Ps 37:7, 9: Rest in the LORD, and wait patiently for Him…those that wait upon the LORD, they shall inherit the Earth.
The Holy Spirit shows me what an important element in the Christian life and character patience is. And no where is there a better place for cultivating or displaying it than in waiting on God. If I truly set myself to wait upon God, I shall find that it is with Him I am impatient, because He does not at once, or as soon as I could wish, do my bidding. It is in waiting upon God that my eyes are opened to believe in His wise and Sovereign will, and to see that the sooner and more completely I yield absolutely to it, the more surely His blessing can come to me. I have as little power to increase or strengthen my spiritual life as I had to originate it: So then it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that sheweth mercy. So then [God’s gift] is not a question of human will and human effort, but of God’s mercy. It depends not on one’s own willingness nor on his strenuous exertion as in running a race, but on God’s having mercy on him. For it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure. [Rom 9:16; Phil 2:13] My willing and running, my desire and effort, avail nought…all is “of God that sheweth mercy.”
It is not in trying, but in trusting; not in running, but in resting; not in wandering but in waiting; not in pondering, but in praying; that I find the strength of the Lord. All the exercises of the spiritual life…my reading and praying, my willing and doing…have their very great value, but they can go no further than this: they point the way and prepare me in humility to look to and depend alone upon God Himself, and in patience to wait His good time and mercy. The waiting is to teach me my absolute dependence upon God’s mighty working, and to make me in perfect patience place myself at His disposal. “Rest in the Lord…be still before the Lord;” it is resting in the Lord, in His will, His promise, His faithfulness, and His Love, that makes patience easy. And the resting in Him is nothing but being silent unto Him, still before Him. Having my thoughts and wishes, my fears and hopes, hushed into calm and quiet in that great peace of God which passeth all understanding. That peace keeps my heart and mind when I am anxious about anything, because I have made my request known to Him. The rest, the silence, the stillness, and the patient waiting, all find their strength and joy in God Himself.
God longs far more to bless me than I can ever desire it, but, as the husdandman has long patience till the fruit be ripe, so God bows Himself to my slowness and bears long with me. I need only, then, wait patiently: of each promise and every answer to prayer the word is true: “I the Lord will hasten it in its time.” “Rest in the Lord and wait patiently for Him.” Yes, for Him. I am to seek not only the help or the gift I need; I am to seek Himself, to wait for Him. This patient waiting upon God honors Him greatly. It willingly acknowledges Him as God on the Throne, giving Him free reign to work in me…both to will and to do, according to His own gracious purpose. It yields self wholly into His hands: seeking only to cooperate with His grace; refusing to initiate any activity [David inquired of God; 1 Chron 14:10] and purposing only to respond to His every leading and prompting. It lets God be God in my life. I am to honour God and give Him the glory due Him by resting in Him, by trusting Him fully, by waiting patiently for Him. I need only surrender myself wholly into His loving arms with child-like trust, in child-like dependence; He knows full well what I need and when I need it, far more so than I think I know. “I the Lord will hasten it in its time.”
This is the blessed life of deep and intimate personal relationship with God: my waiting upon God…watching and waiting, looking off unto Him and listening for His voice…with an unwavering child-like trust and an unreserved child-like dependence, with a joyful expectation and an excited anticipation, for God to reveal to me His plans, His purposes, His will, a deeper revelation of Who He is, SO I MAY THEN RESPOND with an unquestioning child-like obedience to every leading and prompting of the Holy Spirit, cooperating with the power of His enabling grace Who works in me both to will and to do. My soul, wait thou only upon God!