Charles Stanley – Why is it wise to wait on God?

Charles Stanley

It is always wise to wait on God. Why?

First, it is wise to wait because God gives clear direction only when we are willing to wait. Remember, we don’t operate like the world operates. Instant gratification of need defines society. But we, as believers, live differently. We don’t take our cues from the world. We take them from God. He will give us clear direction, whether it is guidance for making a move or changing a career or choosing a mate. However, much to the distress of many, He seldom does it quickly. We must wait until He is ready to give direction.

God says, “I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will guide you with My eye” (Ps. 32:8). We must wait until He is ready to give counsel to us. I know it’s hard. No one ever said it would be easy. However, it is absolutely worth it.

Second, it is wise to wait because God uses that waiting time to get us in step with His timing. Being in step with the Father’s timing gives us a sense of peace. However, when we run ahead of Him, we will constantly be trying to figure out how to make our decisions work. Instead of peace, we will feel the chaos of our choices.

Third, it is always wise to wait because God uses the time of waiting to prepare us for the answer. As earthly parents, we don’t give our children everything they ask for. Sometimes we know that the timing isn’t right. How much more our heavenly Father knows this for His children. He waits until we are able to handle the blessing with grace and trust.

Fourth, it is always wise to wait because waiting strengthens our faith. We might want to say, “Okay, God. I’ve learned as much faith as I care to. You can act now.” But when we realize that God is more interested in our character than in our comfort, waiting is a lot more palatable.

Fifth, it is always wise to wait because God gets our attention and sifts our motives. While waiting and praying for the promotion at work, we have time to think through our motives. Why do we really want that promotion? Do we want it to get more money or so others will think we are powerful? Could it be we want the promotion so we have a greater platform to serve the Lord? If we allow God to sift through our motives, the truth will surface—good or bad. It is amazing what we learn about ourselves through this waiting period.

So it is wise to wait because:

1. He gives clear direction.

2. He gets us in step with Himself.

3. He prepares us for what He has in store for us.

4. He strengthens our faith.

5. He gets our attention and sifts our motives.

Waiting is one of the more difficult things in the Christian life. However, it is never wasted time. God teaches us His path, changes our circumstances, keeps us in step with Himself, prepares us for His answers, and uses times of waiting to sift our motives and strengthen our faith.

The question comes: With all the advantages of waiting, why do we rush ahead as if we don’t have a trustworthy Father? We need to hit the pause button in our lives and take our lives out of the fast forward mode. God will amaze us with what He is doing while we wait on Him and watch Him work.

Adapted from Charles Stanley’s Handbook for Christian Living,” 1996.

 

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When is it wise to wait?

Waiting is one of the more difficult things in the Christian life. However, it is never wasted time. God teaches us His path, changes our circumstances, keeps us in step with Himself, prepares us for His answers, and uses times of waiting to sift our motives and strengthen our faith. (Listen to When is it wise to wait?)

 

 

Our Daily Bread — Adoption

Our Daily Bread

Ephesians 1:3-12

He chose us in Him . . . having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself. —Ephesians 1:4-5

My wife, Marlene, and I have been married for over 35 years. When we were first dating, we had a conversation I have never forgotten. She told me that at 6 months old she had been adopted. When I asked her if she ever wondered about who her real parents were, she responded, “My mom and dad could have selected any of a number of other babies that day, but they chose me. They adopted me. They are my real parents.”

That strong sense of identification and gratitude she has for her adoptive parents should also mark our relationship with God. As followers of Christ, we have been born from above through faith in Him and have been adopted into the family of God. Paul wrote, “He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love, having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will” (Eph. 1:4-5).

Notice the nature of this transaction. We have been chosen by God and adopted as His sons and daughters. Through adoption, we have a radically new relationship with God. He is our beloved Father!

May this relationship stir our hearts to worship Him—our Father—with gratitude. —Bill Crowder

Loving Father, thank You for making me

Your child and giving me a place in

Your family. With a grateful heart, I

thank You for making me Yours.

God loves each of us as if there were only one of us. —Augustine

Bible in a year: Genesis 13-15; Matthew 5:1-26

 

Alistair Begg – Take Comfort in God’s Light

Alistair Begg

And God saw that the light was good.

Genesis 1:4

This morning we noticed the goodness of the light, and the Lord’s dividing it from the darkness. We now note the special eye that the Lord had for the light. “God saw the light”–He looked at it with complacency, gazed upon it with pleasure, saw that it “was good.” If the Lord has given you light, dear reader, He looks on that light with peculiar interest; for not only is it dear to Him as His own handiwork, but it is like Himself, for “God is light.”

It is pleasant for the believer to know that God’s eye tenderly observes that work of grace that He has begun. He never loses sight of the treasure that He has placed in our earthen vessels. Sometimes we cannot see the light, but God always sees the light, and that is much better than our seeing it. Better for the judge to see my innocence than for me to think I see it. It is very comfortable for me to know that I am one of God’s people–but whether I know it or not, if the Lord knows it, I am still safe. This is the foundation, “The Lord knows those who are his.” 1

You may be sighing and groaning because of inbred sin, and mourning over your darkness; yet the Lord sees “light” in your heart, for He has put it there, and all the cloudiness and gloom of your soul cannot conceal your light from His gracious eye.

