ACTS 20:28 Keep watch over yourselves and all the flock of which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers. Be shepherds of the church of God,a]">[a] which he bought with his own blood.b]">[b] 29 I know that after I leave, savage wolves will come in among you and will not spare the flock. 30 Even from your own number men will arise and distort the truth in order to draw away disciples after them. 31 So be on your guard! Remember that for three years I never stopped warning each of you night and day with tears.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Wait on the LORD; be of good courage, and He shall strengthen your heart; Wait, I say, on the LORD!

Wait on the LORD; be of good courage, and He shall strengthen your heart; Wait, I say, on the LORD!
Psalm 27:14 It's much easier to ask for help when you think you need it. After all, if you're driving a car, and you assume you're headed in the right direction, why would you pull over to ask a gas station employee for help? Often, it's only when things go wrong that we seek help. When we realize we've driven 50 miles past our exit, suddenly it's time to ask for assistance. But why do we assume we're driving the right direction in the first place? Why not use a map from the outset, or a GPS tracker? Why not ask someone knowledgeable before we leave? You see, just as it's not smart to travel without directions, it's not smart to live without guidance. And just as it's silly to only ask for directions when you're lost, it's foolish to only seek the Lord's guidance in an emergency. Yet so often, we ask God to lead us out of emergencies, rather than into His will.

You know, if the only time we ask for the Lord's help is in times of emergency, we will never learn to wait on Him -- and we will never grow stronger in Him. How could we? In an emergency, we need an answer right away! We need action immediately! And yes, God can take action immediately -- He is able to guide you through whatever emergency you face today. But what about tomorrow? Will God deliver you from a tight spot today, only so you can return to normal and find yourself in a catastrophe tomorrow? God does not simply want to deliver you, but to strengthen you. He is not only able to heal your wounds after you stumble, but "to keep you from stumbling" (Jude 1:24). You must learn to wait on Him, though. You must learn to receive His guidance first, and then act -- even when you think you already know best. You must learn to call on Him, not merely because you need Him, but because you love Him. Truly, when we seek the Lord out of a love for Him, and not merely a "need" for Him, we grow stronger in Him. "Wait on the Lord... and He shall strengthen your heart" (Psalm 27:14).

Waiting on the Lord requires patience. It requires a willingness to sit tight, even when everyone around you is passing you by. It's like going shopping at Christmas, and standing still as crowds of people rush past you into the most popular store, frantically searching for discounts on the perfect gift. Oh, you want the perfect gift just as much as anyone else, but you don't rush, you don't push, you don't shove -- you just wait at the store's entrance, because your father is the store manager, and he told you to wait for him there. Sure enough, when all the crowds have subsided, he steps out of the store to meet you, wraps his arms around you, and showers you with gifts -- gifts that weren't even for sale; they were reserved especially for you. So many gifts, in fact, that you can't possibly keep them all for yourself.

If we will learn to wait on our Heavenly Father, He will bless us with a strength of heart that we could never have garnered on our own. If we will stop rushing, stop stressing, stop pushing, stop striving -- and seek His will -- He will empower us with a love so overwhelming that we couldn't possibly keep it to ourselves.

Today, whether you find yourself in an emergency or a place of rest, may I encourage you to wait on the Lord Jesus. Fall in love with Him today, maybe for the first time, maybe for the millionth time. Seek His face in love. Let Him not only heal you, but strengthen you. He is "able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think" (Ephesians 3:20), but we must be willing to wait.

written by my beloved Pastor of many years Mike MacIntosh 

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