We have been writing about how absolutely necessary it is in our spiritual life to wait upon God, how it is the single most important habit of my spiritual life, and the only way I am enabled to live my everyday life in the Power of the Holy Spirit. This past Saturday morning, well before daybreak during my time alone together with my Father at our trysting place just to commune with Him, I was deeply impressed by the Spirit of God, at this point of our Journey of Faith, not to proceed any further until presenting the following guiding principles on just how a soul actually goes about waiting upon God. I would suggest you review this every day during your 45 day Journey of Faith, until you make these principles your own.
Foundational principles of waiting upon God:
A] My waiting upon God:
B] God revealing
C] My cooperating and responding
Wait upon God in quietness. In my life of intimate relationship with God, I must become quiet and still before God, separated from all activities, so that God, as God, can overshadow me with Himself. In stillness of body, emptiness of soul, and silence of my natural human spirit…I need to prepare myself to enter into the Presence of God with no other object or purpose but simply to wait upon Him, to worship Him for Who He is, and to adore Him in His awesome Majesty and Glory. Abba Father, I come to our trysting place to meet with You every day, just to be alone together with You and to enjoy spending time together with You…just to love You and worship You, to commune with You and wait upon You. This is my life; I have no other desire.
- I need to bring stillness to my body, separated from all activities…separated from all family and friends, all responsibilities and projects, all the cares, concerns and routines engaging my life, all involvement with the things of the world, all of self and its energy of both mind and body.
- I need to empty my soul of the entirety of the powers of the flesh that reside therein…all the thoughts of my mind, all the feelings of my emotions, all the inclinations of my will.
- I need to silence my natural human spirit with all of its leadings and promptings… all of its affections, attractions, desires and purposes…with all of its controlling desires to determine and direct the selection of my everyday activities, as well as the overriding goals for the course of my life.
- I need to embrace the Word of the Lord, “Be still, and know that I am God.” [Ps 46:10]
Wait upon God with my heart. Having laid aside the powers of my flesh residing within my body, my soul, my natural human spirit…I need now open my heart before God.
******My soul is not capable of having any personal contact with God. It is in my heart God has given His Holy Spirit, to be there to me the Presence and the Power of God working in me. Only in my heart, wherein God has given His Holy Spirit, am I capable of having personal contact with God…to commune with Him, and experience Him, and come to personally know Him. I need only present my heart before Him, as that wonderful part of my natural human spirit wherein God has placed His Holy Spirit, where God reveals Himself to me through His Indwelling Spirit. In all my spiritual life, it is my heart that must trust and love and worship and obey. My soul…wherein resides my mind with its thoughts, my emotions with its feelings, my will with its inclinations…is utterly impotent in creating or maintaining spiritual life within me; my heart must wait in faith and trust upon God for Him to work it in me. [Andrew Murray]
******What does it mean, “to open my heart before God?” It means to bow my heart before Him in holy silence…yearning for every indication of His Divine Presence, listening for every revelation of His Divine Will, looking for and expecting the fulfillment of every Divine Promise, longing to see His Face and to hear His voice. It is an attitude within my heart wherein…”My heart yearns to linger in Your Presence, Lord, just sitting at Your feet; as the deer pants for water-brooks, so my soul thirsts for You, O Lord; Whom have I in Heaven but You, Lord, and Earth has nothing I desire besides You.”
******The much needed lesson for all who desire to learn truly and fully what waiting on God is: It is with my heart I must wait upon God. “As a man’s heart is, so he is before God.” All of my waiting depends upon the state of my heart. I can advance no further or deeper into the Holy place of God’s Presence to wait on Him there, than my heart is prepared for it by the Holy Spirit. Remember always the eternal difference between knowing with my mind and embracing with my heart: I need only give my whole heart, with its secret workings, into God’s hands continually; in its hidden depths God will work. He wants my heart, and takes it, and as God dwells in it. [Andrew Murray]
******Remember the Lord’s admonition: “These people come near to Me with their mouth and honor Me with their lips, but their hearts are far from Me.” [Isa 29:13-14] Therefore, embrace the Word of the Lord, “Where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.” [Matt 6:21]
Wait upon God in Faith. Having opened my heart before God…I need now wait before God with a child-like trust in Him, and a child-like dependence upon Him.
