“Whatever is not of God
that excites our fears,
or stirs our efforts,
or awakens our hopes,
or makes us glad
hinders us in our perfect
waiting on Him.”
— Andrew Murray
I saw this notation written in the margin of my mother’s Bible about eighteen years ago. I was visiting my brother in Seattle and he happened to ask me if I wanted to see her Bible. She had died when I was fourteen years of age and the Bible had been given to my older brother. I found copious notes in the margins of her Bible, and I spent several hours that day reviewing all that was important to her in her spiritual life. One of the recurring themes of her notes was that of waiting on God. Of all the notes she had written I found the statement above by Andrew Murray to be the most arresting. It impressed me so much that I thought I should memorize the statement. (It was only years later that I found it in Andrew Murray’s book “Waiting on God”.) I have found it profitable to review regularly.
There are so many things happening in our lives and in the world around us that may excite our fears. By recalling Andrew Murray’s words, I am forced to ask myself. “Is this of God?” If not, then my fears hinder my waiting on Him. Are my efforts stirred by other than Him? If so, then that too hinders my waiting on Him. Are my hopes awakened by things of the world? If my hope is placed there, it is also a hindrance to waiting on Him. Does my gladness have a source other than His perfect will and direction for my life? If it does, then that gladness hinders waiting on Him. The Lord uses this statement of Andrew Murray’s frequently in my life to reign in unnecessary fears, inappropriate efforts, misplaced hopes, and unwarranted gladness.
Leroy Eims has stated that there are two ways to renew our strength. The first is simply to get some rest. The second is to wait upon the Lord. Isaiah 40:31 states: “But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength. They shall mount up with wings as eagles. They shall run and not be weary. They shall walk and not faint.” What does it mean to wait upon the Lord? The three words that I would choose would be attentiveness, expectation, and availability.
Attentiveness means that my focus should be on the Lord. My eyes should be on Him. He is the one on whom I am waiting. My spirit, soul and body should remain alert to His desires and direction.
Expectation implies that I am convinced that He will give directions at some point in time. He is certain to manifest His will and to provide guidance. He will meet the need and provide resolution for any question I may have. This is not a passive enterprise, but an active one. It is characterized by asking, seeking, and knocking.
Availability is also a key to waiting on the Lord. This means that we are not only available in our devotional life, but also are available to do His will.
Isaiah 40:31 states that by waiting on Him we can expect four things in our lives:
1) Our strength is renewed.
2) We will mount up with wings as eagles. (That is to say that waiting on the Lord enables us to set our wings of faith at such an angle that the winds of adversity which would prevail against us and push us back only serve to cause us to soar to greater heights.)
3) We will not grow weary.
4) We will not faint.
May the Lord strengthen your hearts as you wait on Him..
In Christ, Richard Spann