and let us wait together until the Workman completes His work in us. Let us give up any trust we have in ourselves and cast ourselves before Him and cry out to Him to make us as He wills.
In the words of the old hymn we sing:
Have Thine own way Lord,
Thou art the potter, I am the clay,
Mold me and make me after thy will,
While I am waiting, yielded and still.
Dr. John Thompson