You may have sunk low in despondency, and even despair; but if your soul has any longing toward Christ, and if you are seeking to rest in His finished work, God sees the “light.” He not only sees it, but He also preserves it in you. “I, the Lord, do keep it.” This is a precious thought to those who, after anxious watching and guarding of themselves, feel their own powerlessness to do so. The light thus preserved by His grace, He will one day develop into the splendor of noonday, and the fullness of glory. The light within is the dawn of the eternal day.

1 2 Timothy 2:19

 

Charles Spurgeon – A sermon for the week of prayer

CharlesSpurgeon

“Continue in prayer, and watch in the same with thanksgiving.” Colossians 4:2

Suggested Further Reading: Luke 18:1-8

Continue in prayer once more, because prayer is a great weapon of attack against the error and wickedness of the world. I see before me the strong bastions of the castle of sin. I note the host of men who have surrounded it. They have brought the battering-ram, they have dashed it many times against the gate; it has fallen with tremendous force against it, and you would have supposed that the timbers would be split asunder the first time. But they are staunch and strong; he who made them was a cunning architect, he who depends upon them for his protection is one who knew how to make the gate exceeding massive,—is one who knew the struggle full well which he would have to endure—prince of darkness as he is. If he knew of his defeat, yet well he knew how to guard against it if it were possible. But I see this ponderous battering-ram as it has been hurled with giant force again and again upon the gate, and how as often seemed to recoil before the massive bars. Many of the saints of God are ready to say, “Let us withdraw the instrument. Let us take away the besieging artillery, we shall never be able to storm this castle, we shall never effect an entrance.” Oh, be not craven, sirs, be not craven. The last time the battering-ram thundered in its course, I saw the timbers shake. The very gate did reel, and the posts did rock to and fro; see now they have moved the earth around their sockets. Hell is howling from within because it knows how soon its end must come. Now, Christian warriors, use your battering-rams once more, for the gates begin to shake, and the walls are tottering. They will reel, they will fall before long.

For meditation: Are your prayers stuck in defensive mode as you seek God’s protection? Does your prayer-life ever venture out on the attack? Remember the Saviour’s powerful promise that the gates of hell would be unable to stand up against the advance of his church (Matthew 16:18). May these words before a special week of prayer encourage us to continue in prayer all year round.

Sermon no. 354

5 January (Preached 6 January 1861)

 

 

John MacArthur – Cultivating a Heavenly Perspective

John MacArthur

“God…has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places” (Eph. 1:3, emphasis added).

It’s been said that some Christians are so heavenly minded, they’re no earthly good. But usually the opposite is true. Many Christians are so enamored with this present world that they no longer look forward to heaven. They have everything they want right here. The health, wealth, and prosperity doctrine has convinced them that Christians can have it all, and they pursue “the good life” with a vengeance.

Despite the prevalence of such thinking, the old Negro spiritual well says, “This world is not my home. I’m just a passin’ through.”

Paul reminds us of that truth in Philippians 3:20: “Our citizenship is in heaven, from which also we eagerly wait for a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ.” That’s why we must set our minds on heavenly, not on earthly things (Col. 3:1- 2). Our deepest affections and highest aspirations should center there. Our actions and decisions should reflect heavenly priorities, not earthly indulgences.

Even though we live in a sin-stained world and must constantly fight against its corrupting influences, God hasn’t left us stranded. He extends to us all the rights and privileges of our heavenly citizenship. Let that assurance encourage you today to live to His glory and rely on His heavenly provisions. Take care not to let impure aspirations or trivial pursuits distract you from your heavenly priorities.

Suggestions for Prayer:

Tell Jesus how thankful and full of praise you are because of the place He is preparing for you in heaven (John 14:1-3).

Pray for a greater awareness of the fleeting value of this world and the surpassing value of the world to come (1 John 2:17).

For Further Study:

Read Revelation 4-5, 21

What primary activity are the inhabitants of heaven engaged in?

List some of heaven’s blessings.

 

 

Joyce Meyer – The Invitation

Joyce meyer

What I have forgiven . . . has been for your sakes . . . to keep Satan from getting the advantage over us; for we are not ignorant of his wiles and intentions.—2 Corinthians 2:10–11

Suppose we receive a package from an overnight carrier. After we open it, we stare at a beautiful, oversized envelope, with our name written on it in exquisite calligraphy. Inside, the invitation starts with these words:

You are invited to enjoy a life filled with misery, worry, and confusion.

