On the second Wednesday of this month, the consistories call to worship the members of the Protestant Reformed Churches in observance of Prayer Day. At this special worship service, we are reminded of our complete dependence upon the Lord and ask him to bless our labors. Soon the farmers will prepare their fields and will plant their crops. Then they will have to wait on the Lord as he, according to his sovereign will, causes the seeds to grow and bring forth fruit.
Often in Scripture, we are reminded of our calling to wait upon the Lord. The devil is well aware how difficult waiting on the Lord can be for us as children of God. Our sinful flesh wants everything now. We do not want to wait. If our sinful flesh dominates our life, we easily become distressed, afraid, anxious and restless. When this happens, we must ask God for the strength necessary to resist the devil and remind ourselves that we can and must wait on the Lord.
Our life in this world is characterized by waiting. From our earliest days, our parents have taught us the importance of waiting patiently. Whether it was waiting for our fathers to return home from work, for visitors to arrive, a birthday or another special day, we had to be taught to wait patiently. This lesson was probably difficult for us to learn as toddlers and preschool age children. As soon as we started school, we quickly learned the importance of waiting patiently in the classroom and on the playground. We had to learn to be patient while we waited for our assignments and tests to be graded. We had to learn to take turns while we were playing with our fellow students. In junior high, high school and college we, as young people, must constantly wait on the Lord for direction in our decisions in regards to our future education and our employment. We must wait on the Lord as we look for a mate or seek to serve him in single life.
Remember, the Lord directs the paths of our lives. Since this is true, we must make a conscious effort to wait on him as he continually guides us down the paths he has chosen for each of us to walk. We all need to be reminded of this again and again. The devil so quickly tempts us into thinking we do not need the Lord because it is so easy for us to make our own decisions. Everything seems to be going well for us, then suddenly we have a bad day and maybe a bad week. The devil knows this and now tempts us to get down on others and even on ourselves. Then suddenly the Lord graciously causes us to realize that we are not continually depending upon him for his guidance.
When we go to God, asking for forgiveness for our failures in waiting on him, we are assured of his grace toward us. Our troubles might not automatically disappear, but he reminds us that he is close to us and will never leave us. We must wait on him as he leads us through good times as well as the difficult times. The Holy Spirit inspired David to remind us twice in Psalm 27:14 of our calling to wait on the Lord; “Wait on the Lord: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the Lord.” In this Psalm, David confesses his complete trust in the Lord as his Light and his Salvation. Even though a host which is a huge army should encamp against him and go to war against him (verse 3); if his father and mother forsook him (verse 10); David believed the Lord would still be with him and be good to him. Cruel enemies were pursuing David, but he continued to trust the Lord’s leading him down a plain path.
As children of God, we must constantly ask him for the strength to wait patiently on him. How often do we forget to do this? Our personal prayers are rightfully filled with petitions to bless our loved ones, to bless the causes of the kingdom and to forgive our sins. Our prayers should not lack the request for the strength to wait upon the Lord. Each day we have to put forth a conscious effort to make this request. Then we ought to thank him for the grace we have been given in the past to trust in him alone.
In the way of confessing our trust in God alone, we will be made more aware of our complete dependence upon our God and Father. Committing ourselves to the Lord in all of the circumstances of our life, we will experience a greater enjoyment of the Lord’s blessing. Isaiah 40:31 speaks of this blessedness: “But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.” We know we are unable do this in our own strength. The Holy Spirit must continue to give us this strength.
Depending on our Father, we experience a joy which cannot be taken away from us. As he speaks of the power of God in the salvation of his people, Isaiah testifies of this joy in Isaiah 25:9: “And it shall be said in that day, Lo, this is our God; we have waited for him, and he will save us: this is the Lord; we have waited for him, we will be glad and rejoice in his salvation.” This salvation is graciously ours and nothing is able to take it away from us. We may be experiencing great difficulties in our lives. We may be facing great temptations, but we know God is in control. What a comfort this is for us and this gives us a joy which will never be taken away from us.