Building up believers and the New Testament church

Waiting On God

"But those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint" (Isaiah 40:31 NKJV).

The discipline of waiting on God in all things is perhaps one of the most demanding exercises of the soul that we will ever experience. Man is very capable, and the natural tendency in most of us is to move in our capability to try to do the things of God. Yet if we want to see fruit to the glory of God in our lives and know His grace in all things, we must not move in our capability, but only according to the leading of the Holy Spirit. This is easy to say, but another matter to experience. Is it possible? Yes, it is possible for all of us to be led by the Spirit in all things at all times, but for this to become a reality in all of our lives, we must learn to wait on God.

The term "waiting on God" may mean different things to us. If we search the Scriptures, we find it used most often in the book of Psalms. This is not surprising if we consider that the book of Psalms is mainly a book of prayer. We find many expressions there of the heart of a man bowed low in the presence of God, utterly dependent on God to do what only He can do. This is the heart attitude of one who is truly waiting on God. As we bow before God, possibly not even with a petition, but just being silent before our Maker, it puts us in our rightful place before God so that God can speak and deal as He chooses.

To be still in the presence of God is not a small thing. There are so many things to hinder the communion that God--and we--desire. The reasoning of the natural mind, the emotions of worry and fear, and an unbelieving heart are probably at the top of the list. Where these control us, communion with God by the Spirit will escape us, leaving us unsatisfied in our relationship with God and unfruitful in His kingdom. Jesus came so that we might bear much fruit, eternal fruit, and He has made full provision in Himself to bring this about. The key to fulfilling this purpose is knowing in experience that apart from Him we can do nothing.

In the New Covenant, everything is built around an expanding revelation of Jesus Christ. Jesus Himself said, "I am the way, the truth, and the life." The revealing of the person of Christ is the foundation of the church and everything that God is doing in this hour. We can think about this revealing in three ways, namely 1) The revealing of Christ to us (who He is), 2) The revealing of Christ in us (the Word made flesh), and 3) The revealing of Christ through us (to others). These are closely related yet different aspects of the revealing of Christ for the purpose and glory of God. As we look to God, our focus is on these areas expanding in our vision and experience. As they do, our union with Christ and His expression through us will grow and mature. This is the goal of waiting on God: that we will experience Christ in a fuller measure, and that He will be lifted up in and through our lives.

We are utterly dependent on God for this revelation. When Peter declared with confidence who Jesus was, Jesus said that flesh and blood did not reveal this to Peter, but His Father in heaven (see Matthew 16:17). Many men today study the scriptures diligently, seeking to understand the things of God with their natural ability, but Paul declares clearly that the things of God can only be known by the Spirit (1 Corinthians 2:14). The truth of this should direct our walk and raise the importance of waiting on God to the highest level. It is as we wait on God that we will be able to discern the mind of the Spirit. It is here that we give God the opportunity to deal with our confidence in the flesh. It is here that the Spirit can expand our revelation of Jesus in all things, that we may move as spiritual men, spreading abroad the fragrance of who He is, not who we are. Yes, it is demanding, but it is absolutely necessary if we are going to mature in our relationship with Christ and fulfill our high calling as sons of God. May the Lord show us the importance of giving ourselves diligently to this high calling so that we may enter fully into all the riches of Christ for the glory of God.