The message was about waiting on the Lord. We are all familiar with that phrase – “I am waiting on the Lord” but really what does this waiting entail and how do we wait? Do we even know what we are doing when we are waiting on the Lord or are we just going through the motions or worse yet, being lazy? The message opened with reference to Luke 24:40-48 but upon reading further, verse 50 struck me:
“So remain in the city until you are clothed with power from above.”
He then referred us to Acts 1:4 wherein Jesus told the disciples to “not leave Jerusalem BUT WAIT for the fulfillment of the Father’s promise.”
As I am often led, I sought to find out what the original texts said of these verses. The word wait in this verse is actually the Hebrew word “Quvah” which means the binding together of strings made on a cord or bound primitive root. This binding together is instructive because it denotes a holding together of willpower, mind and strength in a person. The Greek word is “perimeno” which is from the word “meno” meaning to abide and from the word “peri” meaning “all around”. Whether it be the binding together of all our being or the need to be abiding in God, I realized that this waiting on the Lord can be in the active or passive sense. What sense do we wait on the Lord? Is there a time when waiting in the passive sense is the right thing to do or must we be actively waiting on the Lord or must we do both?
WHAT HAPPENS WHEN WE WAIT
He led us to Romans 8:16 where Paul states that “the Spirit assures our spirit that we are sons and daughters of God.” I always used to wonder how someone could deny the existence of God. To me, it was just a fact – undisputed. This is what I thought until I came across 1 Corinthians 2:12-14 which stressed that “the one who remains on the psychological level does not understand the things of the Spirit.” This made me appreciate that my clarity was a gift from God and was actually His grace upon me and explained why I would talk to an atheist and we would simply be in two completely different hemispheres. John 6:44 also stresses this when Jesus says affirms that “no one can come to me unless he is drawn by the Father who sent me.”
While waiting, we are to experience the affirmation of the Holy Spirit. We are to experience the effect of the seal referred to by Paul in 2 Corinthians 1:22 where He has marked us with his own seal in a first outpouring of the Spirit in our hearts and in Ephesians 1:13 where “as promised you were sealed with the Holy Spirit.” This fulfillment of the promise comes about by waiting on the Lord and is done by the Holy Spirit marking us with His seal. The use of a seal is significant as seals were used by rulers and as a sign of ownership and authority. To be sealed by God is clearly a privilege and is a state in which we must constantly strive to exist.
We all know when the Holy Spirit dwells in us and we are truly God’s children. We feel it and it serves as God’s approval on us. We have a barometer which we may call our conscience. We also know when the Holy Spirit is not as alive as it should be within us and when we fall short of being heirs of God. This affirmation is absent in this case and the seal is broken. Let us wait on the Lord and receive this much needed affirmation.
In waiting on the Lord, there is the manifestation of the Spirit which is mentioned in Romans 8:19 when “all creation is eagerly expecting the birth in glory of the children of God.” Another version talks of “waiting eagerly for the future day when God will reveal who his children really are.” I remember the anxiety I felt during my first life in the spirit seminar when I couldn’t wait for the deliverance vigil and the laying of hands. I was so eager to see the manifestation of the Spirit and I was waiting for the Lord actively – pursuing him wherever I could and waiting for him to respond and reveal himself and reveal me as one of his heirs. Are we hungry for the Lord to manifest His power through us? Paul says that ALL CREATION is eagerly expecting this rebirth and manifestation which is to the glory of God’s children, which means it is to our glory which we in turn hand over to the Creator.
He asked us how long did the bride of Christ (the Church) have to wait for us to manifest the gifts that God has given us when he affirmed us as his sons or daughters? We are supposed to be the Church Militant and yet we act like the Church Suffering who are powerless and condemned since the Church Militant is suffering due to our refusal, ignorance, laziness, fear or whatever reason that is preventing us from using our gifts needed to fuel the manifestation of the Spirit.
We all know the lyrics to the song “O Lord, come down and manifest your power…” but how can this be when we are not using our gifts for His glory in spite of all creation eagerly awaiting the birth? He asked us when last we saw such manifestation in our fellowships and pointed out that every gathering of God’s children is supposed to be an extraordinary and unusual affair as the Spirit is supposed to manifest itself as it wills. He also asked us when last we declared a personal fast in order to be able to truly allow ourselves to be the vehicle for the manifestation of the Spirit. We all know that we cannot give what we don’t have so why do we think it would be any different with the Holy Spirit? We need to study the word and be in prayer and fasting and truly wait on the Lord if we are to see the manifestation of the Spirit. Indeed, it is while doing these things and waiting that we will see the Spirit’s manifestation.
