Waiting on God in Our Lives
September 1996, Mulowe, Africa
(A few nuggets shared over the course of a few hours together with some folks in Malawi)
Let us Exalt His name together forever!
I sought the Lord,
He heard me and delivered me from my fears!
Let us Exalt His name together forever,
O sing His Praises, magnify the Lord!
In this song taken from Psalm 34, the word “together” stands out in the chorus. “Let us exalt His name TOGETHER forever.” There are many other special things in that song about praising God, about God hearing our cry of prayer and His angels protecting us from harm and fear, and about God providing for our needs and feeding us good food from His earth. All of these things are very special. Yet God means for us to do these things TOGETHER. That’s the most special of all.
The Life Becomes the Light of Men
It is a common thought that we must wait on God to know how to be in a meeting of God’s people together, and that we must really seek His face to see what it is that He wants. This is very true. But I think more often it is not that we are waiting on God for what to do in a meeting; instead, we are waiting on God on what to do in our lives. Many things that are taught when the saints are together come out of times the saints walk together and cry together when there is no meeting. Then, when the saints gather, we talk about what came out of the time together. When God is making our relationships with one another deeper, He brings His teachings from heaven to us. Sometimes He brings those teachings to us through pain of relationship, sometimes through pain of failure, sometimes through pain of sin. Other times God teaches us through great victories, sometimes through miracles that He uses to surprise us. But all of these things happen in daily life and as we wait on God about our daily lives together.
We speak to each other about Jesus every day and work out our problems together to learn of Him every day. We lift each other’s arms up daily when we are weak. Because our lives are prepared and waiting on God, it could happen that when all the saints are together, someone will say, “I have a problem.” And perhaps someone else has also just been hurting and has found the smile of God through pain. So when the Saints are together, this brother or sister would be able to speak up and share what they’ve learned with others. As you can see, the teaching did not come from waiting on God in a closet and asking for what ‘to teach,’ although that could happen. Instead, it came from waiting on God in our daily relationships, obeying God with the small things in our lives, and lifting each other’s arms to help one another. Out of daily life the teaching emerges in our gatherings. The things that God taught me this morning as I’m walking down the road with a sister or brother, as we laugh or cry together—somehow those things come up in the gathering. LIFE makes the meetings.
It is the Same Now
In John 1 it was said about our Jesus that the Life became the light of men. The light for others to see came from the life that He led. It is the same now. As we live our lives for Jesus in the right way and we help each other with all of our hearts, then the life becomes the light of men. So, we do wait on God in gatherings, but mostly we wait on God before each other every day. The gatherings become the TOTAL of everyone loving each other. The deep teachings of Jesus come from the deep aches of the heart sometimes. We learn the magnificence of the patience and love of Jesus as we encounter situations in our lives and must experience His patience and mercy. Then we are able to share together.
These things are very important to understand, because most of us have thought that meetings are the center or the focus of Christianity. Did Jesus have a meeting every week with the disciples? No. Every Tuesday night, every Sunday morning? He did not. He still is not. It is the same now as it was then. He teaches us as we rise up, as we sit down, as we walk along the way together. The gatherings are just when the family is together, rising up, sitting down, walking along the way... TOGETHER. The Life becomes the light of men. That’s why it’s so important that we look at each other and love each other outside of our “meetings”. We spend our lives for each other out there every day. In I Cor. 11, the apostle Paul said that if we don’t truly love each other and lift each other’s weak arms every day, then our meetings do more harm than good. Let’s decide together that our lives, instead of our meetings or teachings, would become the light of men.
Asking Father Together...
You are a dear Father. Please let us only listen to the things that are true, not the things that the enemy yells into our hearts. satan is called the father of all liars. He wants to lie to us constantly, to tell us untruths. We know our enemy is a liar. He is also a murderer. He wants to find ways to kill us. But we know that You love us dearly and You want to bring us precious truths that set us free. We beg You, Father, to give us eyes that see through the lies. We know we can make it because You are on our side. Thank You for that promise. Thank You for that Hope. The scriptures say and we know that HOPE will not disappoint us. We trust in You, so we will not be put to shame. We shall live and not die, by the power of Jesus. You are a Sovereign King. You decide when the rains fall and if the soil will yield its crop. You decide if the clouds bring a shade or if the sun burns down hot. You decide if the streams run cool and clear, or if they are bitter and make us sick. You decide if our sons and daughters will grow healthy and old and whether the work of our hands is a failure or a success. You decide if our conversations can bring joy to one another or bring hurt. You decide if there is a peace and strength in our heart, or sadness and weakness. You are the One alone that can forgive all of our sins and bring us to a path that is true. The good news is that You love us very much; while You are a Sovereign King and all things are under Your control, it’s good news to us that You are full of compassion, mercy and kindness. A Sovereign King, yes... but also a beautiful lover and friend. Thank You very much for being our friend. You will take us to the other side in victory. Great is Your name.