A Time for Waiting
Oct 08, 2008 by Howard Baker | 0 Comments
"We pursue God because, and only because, He has first put an urge within us that spurs us to the pursuit. ...and it is by this prevenient drawing that God takes from us every vestige of credit for the act of coming." The Pursuit of God, A.W. Tozer, p.11-12.
We love because He first loved us. (I John 4:19) We have communion because He is continually knocking on the door of our hearts. (Rev. 3:20) We pray as response to God's many initiating words to us in the Scriptures, in creation, in the Word made flesh, in our circumstances.
In all of these ways God is constantly initiating, guiding by His Spirit, speaking through His Word and Spirit. Jesus himself confessed that he did nothing on his own initiative (John 5:30), but only did what he saw the Father doing (John 5:19) and only spoke what he learned from the Father (John 8:26,28).
How did Jesus see and hear the Father? The Gospels reveal a Jesus who would often withdraw to the wilderness to pray (Luke 5:16), who would spend an entire night in prayer (Luke 6:12), who both taught (Matthew 6:16-18) and practiced (Matthew 4:2-4; John 4:32,34) fasting.
God is speaking, initiating, and being present to us. Are we individually and as a community listening, noticing, praying, and fasting, as Jesus did, in order to hear the Father's voice and see His hand at work? How else will we know what He desires to do in us and through us?
This is not a time for taking the initiative or for taking charge, but neither is it the time for taking for granted that we are doing and being His will. Rather this is the time for waiting upon the Lord, for from Him alone is our salvation. (Psalm 62) This is a time for seeking, for praying, for fasting, that we may see and hear what the Father is up to.
What is the invitation that you are hearing from your Good Shepherd? How are you being called to pray, to fast, to repent, to obey? "Let the one who has an ear hear what the Spirit says to the churches." (Rev. 2:7,11,17,29; 3:6,13,22)
As the surge of His Spirit bubbles up from deep within us and we, as a community hear his voice, may we have the courage and strength by the grace of God to trust and to obey....and, possibly, to be set on fire.