Waiting On God

Something to consider. I waited patiently for the Lord; he inclined to me and heard my cry. He drew me up from the pit of destruction, out of the miry bog and set my feet upon a rock, making my steps secure. -Psalm 40:1-2 ESV

Patience is not a virtue of the internet generation. We do want everything now.

“Just Do It” is still the theme and slogan of a major sports company.

Microwave cooking is even too slow for us.

Like the 3-year-old, we say, “I want it now.” It comes out differently because we’re mature adults, but the idea is still the same.

In fact, even as I write this I want to finish quickly so I can move on to something else.

The lack of patience in our society is evident and unfortunately it carries over to our time with God. I don’t say that gleefully or with fingers pointing outward. I’m the biggest offender.

But David understood the value of waiting patiently for God. He was a king and just as busy as any of us. Even when he was on the run, hiding out in caves, his mind was still probably racing with all the possibilities.

Being super busy doesn’t excuse us from waiting on God. I think it was Spurgeon who said that being busy caused him to wait for God more because he couldn’t get through the days without God’s direction and wisdom.

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That Well-Timed Word

I proclaim your saving acts in the great assembly;
I do not seal my lips, Lord,
as you know.
10 I do not hide your righteousness in my heart;
I speak of your faithfulness and your saving help.
I do not conceal your love and your faithfulness
from the great assembly. Psalm 40:9-11

King David prayed a lot.

Fortunately, we get to see a few of them because he wrote them down for all the world to see. All his weaknesses and emotions are laid bare for our benefit.

David didn’t hold back on his words.

As King, people hung on every word while they were in his presence. To do otherwise people could have met their untimely death.

So, while David had a “captive” audience, he shared his faith freely. He knew who God was and what He meant to him. In the New Testament parlance, David was not ashamed of the Gospel.

When God blessed Him, others knew it.

While we do not have such a captive audience, we still can bless others with our words. You really don’t know how a well-timed word of encouragement can mean life or death to someone because we really don’t know what’s going on in someone’s life.

As we’ve discussed dozens of times when covering the Psalms and Proverbs, our words can have impact on others’ lives.

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God in the Midst

Listen to my prayer, O God,
do not ignore my plea;
2 hear me and answer me.
My thoughts trouble me and I am distraught
3 because of what my enemy is saying,
because of the threats of the wicked;
for they bring down suffering on me
and assail me in their anger. Psalm 55:1-3

We all know the feeling of being distraught and lonely.

We’ve all sent prayers of desperation up to the Lord, only to think that the prayers didn’t go any higher than the ceiling.

Even as David prayed about His thoughts troubling him, we understand that all too well.

There in the darkness, in the loneliness of heart, God is in the midst.

Know that He brings us to that place of desperation for a reason or for several reasons. unfortunately, we may never fully know those reasons, and it may very well be his tender mercies we don’t know them, lest we do the wrong thing with that knowledge.

No, when we cry out to Him, He hears those prayers and bottles up those tears. They are not in vain. His desire is for you and me to be closer to Him, if only a tiny bit each time.

Glory be to God on High!

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Against the Deeds of Darkness

Let a righteous man strike me—that is a kindness;
let him rebuke me—that is oil on my head.
My head will not refuse it,
for my prayer will still be against the deeds of evildoers. Psalm 141:5

I heard this verse this morning and thought it was appropriate for the times we live in.

In case people don’t realize, it’s highly appropriate to pray against the deeds of evil people. In fact, you could make the case, it’s almost impossible not to pray against evil people because there’s just so much in the world. While our focus shouldn’t be on evil people and their deeds, we have to acknowledge that it exists and that God is ultimately in control.

So, then how do we pray?

Ask God to confuse their minds.

Lord, confuse the wicked, confound their words, for I see violence and strife in the city. Psalm 55:9

Ask God to expose their deeds.

Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them. Ephesians 5:11

Ask that God would reveal his righteousness to the nations.

The Lord has made his salvation known and revealed his righteousness to the nations. Psalm 98:2

Ask that the Lord would shine His light on them

to turn them back from the pit, that the light of life may shine on them. Job 33:30

The Lord is God, and he has made his light shine on us. Psalm 118:27

Ask that the Lord would terrify them.

he may speak in their ears and terrify them with warnings, Job 33:16

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A Prayer for Peace

24 The Lord bless you, and keep you;
25 The Lord make His face shine on you,
And be gracious to you;
26 The Lord lift up His countenance on you,
And give you peace. Numbers 6:24-26

While this theme of blessing is spelled out in this verse, it is peppered throughout the Psalms and the Old Testament.

The words are powerful.

In my chorus, we closed last night with this prayer put to music. It has a peaceful, calming effect to all who sing it and hear the words. In fact, we sing this at the end of every performance because it blesses the people we sing to.

Why?

Because God wants to bless people. He wants to shine His face on us because He is a loving and gracious God. Psalm 18 tells us that He rescued us because He delighted in us. That’s powerful, meaningful stuff.

Now imagine if you memorized this and prayed it over others! You probably already know it or could memorize it in a few minutes if you tried. Even portions of it in prayer can have a powerful influence over someone.

Imagine if you heard this prayer being prayed by someone else. Imagine how you’d feel!

You know what to do.

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