Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Wait? I Wanna Go!


If you say go we will go
If you say wait we will wait
If you say step out on the water and they say it can’t be done
We’ll fix our eyes on you and we will come

Chorus:
Your ways (Your ways, Your ways) are higher than our ways
And the plans that You have laid are good and true
If You call us to the fire You will not withdraw Your hand
We’ll gaze into the flames and look for You

This is one of my favorite songs and I just love the imagery that this particular video gives it with the scenes from The End of the Spear. There are so many sermons and blog posts that could come from the lyrics of this song and it may be that I draw on it again some other time. However, today I just want to focus on the second line because it may be the most difficult; 

If you say wait, we will wait. 

I have found, in my life, that I am more than willing to have God say "go." Every year when we prepare to go on our annual mission trip to Jamaica I am filled with anticipation about what God will do during our time there. I feel like it is a standing order from the Commander to "go" and all it takes for me to act on it is the opportunity. What I don't like, and I have a suspicion that I'm not the only one, is when God says, "wait," or when I'm in the midst of those times when God is waiting to say "go." Yet if we are to be completely obedient to God there will be times when we find ourselves waiting on Him. It is during those times that I become vividly aware of why they call patience a virtue. It is something that requires trust in the God who has called us, the God who has saved us and the God whose plan and timing is perfect. 

I can't help but think about the disciples and how they were required to wait after the crucifixion. Jesus had shared with them that He would die and that He would rise again. However, during those three days it must have been excruciating to wonder if He was telling the truth. In a very real sense their faith was being tested to the uttermost. Would they believe in the words of the man that they had been following for the past three years or would they turn, run and give up hope? We see this again when the disciples are made to wait, yet again, after the ascension. Jesus promised them a Comforter, the Holy Spirit, Acts 1:4 tells us this.

Gathering them together, He commanded them not to leave Jerusalem, but to wait for what the Father had promised, "Which," He said, "you heard from Me.

Several days later Pentecost came and after being filled with the Holy Spirit, they went and the world has never been the same. In God's perfect will He knew that there must be a time of waiting. I don't know why Jesus just didn't bestow the Holy Spirit on them before He left...but He does. Somewhere in His plan He knew that they needed to wait for just a little while longer before they went out and proclaimed the Gospel to the world. 

If we go back to the Old Testament we find out that the Israelites were forced to wait, not three or ten days on God, but forty years to see the promise fulfilled. We get the idea that this period of wandering in the wilderness was for the purpose of preparing the nation to enter and possess the Promised Land. The thing that I often have to remind myself of is that whatever period of waiting I may find myself in is preparation for what God has in store for the future. This is painfully difficult because I am, by nature, an impatient person and I find myself, at the very least, demanding a hint. However, because God is God He is under no compulsion to give us hints. In the end, if I am truly honest, this must bring comfort because of 2 Timothy 1:12;

I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that He is able to keep that which I have committed unto Him against that day (KJV). 

The Israelites had to wait. The disciples had to wait. Now we demand instant gratification. You know, instead of offering my own opinion...man's opinion, I want to let the Word speak for itself.

Yet those who wait for the Lord will gain new strength; They will mount up with wings like eagles, They will run and not get tired, They will walk and not become weary. Isaiah 40:31

Wait for the Lord; Be strong and let your heart take courage; Yes, wait on the Lord. Psalm 27:14

For evildoers will be cut off, But those who wait for the Lord, they will inherit the land. Psalm 37:9

I wait for the Lord; my soul does wait, And in His word do I hope. Psalm 130:5 

As hard as it may be we are commanded and directed to wait on God. He builds these waiting periods in our lives so that He may teach us, so that we may grow, so that our faith may become strong. So, even though it goes against every grain in my body and soul, I have to humble myself and say, "If you say wait, I will wait." 

Godspeed,
Christian

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