Charles Stanley – How should I wait upon the Lord?

Charles Stanley

Be strong and let your heart take courage.
Psalm 27:14

It is wise to wait upon the Lord in order to receive His clear direction for our lives, to keep in step with His timing, to prepare us for what He wants to give us in life, and to sift our motives.

But how are we to wait? What should be the attitude with which we wait? How can we position ourselves to receive His help?

God expects us to wait:

Patiently. Making quick decisions often means making wrong decisions and forcing action when God is planning a different approach and outcome. As difficult as it may seem, we must wait until we are certain God has spoken to us.

Quietly. We cannot hear God’s still small voice when we drown Him out with our clamorous anxiety.

Full of trust. Doubting God stymies what He wants to do in your life and for you. His Word and His promises are unfailingly true, and it honors Him when you live out your faith in trust and confidence in Him.

Steadfastly. It can be so tempting to act on impulse or to follow the advice of others. While God may use other people or circumstances to lead you, what you are hearing or experiencing must always square with God’s Word.

Courageously. Sometimes waiting requires the courage to suffer through difficult or harsh circumstances. God often strengthens us through trials, increasing our faith even as His hand undergirds us.

Excerpt from In Touch magazine. Subscribe to In Touch magazine free here.

 

 

Related Resources

Related Audio

The Grace to Wait

God expects us to wait patiently, quietly, steadfastly and courageously. He has equipped us to wait on Him. (Listen to The Grace to Wait.)

 

Our Daily Bread — A Neighbor On The Fence

Our Daily Bread

Acts 2:41-47

All who believed were together. —Acts 2:44

The fence around the side yard of our home was showing some wear and tear, and my husband, Carl, and I decided we needed to take it down before it fell down. It was pretty easy to disassemble, so we removed it quickly one afternoon. A few weeks later when Carl was raking the yard, a woman who was walking her dog stopped to give her opinion: “Your yard looks so much better without the fence. Besides, I don’t believe in fences.” She explained that she liked “community” and no barriers between people.

While there are some good reasons to have physical fences, isolating us from our neighbors is not one of them. So I understood our neighbor’s desire for the feeling of community. The church I attend has community groups that meet once a week to build relationships and to encourage one another in our journey with God. The early church gathered together daily in the temple (Acts 2:44,46). They became one in purpose and heart as they fellowshiped and prayed. If they struggled, they would have companions to lift them up (see Eccl. 4:10).

Connection to a community of believers is vital in our Christian walk. One way that God chooses to show His love to us is through relationships. —Anne Cetas

Blest be the tie that binds

Our hearts in Christian love!

The fellowship of kindred minds

Is like to that above. —Fawcett

We all need Christian fellowship to build us up and hold us up.

Bible in a year: Genesis 29-30; Matthew 9:1-17

 

Alistair Begg – Speak for God

Alistair Begg

I have yet something to say on God’s behalf.

Job 36:2

We ought not to court publicity for our virtue or notoriety for our zeal; but at the same time it is a sin to be always seeking to hide what God has bestowed upon us for the good of others. A Christian is not to be a village in a valley, but “a city set on a hill” 1; he is not to be a candle under a bushel, but a candle in a candlestick, giving light to all.

Retirement may be lovely in its season, and to hide one’s self is doubtless modest, but the hiding of Christ in us can never be justified, and the keeping back of truth, which is precious to ourselves, is a sin against others and an offense against God.

If you have a nervous temperament and a retiring disposition, take care that you do not indulge this trembling propensity, lest you should be useless to the church. Seek in the name of Him who was not ashamed of you to do some little violence to your feelings and tell others what Christ has told to you.

