Something the pastor mentioned this morning was tarrying. In this day of rushing and pushing everything faster… do we unintentionally set a timer on how much time we spend with God? Are we indeed so busy that we do not take extra time to just worship Him and praise Him and lay everything before Him? Are we as anxious to feed our spirit man as we are to feed our physical bodies? Often, some of the most precious time with God can come when we push ourselves outside of our normal little routine and just worship. This afternoon, some scriptures are running through my mind.
“Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me. I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing. If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned. If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you. Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples. As the Father hath loved me, so have I loved you: continue ye in my love. If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father’s commandments, and abide in his love.”
What does it mean to abide? In my mind, it means to stay close and not stray. In our natural lives, we are told to “abide by the rules.” Well, just as we are to closely follow the rules, Christ wants us to be in close fellowship with Him. To follow Him and not stray away. The results are incredible.
How often do I just sit and meditate on the things of God and set aside time to fellowship with Him? This is a question I am asking myself today, and I encourage you to ask yourself as well.
I don’t know about you, but patience is not exactly my strong point. Waiting does not come easy. But I also have had enough personal experience to know that the old saying is true… good things come to those who wait. There are many scriptures in the Bible about waiting but perhaps my favorite is Isaiah 40:31. “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; and they shall walk, and not faint.” Being sure we are in sync with God is so important! My mom used to regularly say “There are good ideas, and there are God ideas.” We can not realistically head off in our own direction and just expect God to bless it. Believe it or not, He created the universe and everything in it and keeps it all running… I’m pretty sure He knows more and better than we do!
Why do we act like we have to beg God for something? My Bible tells me that He has already provided everything that I need for life and Godliness. And that He already bore my sins and healed my diseases. All I have to do is claim what He has already made available to me! “Ask, and it SHALL be given you; seek, and ye SHALL find; knock, and it SHALL be opened unto you: For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.” (Matthew 7:7-8) The promises of God are Yes and Amen. “If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him. But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed. For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord.” (James 1:5-7)
Act. Oh, boy. It is certainly easy to talk the walk, but are we truly willing to walk it? Pastor spoke this morning about Abraham, and how he acted immediately upon God’s command to sacrifice his son Isaac to the Lord. Acting immediately is important. What can seem simple to you might be the difference between life and death to another person. I have an experience of not acting that still bothers me to this day. Several years ago, when I was a teenager, I felt the Lord lead me to speak to someone. It was during the week of VBS, and as I watched this young man leaving, I felt an urge to stop him. I didn’t know what was wrong, but I knew in my spirit something was off. I decided not to go after him. I thought “He’ll think I’m just silly! I don’t even know what to say!” So, I let him go without saying a word. Later that week, I heard that he had gotten into trouble and been arrested. Oh, how guilty I felt! If I had just done that simple thing… stopped him in the parking lot and just told him that I didn’t know what was going on, but I just felt led to tell him that something was wrong and to stay close to God… or just said something, he might not have gotten into the trouble he did. For the record, he got his life straightened back out, but there is now something in his past that I might have helped him avoid if I had been obedient. Another example for me was delayed obedience. Another young man that I went to church with. We worked with the youth together and were good friends. The hand of God was so obvious upon his life – I declare I could all but physically see it. I was not at all surprised when he announced his call to the mission field. At some point, there was a scripture that I kept feeling the Lord tell me to share with him. Again, I thought “He’ll think I’m silly or something!” So I let my awkwardness hinder me. Finally, one night, I could resist the urge no longer. Crying as I apologized for not having shared it sooner, I shared the scripture with him. Tears came to his own eyes as he hugged me and thanked me for sharing that word with him. See, God knew he needed it. That young man and his wife are now missionaries in India.
I said all that to say this: immediate obedience is VERY IMPORTANT. Sometimes you may have a second chance, but then other times you may not. So please, do not risk it. If God has given you or me an instruction… it’s not just a good idea. It is something God knows needs to happen. So let us abide in Him, tarry in His presence, wait on Him, lay hold on what He has provided for us, and act on the directions He gives us.
Love and prayers,