******Child-like trust is an attitude of my heart wherein I willingly entrust unto God all that I am, all that I have, all that I ever hope to be. My heart embraces the truth that nothing can touch my life apart from what God Personally causes or specifically allows to happen…and that He makes all things work together for my good. And, I willingly give God complete control over my life, to determine and direct the selection of my everyday activities, as well as the overriding goals for the course of my life. This was the attitude in Christ Jesus, Who said, “I only do what My Father shows Me to do; I only speak the words My Father gives Me to speak.”
******The Lord is my light and my salvation…whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life…of whom shall I be afraid? Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for You are with me. Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my cup runs over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever! Precious Lord…I know in Whom I have believed, and I am persuaded that You are more than able to keep and to guard that which I have entrusted unto You until that Day! [Ps 27:1; 23:4-6; 2 Tim 1:12b] And so Christ’s steadfast love for me…so amazing, so Divine…constrains me…it demands my soul, my life, my all… because I am convinced that One died for all, and therefore all died. And since He died for all, I who now live joined together with Him in a Sacred Covenant relationship can no longer live for myself, but for Him Who died for me and was raised again. [2 Cor 5:14-15]
******I will never know the quality of my trust until I am in the fire, beset by a fiery trial testing my faith. It’s easy to say that I trust the Lord when all is well…but when I’m in the fire, do I trust Him then? It is there where I learn, or fail, to embrace the words, “Lord, I don’t understand…but I trust. I know that You are the Sovereign All-Ruler over all Creation, and that You Personally cause, or specifically, consciously, and deliberately allow all things…all for Your Own good purposes. All that You do is necessarily the very best, very kindest, most loving thing that can possibly be for me. And though I don’t understand, even so, I trust You…that You do indeed make all things work together for my good. I will trust, and not be afraid. I will be strong and of a good courage; I will not be afraid, neither will I be dismayed. For the Lord my God is with me whithersoever I goest.” [Jos 1:9]
******Child-like dependence is an attitude of my heart wherein I look with a confident expectation to the Holy Spirit to BE ALL in me, and to DO ALL in me. I have ceased trying to conduct my everyday activities in the powers of my flesh…in reliance upon my human capabilities and capacities, by my own efforts and my own strength, according to my own wisdom, knowledge and understanding. I look to the Holy Spirit to lead, guide, and direct my use of the powers of the flesh, but put no trust in their conclusions apart from the confirmation of the Spirit. This attitude embraces the words of the Lord, “Apart from Me, you can do nothing that is good or pleasing or acceptable to God.” [John 15:5]
******I will never know the quality of my dependence until I refuse to move ahead on a course of action unless my ears hear Your voice behind me, saying, “This is the way; walk ye in it.” In the confident assurance in God which faith gives, I am ever to remember one thing above all…to wait upon God. My chief need in waiting upon God, one of the deepest secrets of its blessedness and blessing, is a quiet, confident persuasion that it is not in vain; courage to believe that God will hear and help. I am waiting upon a God Who never could disappoint His people! In the utter insufficiency of all human strength, “Be strong and let thine heart take courage.” I am to let NOTHING in Heaven or Earth or Hell…let NOTHING keep me from waiting on my God in full assurance that it cannot be in vain! [Andrew Murray]
******Wherefore, brethren, having now boldness to enter into the Holiest by the Blood of Jesus, by the way which He dedicated for me…a new and living way to God through the veil, that is to say, through the veil of His flesh…I will then without further hesitation or delay draw nigh in fullness of faith; here will I continually abide in the fullness of faith. [Heb 10:19-20, 22]
Wait upon God in absolute surrender. Having awakened my faith in a God Who has never failed me, and never will…I need now surrender to God all that I am, all that I have, all that I ever hope to be.