If you cannot speak with trumpet tongue, use the still small voice. If the pulpit must not be your tribune, if the press may not carry on its wings your words, yet say with Peter and John, “I have no silver and gold, but what I do have I give to you.” 2

By Sychar’s well talk to the Samaritan woman, if you cannot preach a sermon on the mountain; utter the praises of Jesus in the house, if not in the temple; in the field, if not in the public square; in your own household, if you cannot in the great family of man. From the hidden springs within, let sweetly flowing streams of testimony flow forth, giving drink to every passerby. Hide not your talent; trade with it, and you shall bring in good interest to your Lord and Master. To speak for God will be refreshing to ourselves, cheering to saints, useful to sinners, and honoring to the Savior.

1 Matthew 5:14

2 Acts 3:6

 

 

 

Charles Spurgeon – The bed and its covering

CharlesSpurgeon

“For the bed is shorter than that a man can stretch himself on it: and the covering narrower than he can wrap himself in it.” Isaiah 28:20

Suggested Further Reading: Hebrews 4:3-10

What a glorious thing, it is to be a Christian, to have faith in Christ. Come my soul, take thy rest, the great High Priest has full atonement made. Thou hast much good laid up, not for many years, but for eternity; take thine ease; eat spiritual things; drink wine on the lees and be merry; for it cannot be said of thee, “tomorrow thou shalt die,” for thou shalt never die, for “thy life is hid with Christ in God.” Thou art no fool to take thy ease and rest, for this is legitimate ease and rest, the rest which the God of Sabaoth hath provided for all his people. And then, O Christian! march boldly to the river of death, march calmly up to the throne of judgment, enter placidly and joyfully into the inheritance of thy Lord, for thou hast about thee an armour that can keep thee from the arrows of death, a wedding garment that makes thee fit to sit down at the banquet of the Lord. Thou hast about thee a royal robe that makes thee a fit companion even for Jesus, the King of kings, when he shall admit thee into his secret chambers, and permit thee to hold holy and close fellowship with him. I cannot resist quoting that verse of the hymn:

“With his spotless vesture on,

Holy as the Holy One.”

That is the sum and substance of it all. And on this bed let us take our rest, and during this week let us make Christ’s work our only garment, and we shall find it long enough, and broad enough, for us to wrap ourselves up in it.

For meditation: The Christian’s sufficiency is not his own but comes from God (2 Corinthians 3:5).

Sermon no. 244

12 January (Preached 9 January 1859)

 

John MacArthur – The High Cost of Free Grace

John MacArthur

“In [Christ] we have redemption through His blood” (Eph. 1:7, emphasis added).

Sin is not a serious issue to most people. Our culture flaunts and peddles it in countless forms. Even Christians who would never think of committing certain sins will often allow themselves to be entertained by them through television, movies, music, and other media.

We might flirt with sin but God hates it. The price He paid to redeem us from it speaks of the seriousness with which He views it. After all, we “were not redeemed with perishable things like silver or gold . . . but with precious blood, as of a lamb unblemished and spotless, the blood of Christ” (1 Pet. 1:18-19). In Scripture the shedding of blood refers to violent physical death–whether of a sacrificial animal or of Christ Himself. Sin is so serious that without bloodshed, there is no forgiveness of sin in God’s sight (Heb. 9:22).

The sacrificial animals in the Old Testament pictured Christ’s sacrifice on the cross. That’s why John the Baptist called Jesus “the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world” (John 1:29). The Old Testament sacrifices were necessary but incomplete. Christ’s sacrifice was perfect, complete, and once for all (Heb. 10:10). No further sacrifices are needed other than the “sacrifice of praise to God” for what He has done (Heb. 13:15) and our very lives in service to Him as “a living and holy sacrifice” (Rom. 12:1). By His sacrifice Christ demonstrated not only God’s hatred for sin, but also His great love for sinners. You could never redeem yourself, but Christ willingly paid the price with His own precious blood. He “gave Himself up for [you], an offering and a sacrifice to God as a fragrant aroma” (Eph. 5:2). His sacrifice was acceptable to the Father, so your redemption was paid in full. What magnanimous love and incredible grace!

