The Bare Soul - December 12, 2010
Waiting Upon the Lord, Part I

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

Waiting is not easy for most folks. As time-bound creatures, human beings understand that our waking (and sleeping) hours are not limitless. There is only so much that we can pack into any particular 24-hour period. So when someone or some thing "intrudes" into our already hectic schedule, it becomes easy to get impatient with the interruption. Many of us grit our teeth and more or less tolerate the inconvenience rather than accepting it as possibly a lesson in patience. The very act of impatience often testifies that we are fearful of losing something that we can never hang on to in the first place. In the case of lost time, it is more likely the crux of the problem referring to it as such. It is only lost if we believe it is. If, however, we have entrusted our time to the Lord, then nothing is ever lost or misplaced. As Paul states, we have made the most of our time by surrendering it all to the Lord (Ephesians 5:16).

Once we possess the attitude that all our time belongs to Him, then waiting for traffic or in the check-out line becomes a moot point. It doesn't matter what we are doing if we are centered in Christ. However, this attitude that spills over into our everyday life has its origin in the inner man. It starts by cultivating a view of eternity that swallows up time, because time no longer is a guiding factor. When one learns the "secret" of waiting upon the Lord, then all that we do takes on a peaceful, confident dynamic. Many scriptures allow us a glimpse into the life that tarries after God. Some teach us actually how to become an eternal watchman, waiting upon God as a servant with His Master. King David reveals both instruction and encouragement in our lead verse. This is what I like to call a "sandwich scripture" because the bread or the long-term sustenance is on the top and the bottom and the meat or the substance is in the middle. Whenever God says something, we are of course to pay attention. When the Lord reveals His word to us TWICE in the space of a single verse, then the matter is of utmost importance and should be heeded with diligent obedience. In Psalm 27:14, David through the unction of the Holy Spirit tells us to "wait for the Lord" at the beginning of this verse, but then he repeats Himself stating, "Yes, wait for the Lord". Why does He repeat Himself? The importance of waiting upon God is revealed in two commands that are sandwiched between His double admonition to tarry.

Without a mindset to wait upon God, it is impossible to "Be strong" and to "let your heart take courage". Surrendering rights to react in a defensive way or to vindicate ourselves in any matter is the only way to gain this point of power. Imagine for a moment a man who was falsely accused of something he said that others regarded as malicious and slanderous. For this man to react and to defend himself would send a direct message to God that he did not need the Sovereign's deliverance, but that he instead trusted in his own justification. In a very real way, this man had tied God's hands from supporting him, thereby making God impotent rather than omnipotent in his regard. Instead, this man must learn that in order to live with power from on high he must die to the power down below -- namely of the flesh and more precisely, self-assertion. However, once a man, woman, or child learns to die to the impulse to control the situation but rather to turn it over into God's hands, then a new and powerful dynamic unfolds. By the act of waiting on the Lord, he finds the lust to deliver oneself has abated. Rather, the heart is strengthened to look not toward the problem but toward the Solution for this and subsequent testings which it will certainly encounter. Through this strength, the heart is then allowed to take courage. The fortitude of the heart through its initial strengthening and then through victory after victory allows the heart to grasp onto or to "take" courage, building upon a foundation of strength.

Waiting upon the Lord is profoundly simple to those with childlike trust, but is equally difficult for those practiced in their own salvation. For those who have surrendered to Him, these know that there is salvation in no other except for the Lord (Psalm 37:39). Waiting is a form of death --  it is succumbing to another force that we have allowed to control our lives until some sort of deliverance is achieved on our behalf. Whether it be in traffic, or at the grocery store, or wherever or for whatever we wait, we are still surrendering ourselves to someone or something that we believe will inevitably change our circumstances on our behalf. If we as believers in the Lord Jesus Christ would practice waiting for Him and Him ONLY to deliver us, then we would experience a new freedom from anxiety and strife. Imagine if we waited on God with an expectancy that our time, our reputation, or any and everything about us belonged to Him? Beloved, we would be caught up in eternity with Him and the things of this earth would pale in view of His management of our surrendered state. Oh, for lives that would wait only upon the Lord! Yielded lives such as these, my friends, would be lives full of His presence and absent of the impatience that this world so generously throws our way each day. May we all learn the secret of waiting only for God. For as we wait upon Him, only then will we find both strength for today and courage for tomorrow.

Father, help us to wait upon You and You only. For only as we surrender do we find true victory. Only as we wait for Your salvation can we experience true freedom. We ask for Your grace and Your mercy to bow our hearts in humility to You. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

Your Barefoot Servant,

Rick

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