“But they who wait for 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 ESV
The promise: refreshing, strength, and endurance.
Wait. Yesterday I said something down the lines of ‘we aren’t there yet’. I think maybe I should clarify. Individually many are moving in the spirit, working in their appointed gifts, and busy doing the work of the Lord. As a people we aren’t there yet.
“If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.” 2 Chronicles 7:14 KJV
As a people we need repentance, change and transformation!
I have seen many people posting this verse on social media and claiming it during this pandemic and I keep saying that is not quite the right verse for us. The biblical principal is sound, though. And if we humble ourselves, pray and seek, turn from our wicked ways – yes, God will extend this promise to us, the gentile nation of the United States.
If you look at the current affairs in Israel – this verse is desperately the verse! (As the Bible says to pray for Israel – please pray for Israel!) Dear heavenly Father, Save your people and save your land!
Both in the U.S.A. and in Israel (and all over the world) we have all shared to some degree this same feeling like we are waiting for something to break in all of this chaos and hope for God to swoop in and fix it all. But this verse (although there is nothing wrong with praying it and hoping for a great restoration) is not quite the right verse for us. (Again, it is good – I am just saying there is something better to look into here.)
We are waiting.
Since before this pandemic started I have been busy. Throughout this I have been busy – I have been ministering and preaching (in a more one on one via the phone method). I have been praying and gathering via technology with my brothers and sisters in Christ. I have been so busy, actually – that I almost missed it. I almost missed this universal “wait” that is happening all over the globe. Even New York State called their official pandemic protocol a “PAUSE”. We are waiting. And even as things are beginning to open back up across the nation, we are still waiting (to see if and how bad a second wave will be of the pandemic) and waiting (to see how the nation handles the Midwest as racism rears its ugly head again and injustice and evil run ramped) and waiting (more than half way through and election year that has the nation divided and hateful).
I suppose then – the important thing is: to know the correct way to wait. What should we be doing while waiting?
“I wait for the Lord, I expectantly wait, and in His Word do I hope.” Psalm 130:5 AMPC
When we open our eyes in the morning and say that first prayer of the day: “morning God!” Do we expect a response? When we have our prayer time, do we expect to commune with Him? Do we expect He will come “walk in the garden with us”, so to speak? When we read the Bible, do we expect to get a word from the Lord every single time?
Speaking of “Word”, as I have shared the verses before with you, let us recall the verses about Jesus is the Word! Here is Psalm written before the birth of Christ pointing us to the full restorative work of the cross – and in that we may have confident expectation!
Expectantly wait on Jesus – and as the New Testament says – our blessed hope of the rapture and our heavenly promise!
The promise: When we expect God to show up, He does!
“The Lord is good to those who wait for him, to the soul who seeks him.” Lamentations 3:25 ESV
Humanity complicates everything. We need to strip this back to its bare simplicity. Seek God.
Matthew 6:33 says to seek Him first. Seek.
God is good – do not worry about the rest. Just seek Him!
I see people posting on social media that our country needs to stay focused. The Bible DOES say to stay focused – on God.
“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, 2 fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. 3 Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.” Hebrews 12:1-3 NIV
The promise: goodness poured out on you and all the things you are praying for shall be added unto you (see Matthew chapter 6 for the fine print on this) 😉
“Make me to know your ways, O Lord; teach me your paths. Lead me in your truth and teach me, for you are the God of my salvation; for you I wait all the day long.” Psalm 25:4-5 ESV
Studying the Bible is a great way to seek Him! Where else will you learn His truths first hand?! Spend time reading, studying, and even grab a verse and think about it all day and let it sink in. Memorizing verses is not just for children – as adults are we keeping our mind sound and sharp by trying to memorize the work of God?
The promise: While learning God and His love is amazing within itself, the ultimate promise is salvation, restoration and eternal inheritance with Christ Jesus!
“Be patient, therefore, brothers, until the coming of the Lord. See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, being patient about it, until it receives the early and the late rains. You also, be patient. Establish your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is at hand.” James 5:7-8 ESV
Think about this and the parable of the sower (Matthew 13, Mark 4, and Luke 8). Think about this and the passages about pruning (John 15). AND think about this and bearing fruit (Matt 3:8, Matt 7:15-20, Luke 3:8-9, John 15:16, Romans 7-8, Galatians 5, etc.).
The farmer doesn’t plant then sleep until harvest. There are other things to be done while they wait like weeding, watering, adding supports, pruning, grafting, fertilizing and even sometimes a farmer will pull out the plant change the soil completely (either re-potting or transplanting to a better location). Yes, lots of work to do while you wait. So much actual that many farmers do not even notice they are waiting for harvest – they are just focused and busy doing the work.
The promise: harvest (of souls and of you bearing fruit), your heart established and the coming of the Lord! The rapture!
Watch and Pray
“I will take my stand at my watchpost and station myself on the tower, and look out to see what he will say to me, and what I will answer concerning my complaint. And the Lord answered me: “Write the vision; make it plain on tablets, so he may run who reads it. For still the vision awaits its appointed time; it hastens to the end—it will not lie. If it seems slow, wait for it; it will surely come; it will not delay.” Habakkuk 2:1-3 ESV
Read my previous posts about watching and praying. Doesn’t this tie in with expecting?? But what I want to tune into this time is: “will not delay”. Will not! We are human and our clocks and understanding of time is finite. God is outside of time. It is written: “It is finished.” God has already accomplished what he has set out to do. Our prayers are answered – our salvation is won. We are victorious. So I suppose, in this sense I should be saying we should praise him while we wait, as David did in the Psalms as he waited on the Lord to save him from the threat of death.
“Therefore the Lord waits to be gracious to you, and therefore he exalts himself to show mercy to you. For the Lord is a God of justice; blessed are all those who wait for him.” Isaiah 30:18 ESV
The Lord waits to pour out His grace on us (yes, the glorious grace)! This Old Testament verse again pointing to the grace of the cross! Why does it always come back to the cross? Because the work of the cross leads to Heaven which is the final promise and blessing from God. All of it is for our salvation. Remember He is trying to focus us.
The word “watch” and the term “watch and pray” is used in the Bible to point to 2 events:
One is the work of the cross (wherein Christ Himself reminds us it is for the eternal hope of the rapture). And two is the rapture.
We (even Jesus himself) have been saying we are in the end times. How long shall the Lord tarry? (Tarry is another work for wait.) Just as we wait on God for our needs, wants, prayer requests, victories, and salvation of our love ones – He is waiting for the moment when He can pour out the grace and mercy of the next step in His blessed plan!
“The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.” 2 Peter 3:9 NIV
The promise: “it will surely come; it will not delay”. Our answered prayers, the salvation of the people we are praying for, and the rapture. Jesus Christ, Himself is coming! Are you ready? Are you looking up?
“Now when these things begin to happen, look up and lift up your heads, because your redemption draws near.” Luke 21:28 NKJV
Maranatha ~ Come Lord Jesus!
~Grace be with you ~
~Thank you for reading ~ Be healthy and blessed ~
~ Watch and Pray ~