Suggestions for Prayer:

Worship God for His wonderful plan of salvation.

Worship Christ for the enormous sacrifice He made on your behalf.

Worship the Holy Spirit for applying Christ’s sacrifice to your life and drawing you to Christ in saving faith.

Ask God to help you guard your heart from flirting with sin.

For Further Study:

Read 2 Samuel 11

What circumstances led to David’s sin with Bathsheba?

How did David attempt to cover his sin?

How did David finally deal with his sin (see Ps. 51)?

 

 

 

Joyce Meyer – Crave God’s Presence

Joyce meyer

My soul yearns for You [O Lord] in the night, yes, my spirit within me seeks You earnestly; for [only] when Your judgments are in the earth will the inhabitants of the world learn righteousness (uprightness and right standing with God). —Isaiah 26:9

If we are hungry enough, we will get something to eat. And if we can’t eat before we leave home, we will go to a drive-thru at a fast-food restaurant. Or we will call a place that delivers food to bring us something to eat.

If we are hungry enough for God, we will find a way into His presence. We should be so hungry for the presence of God that we absolutely will not go out of our house or tackle any kind of project until we have spent some time with Him.

 

Campus Crusade for Christ; Bill Bright – Be Strong in Character

dr_bright

“Dear brothers, is your life full of difficulties and temptations? Then be happy, for when the way is rough, your patience has a chance to grow. So let it grow, and don’t try to squirm out of your problems. For when your patience is finally in full bloom, then you will be ready for anything, strong in character, full and complete” (James 1:2-4).

A friend of mine had been very successful in business, but after he became a Christian everything seemed to go wrong. Problem after problem seemed to plague him. Yet he never seemed to be discouraged or defeated.

As we counseled together, he assured me that there was no unconfessed sin in his life. So I rejoiced with him that God was preparing him for a very important responsibility in His kingdom. That is exactly what happened. He is now the director of a very fruitful ministry for our Lord. The problems and testing served to help equip him to be a better ambassador for Christ.

If you are experiencing difficulties in your life – physical illness, loss of loved ones, financial adversity – remember the above admonition from God’s Word. Be happy, knowing that God will work in your life to accomplish His holy purpose.

You can decide how you will respond to problems and temptations – you can either become critical and cynical, or as an act of the will, by faith, you can choose to believe that our sovereign, loving God is allowing this to happen in your life for your own good and for His glory.

Even the hairs of your head are numbered. “His eyes run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to shew Himself strong in the behalf of them whose heart is perfect toward Him” (2 Chronicles 16:9, KJV). He is tender, loving and compassionate, concerned about your every need.

Bible Reading: James 1:5-12

Today’s Action Point: When difficulties and temptations enter into my life I will – as an act of the will, by faith in God’s faithfulness to His promises – rejoice and be glad, knowing that He is always with me and will never forsake me. As I trust Him and obey Him, he will supernaturally turn tragedy to triumph, and He will change heartache and sorrow to joy and rejoicing. I will trust Him in the darkest night of circumstances.

 

Presidential Prayer Team; H.L.M. – Positive Adjustments

ppt_seal01

In their book Experiencing God, Henry Blackaby and Claude King write, “God wants you to have no hindrances to a love relationship with Him in your life. Once God has spoken to you through His Word, how you respond is crucial. You must adjust your life to the truth.”

Be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.

James 1:22

As you look ahead at 2014, is what you watch, read and speak a hindrance or an enhancement to your relationship with the Lord? It is important to read and know God’s Word, but it is much more important to take righteous action and do what it says. Jesus says to “seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness.” (Matthew 6:33)

Spend time reading the Bible each day and ask God what adjustments you need to make in your daily life. As you make these positive changes, ask others who love you to provide prayer and accountability. The rewards for you and others will be a blessing! Pray also that the nation’s leaders will seek God’s truth and righteousness this year and make godly changes in their lives.

Recommended Reading: Matthew 7:21-29