In waiting on God, there is quickening which is seen in Romans 8:11 referring to the same Spirit that dwells in Jesus and that gave life to mortal bodies, also dwelling in us. This has always amazed me and humbled me especially in light of James 4:5 where it stresses the YEARNING of the God’s Spirit in us to be welcomed by us and to connect to Him. The fact that this same spirit lives in us means that we are to go beyond the natural limitations of our flesh and this is made evident when the Spirit seals us with His gifts and manifests in us. This Spirit is bubbling and yearns to connect to God to do His will and be fruitful and we experience a quickening in our Spirit. This bubbling / quickening is a result of waiting on the Lord in patience, to welcome His Spirit and connect to Him. He cited the quickening effect of Peter who waited on the Lord and ended up leading 3000 souls to God in one sermon.
He mentioned that where there is a quickening, there must be an inner witness which is in essence, a confirmation of a divine revelation as seen in Romans 9:1 where Paul says that “my conscience and the Holy Spirit confirm it.” For both your conscience and the Holy Spirit to confirm it, there must be an alignment and no hypocrisy. This is perhaps the most obvious obstacle to practical Christianity which plagues Christians, as we see several examples of lives not attesting to the divine truths of the Gospel. I know several people who have been discouraged and even stopped going to church or practicing Christianity due to the dichotomy of what Christians would preach and the way they would act. I have also realized that this dichotomy may not be deliberate, as such people are convinced that they are aligned to the Holy Spirit. It is by spending time with the Holy Spirit that one can realize that there is no inner witness and that your conscience is not as alive and keyed in to the Holy Spirit as you would have thought. Another indicator of inner witnessing is seen in Matthew 7:20 when Jesus mentions that “by your fruits, you shall know them.” When this is read in the light of what Paul reveals to be the fruit of the Holy Spirit in Galatians 5:22-23, we are guided on how to wait on the Lord and obtain a quickening of the Holy Spirit in a confirmation of a divine revelation.
As part of the quickening, he referred to Hebrews 3:12 which talks of the word of God which “pierces to the division of soul and spirit, of joints and marrow and judges the intentions and thoughts of the heart.” Another version captures it better when it says that “it exposes our innermost thoughts and desires.” I often tell people that when the Holy Spirit is in you, you are on a higher and supernatural level but you also have an enormous responsibility, as you are also carrying a powerful tool that allows you to have an inner knowing, since you are connected to God Himself. Since God is Truth, you are also connected to the truth and since one of the gifts of the Holy Spirit is knowledge, you also possess a knowing and have a sense of clarity which helps you to distinguish between the voice of God and that of the deceiver. When you wait on the Lord, in the quickening experienced, you are plugged into Christ and put on His mind. This inner knowing is something we should all strive for, as I am convinced that there is no greater joy than to “know” God as seen in Jesus prayer to His Father in John 17:3 – “For this is eternal life” to know you, the only true God and the One you sent, Jesus Christ.”
He concluded by stating that while we wait, we are not only filled with knowledge, but also with God’s presence, grace and mercy. Upon further reflection, there are several gifts that are involved in waiting on the Lord and we see the manifestation of the fruit of the Holy Spirit in so doing. As we exercise the gifts of fortitude, and knowledge that are needed to truly wait on the Lord, we can be assured that in so doing, the fruit of forbearance and faithfulness would be revealed in us as an inner witness.
He mentioned that the essence of waiting is for divine approval as seen in the manifestation of the Holy Spirit and quickening of His power for those who waited. If I am to revert to the Luke 24:50 which initially struck me, which assures me that I will be clothed with power from above, why would I doubt that I too will receive such power upon the affirmation of the Holy Spirit? The problem lies if after I have been sealed by the Holy Spirit, I am still waiting on the Lord. I might as well call myself a Jew because Jesus has already come and sent forth His Spirit to those who seek it. We are empowered according to John 14:12 which states that the “one who believes in me will do the same works that I do and he will even do greater than these.” We are also “more than conquerors” as stressed in Romans 8:37 so why do we wait to exercise God’s power when all the steps of waiting have been followed?
As we continue on this spiritual journey to our heavenly home, I pray that we continue to grow in the knowledge of God, seek Him with a supernatural thirst and wait upon Him as he reveals Himself to our innermost being in Jesus name. Amen.