Thursday, January 10, 2013

Waiting on the Lord Pt 1/10

If your anything like me, you do a fair amount of waiting, but sometimes not enough of the right kind. This blog deals with hope, and if we are to have hope we'll need to understand what it means to wait on the Lord.  Not just understand it though, but also live it.  As with any command from the Lord, there will be joy in it's keeping.  The next series of posts is a great series on the topic that hopefully will lead to a better understanding of true waiting.  It's going to have many installments because it is very thorough.  I've condensed it for readability. The author is J. Hampton Keathley, III.  In brackets I sometimes add some comments.  I thought I'd post this for those interested in renewing their strength by waiting on the Lord.

Psalm 37:9 For evildoers will be cut off, But those who wait for the Lord, they will inherit the land.
Psalm 27:14 Wait for the Lord; Be strong, and let your heart take courage; Yes, wait for the Lord.
Isaiah 40:31 But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.

Introduction

One important exhortation in the scriptures is the call to “wait on the Lord.” Even though God promises special blessing for waiting, waiting can be a difficult exhortation to obey. Yet, over and over again we are told in Scripture “wait on the Lord.” [The Lord himself was also required to wait as the JST reveals: Matthew 3:24–26 24 And it came to pass that Jesus grew up with his brethren, and waxed strong, and waited upon the Lord for the time of his ministry to come. 25 And he served under his father, and he spake not as other men, neither could he be taught; for he needed not that any man should teach him. 26 And after many years, the hour of his ministry drew nigh.]

We don’t like to wait, for many this conjures up a type of scene where a child sits hungrily at the dinner table having to wait to eat. When we think of waiting some are apt to respond with the pun, “Wait? That’s what made the bridge collapse!” Of course, that’s weight, not wait. But then these two words, weight and wait are not always unrelated because one of our needs in waiting on the Lord is the need to cast the weighty burdens we carry aside and take upon us His yoke and His burden which He taught are "easy" and "light".

Ours is a society that has grown accustomed to immediate gratification. Due to modern technology and all our conveniences—cell phones, refrigerators, freezers, microwaves, fast foods, airplanes, etc.—we have many things immediately at our fingertips. Just think of the speed of the latest computer technology in comparison with the computers of only a few years ago. Even in our modern age of conveniences, waiting is still a big part of life. The facts are, whether it's rush our traffic, or waiting at the airport most of us are waiting for something most of the time:

-Maybe you are in a job situation that’s really tough to endure and you are waiting and hoping that conditions will change for the better.
-Maybe you are without a job and waiting for news on an application.
-Maybe you are ill (or have a loved one who is) and waiting for your health to improve.
-Maybe you are on a diet and waiting for your weight to drop a few pounds.
-A single person may be waiting for Mr. or Miss Right.
-Or maybe you are waiting for your spouse or child to become interested in spiritual things.

The simple fact is, in spite of our modern age and our dislike for waiting, life is full of it. And despite technological advances waiting will remain part of life.  God seems to see beyond our impatience and our dislike for it, and therefore assures this vital character building element isn't going anywhere. Indeed, waiting has a number of benefits that we will discuss in this study.

But often too many of us "just wait" instead of "wait up on the Lord". When we think of waiting on the Lord, there are a number of important questions and differences between other kinds of waiting that need to be answered and understood. Why? Because without these answers, we become like a long-tailed cat scurrying around in a room full of rocking chairs. We become fidgety, fearful, frustrated, anxious, and even angry. However, because the Lord tells us to wait, and since it has some wonderful benefits, we need to know what it means to wait and how that is to be done.

 [It's often helpful to remove old ideas and images in our minds when we desire to learn something new. Perhaps we could begin with a new idea in our mind of what it means to wait on the Lord. One example (among many others) may be to think or hold in mind an image of a waiter at a restaurant. In this sense, to wait on someone is to serve that person. A good waiter, or server, gives his or her customers excellent care and attention by checking in often, learning their desires, and attending to them. This kind of waiting is much more likely the kind Isaiah tells us will renew our strength.]

 With that in mind some key questions we might ask are:

-What does it mean to wait? What’s involved?
-How are we to wait?
-Who and what are we waiting for?
-Why should we wait?
-How long do we wait?

We will answer these questions with biblical answers so we can truly learn to wait for and on the Lord and experience the promised blessing of God.

Cont.....

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