******Here is where I surrender to God the entirety of the powers of my flesh…all the thoughts of my mind, the feelings of my emotions, the inclinations of my will, all of my human capabilities and capacities, my efforts and strength, my wisdom, knowledge, and understanding…and acknowledge that I put no trust in them. Here is where I bow before the Spirit of God in acknowledgment that by my own will and in my own strength, I am hopelessly powerless, hopelessly impotent, hopelessly helpless to do anything, or say anything, that is good or pleasing or acceptable to my Father. In absolute surrender, I wait upon the Holy Spirit to place me where I am to be, lead me where I am to go, show me what I am to do, give me the thoughts I am to think and present, and the words I am to speak or write. This is the place where, in every decision I must make, I am determined to “Trust in the Lord with all my heart, and lean not on my own understanding. In all my ways, I will acknowledge Him, and He shall direct my paths.” [Prov 3:5]
******I cannot be more emphatic concerning the following principle; it is absolutely fundamental…the difference between success and failure in hearing the voice of the Lord speaking to me. Whenever I am faced with making a decision, and I decide that I am going to wait on the Lord for His direction, I always have a preference, in my humanness, as to what I would like His direction to be. It is something like, “I am waiting to hear from You, Lord…but I hope the answer is such and such.” It is here that I must pray against my preference…and pray against it, and pray against it…pleading with the Lord to not let me have it if not His will for me. I need to continue to pray against my preference, until I know in my heart, and can say in all sincerity to the Lord, and know that I mean it, “Lord, it doesn’t matter to me anymore what Your answer is, just show me plainly, clearly, beyond the shadow of any doubt what I am to do. It no longer matters to me where You place me, or how. That is rather for You to consider than for me. For in the easiest position, still, You must give me Your grace, and in the most difficult, Your grace is more than sufficient. It is enough for me, knowing that You know why You place me where I am…whether to do, or to learn, or just, perhaps, to suffer. It no longer matters to me what I do or what I suffer. All that matters is that You keep my heart lovingly and joyfully joined with Your will.” Then I will most assuredly hear the voice of the Lord in my heart, “This is the way; walk ye in it.” If I don’t get to this place of absolute surrender, and know that I really mean it…that it really doesn’t matter anymore…I will NEVER hear the voice of the Lord. I will only hear the voice of my own heart giving me my preference, and deceiving me into believing it is the voice of the Lord.
Wait upon God in worship. Having now entered the place of humility and stillness and surrender…wholly surrendered unto God, wholly given for the blessing and salvation of souls…I now wait before God’s Spirit until He has quickened my faith and consciousness that He does indeed dwell in me…does indeed fill me…and that He will indeed perfect His work in me.
******Then, in the Power of the Holy Spirit, I worship God for Who He is; praise Him for all He has done for the souls of mankind down through the ages; thank Him for all He has Personally done for me. I prostrate my inmost being before You, Father. I behold You with an awe-filled regard and bow before You with the utmost reverence and respect; my soul yearns just to linger in Your Presence, Lord…just sitting at Your feet. I adore You, Lord, for Your fathomless love You have so graciously lavished upon me. I admire Your Supreme Excellence and Your Sovereign Majesty. I offer up unto You my entire being…my body, soul, and spirit…as a living sacrifice, wholly surrendered unto You, wholly given for the blessing and salvation of souls. All Glory belongs to You, the One True Living God; You alone are worthy of all blessing and honor; Eternal thanks and unceasing praise are Your rightful due! Hallelujah!
Wait upon God in prayer. Worship is always first, before anything else. I am always to “Enter His gates with thanksgiving, and come into His courts with praise!” [Ps 100:4]
When I come to my Lord’s Throne of Grace, I am first of all to worship Him there, then call on His great Name and mighty Power in prayer.