Which one of us would say yes to such an outrageous invitation? Don’t we seek the kind of life that keeps us free from such pain and distractions? Yet many of us choose such a life. Not that we blatantly make that choice, but we sometimes surrender—even temporarily—to Satan’s invitation. His attack is ongoing and relentless—the devil is persistent! Our enemy bombards our minds with every weapon at his disposal every day of our lives.

We are engaged in warfare—a warfare that rages and never stops. We can put on the whole armor of God, halt the evil one’s advances, and stand fast on the Word of God, but we won’t put a complete end to the war. As long as we are alive, our minds remain Satan’s battlefield.

Most of our problems are rooted in thinking patterns that produce the problems we experience. This is where Satan triumphs—he offers wrong thinking to all of us. This isn’t a new trick devised for our generation; he began his deceptive ways in the Garden of Eden. The serpent asked the woman, “Can it really be that God has said, You shall not eat from every tree of the garden?” (Genesis 3:1a). That was the first attack on the human mind. Eve could have rebuked the tempter; instead, she told him God would let them eat from the trees, but not from one particular tree. They couldn’t even touch that tree, because if they did, they would die.

“But the serpent said to the woman, You shall not surely die, For God knows that in the day you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing the difference between good and evil and blessing and calamity” (vs. 4–5).

This was the first attack, and it resulted in Satan’s first victory. What we often miss about temptation and the battle our enemy levels against us is that it comes to us deceptively. Suppose he had said to the woman, “Eat of the fruit. You’ll bring misery, anger, hatred, bloodshed, poverty, and injustice into the world.”

Eve would have recoiled and run away. He tricked her because he lied and told her what would appeal to her. Satan promised, “You will be like God. You’ll know good and evil.” What a marvelous appeal to the woman. He wasn’t tempting Eve to do something bad—or at least he phrased it in such a way that what she heard sounded good.

That’s always the appeal of sin or satanic enticement. The temptation is not to do evil or to cause harm or bring injustice. The lure is that we will gain something. Satan’s temptation worked on Eve. “And when the woman saw that the tree was good (suitable, pleasant) for food and that it was delightful to look at, and a tree to be desired in order to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate; and she gave some also to her husband, and he ate” (3:6).

Eve lost the first battle for the mind, and we have continued to fight for it since that time. But because we have the power of the Holy Spirit in our lives, we can win—and we can keep on winning.

Victorious God, help me resist the onslaughts of Satan, who attacks my mind and makes evil seem good. I ask this in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen

 

Campus Crusade for Christ; Bill Bright – An Infusion of Power

dr_bright

“Even the youths shall be exhausted, and the young men will all give up. But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength. They shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint” (Isaiah 40:30,31).

I flew all night from Los Angeles to New York for a very important meeting with the president of one of the major television networks, and after only three hours in New York flew back across the continent to Portland, Oregon, to speak that night at a conference of several hundred pastors.

Every fiber of my being ached with fatigue as I waited for my luggage in the Portland airport. In only 30 minutes I would be speaking to the pastors, yet I felt about as spiritual as a head of cabbage. Suddenly I felt impressed to pray, “Lord, do You have something You would like to share with me?”

Immediately I felt a leading to turn to the 40th chapter of Isaiah. As I read those familiar words, which at that instant had new, inspiring meaning for me, I sensed a surge of strength, energy, and power flow into and through my body. I suddenly felt that I could have thrown my luggage over the building and run to the meeting several miles away.

I could hardly wait to stand before those servants of God and proclaim to them the wonder and majesty, the glory and power, the faithfulness and love of our God. Within a half hour or so, I did have that privilege and God empowered and anointed me for the occasion in a most unusual and marvelous way.

Bible Reading: Isaiah 40:25-29

Today’s Action Point: As I discover a need for renewed strength today, I will say with the psalmist, “I will go in the strength of the Lord God” (Psalm 71:16a, KJV). I will repeat that solemn declaration throughout the day, and by faith will claim His supernatural strength for my every physical and spiritual need.

 

Presidential Prayer Team; J.K. – The World’s Priests

ppt_seal01

Today’s verse says you “ought always to pray.” The word for “ought” appears no less than 100 times in the New Testament. To the Greeks, it meant a forced compulsion defined by the situation. But Jesus’ explanation revealed that the directive has a much greater implication.

He told them a parable to the effect that they ought always to pray and not lose heart.

Luke 18:1

It is God’s will that you pray…it is a loving, creative, purposeful will. Its intentions for you promise only hope and a bright future. It is in prayer and in the study of His Word that you are privileged to know Him and His will more.

Charles Spurgeon believed that the Lord’s people are the world’s priests. As such, you can be an intercessor for the needs of those in your midst…the weak who fall into sin or who despair in difficult circumstances, the strong who may grow presumptuous, the sick and the poor. In a world full of idols, wickedness, and people deprived of salvation, the opportunity to pray is constant

Make knowing the Lord your priority in 2014. Study His Word. Intercede for President Obama and the nation’s leaders…that they may know God’s will and do it. Diligently pray and do not lose heart.

Recommended Reading: Psalm 116:1-6, 12-14