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Building up believers and the New Testament church

Waiting On God

The Full Provision of God

Any time we look at a particular area of our relationship with God, we must always relate it back to everything else. God has made full provision in the church for the full revelation of Jesus Christ. Waiting on God is not a substitute for that provision, but it is the manner of life that is required for all other provisions to benefit.

For example, consider God's provision in ministry. We are told very clearly what it is for. "And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ; that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head--Christ-- from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love" (Ephesians 4:11-16).

This is God's provision for our growth in Christ. What is necessary for us to benefit fully from God's provision? As the ministry of Christ comes to us through God's chosen vessels, we must take it back before God until we partake of the nourishment in our own hearts. Often we do not comprehend immediately what God has said, or its application in our lives. It can take time for the word to become real to us, or for us to see how to respond to God. When the word of God comes to us, if we do not see how to obey or respond, how will the word benefit us? How will it be "made flesh" in us? Thus, waiting upon God is not a substitute for His provision of ministry, but it is the essential element for us to benefit from that ministry.

Or consider God's provision in the gifts of the Holy Spirit. "There are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. There are differences of ministries, but the same Lord. And there are diversities of activities, but it is the same God who works all in all. But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to each one for the profit of all: for to one is given the word of wisdom through the Spirit, to another the word of knowledge through the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healings by the same Spirit, to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another discerning of spirits, to another different kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues. But one and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one individually as He wills" (1 Corinthians 12:4-11).

These gifts of the Spirit are part of God's provision enabling us to move as spiritual members of the body of Christ. We cannot do without them. But as with the gifts of ministry, for us to receive full benefit, we must be able to recognize how God is speaking to us so that we can respond in faith. If we hear a word of prophecy, the danger is that we will only be impressed that God has spoken. We may be thankful that God spoke, but do we know what to do with the word? Do we see its application in our lives? Until we eat of the word, it will not nourish us. Each time we are fed by the word, we must wait upon God, letting Him expand its meaning in our hearts, shed light on our pathway, and reveal the things of Christ to us in a deeper way.

"Coming to Him as to a living stone, rejected indeed by men, but chosen by God and precious, you also, as living stones, are being built up a spiritual house, a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ" (1 Peter 2:4-5). "Now, therefore, you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief cornerstone, in whom the whole building, being fitted together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord, in whom you also are being built together for a dwelling place of God in the Spirit" (Ephesians 2:19-22).

There is a great building going on. We are being built together as a habitation of God in the Spirit. This building not made with hands, not built out of wood and stone, is an eternal building, unseen by the natural man and comprehended only by the Spirit. It is the only building that will last forever. Because of what Christ has done, we have the privilege of being built into this house. According the grace of God given to every believer (Ephesians 4:7, Romans 12:3), we also have the privilege of building in this house. To enter into either function, we must have spiritual eyes to see and spiritual ears to hear. Jesus paid the price so that God the Holy Spirit could come within each one and make this building, the church, a reality.

"But as it is written: 'Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those who love Him.' But God has revealed them to us through His Spirit. For the Spirit searches all things, yes, the deep things of God. For what man knows the things of a man except the spirit of the man which is in him? Even so no one knows the things of God except the Spirit of God. Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might know the things that have been freely given to us by God" (1 Corinthians 2:9-12).

Brethren, what riches God wants to reveal to us! What glories exist that we have yet not seen! What love there is that we have not yet experienced! May our hearts be stirred to give ourselves to waiting upon God. May everything else fade from our vision, and may our whole lives be taken up with this one thing--waiting upon God for the revelation of Jesus Christ. He will not disappoint us. "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." Teach us, Lord, to wait on You.