******I need to pray in the Spirit, in faith, for His Mighty Power to come down to bear upon the concerns I am bringing before Him. Call on His Great Name and Mighty Power “on all occasions with every and all kinds of prayers and requests.” [Eph 6:18] Embrace His mighty working in my inner man, that I may be filled to overflowing with the abiding Presence of Christ Jesus. Then wait in stillness of soul for God to reveal Himself, His plans, His purposes, His will, concerning the matters I have brought before Him. Wait before the Spirit of God…to place me where I am to be, lead me where I am to go, show me what I am to do to participate with Him in His work, give me the thoughts I am to think and present, and the words I am to speak or write. Be careful not to proceed without His leading, and be prepared to respond with an unquestioning child-like obedience to His every leading and prompting. My soul, wait thou only upon God!
B) God revealing
What wait I for? I am waiting to hear from God…for Him to reveal to me His plans, His purposes, His will concerning the matters I have brought before Him, and a deeper revelation of Who He is. I am waiting on the Holy Spirit to illuminate my mind to spiritual things…to open the Scriptures to my understanding. I am waiting on the Spirit to worship through me, to pray through me. I am waiting for the leading and guiding of the Holy Spirit…in every activity of my life. I am not to proceed with any course for my life in reliance upon my human capabilities and capacities, by my own efforts or in my own strength, according to my own wisdom or knowledge or understanding. It is the Holy Spirit, Who dwells in me, Who is to BE ALL and DO ALL through me, with me, in me. I am to walk in the Spirit…He is the One Who rules and reigns on the throne of my heart, Personally living out the life of Christ Jesus in me…a life of obedience and suffering, self-sacrifice and self-denial. And He Personally works out the death of Jesus in me, conforming me ever more deeply into the likeness of His death…death to sin and death to self…in order that I may thereby attain, more and more, to the Power of His resurrection life out from the dead…the power to walk through each and every day as more than a conqueror and with overwhelming victory.
******The Spirit searches all things, even the deep things of God. For who among men knows the thoughts of a man except the man’s own spirit within him? In the same way, no one knows the mind and thoughts of God…only the Spirit of God. [1 Cor 2:10-12]
This is what the Lord says…your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel: “I am the Lord your God, Who teaches you what is best for you, Who directs you in the way you should go. I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you and watch over you. Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, ‘This is the way; walk ye in it'” The Lord will guide you always; He will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land and will strengthen your frame. You will be like a well-watered garden, like a spring whose waters never fail! [Isa 48:17; Ps 32:8; Isa 30:21-22, 58:11]
I will praise the Lord, Who counsels me; even at night my heart instructs me. My soul waits for the Lord…more than watchmen wait for the morning, more than watchmen wait for the morning! Let the morning bring me word of Your unfailing love, for I have put my trust in You. Show me the way I should go, for to You I lift up my soul. [Ps 16:7; 130:6; 143:8]
“For I [Jesus] have come down from Heaven not to do My Own will and purpose, but to do the will and purpose of Him Who sent Me.” [John 6:38]
C) My cooperating and responding
What is the reason why I am waiting upon God? What is the purpose of my waiting upon God? Here is the consummation of all this watching and waiting and listening… the fulfillment of my waiting upon God and His revealing to me is…SO I MAY THEN RESPOND. All is for naught if I fail to 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. It is not necessary for me to understand; I am to respond with an unquestioning child-like obedience. And, it is absolutely fundamental…the difference between success and failure…that I do not try to respond in the power of my flesh…which is in reliance upon my human capabilities and capacities, by my own efforts or in my own strength, according to my own wisdom or knowledge or understanding. I am to respond in the Power of the Spirit, cooperating with His enabling grace as He Himself works in me both to will and to do… both the desire to obey my Father’s will, and the power to do His will.
******Jesus saith to them, “My food is, that I may do the will of Him Who sent Me, and may finish His work.” [John 4:34]
“I do as the Father has commanded Me, so that the world may know that I love the Father and that I do only what the Father has instructed Me to do. [I act in full agreement with His orders.]” [John 14:31]
“But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, Whom the Father will send in My name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.” [John 14:26]
Not in your own strength…for it is God Who is all the while effectually at work in you, energizing and creating in you the power and desire, both to will and to do for His good pleasure and satisfaction and delight. [Phil 2:13]