The Divine Ministry of Delay (continued)
One last word. There is nothing in common between quiet waiting upon God and lethargic non-participation in the enterprises of Christ's Church because of this necessity of quiet waiting on God. Let me say that there is no greater mistake than to wait for subjective manifestations and to neglect objective opportunities. True waiting upon God expresses itself in the expenditure of every energy of the soul at the clear directions for whose interpretation we do not need to wait an hour.
Oh, the supine folly of the man who in these days of tremendous opportunity is content to "wait upon God" to open doors, to "wait upon God" to enlarge opportunities, to "wait upon God" to organize success and influence for Him, while he himself does nothing in the way of sacrifice - of giving himself, of losing his life, for the Kingdom's sake! God does not cooperate with dreamers. We cannot live in fellowship with God and let evil stalk unchallenged, by neglecting the wide-open doors of the world which call to our faith and our loyalty.
I cannot forget that God did once say to His people: "Stand still, and see the salvation of God." But I also remember that that word was given to men and women, a great host, who were walking in implicit obedience to His leadership, and who in that pathway had come up against the impassable. There are times in life when God says these words to us, but only when, like Israel, we are walking in the light of His will.
"We are not here to play, to dream, to drift;
We have hard work to do, and loads to lift;
Shun not the struggle! face it!" Tis God's gift.
Say not, 'The days are evil! Who's to blame?'
And fold the hands, and acquiesce - oh shame!
Stand up, speak out, act bravely in God's Name.
It matters not how deep entrenched the wrong,
How hard the battle goes, the day how long;
Fight on! fight on! tomorrow comes the song!"
As we wait upon God in this energy of implicit obedience to Him, He will vindicate all His delays. He will do it as we stand, like men who wait for their Lord, doing His will to the very utmost of our power; knowing that when He comes He will perfect that which concerns us; pushing the battle to the gate, in the confidence that at the strategic moment He will bring up reinforcements which shall mean the final factor in victory; quietly hoping for that we see not; saying to our souls again, and yet again, "We see not yet all things put under Him, we see not yet the fulfillment of our every desire; but we see Jesus crowned. Blessed be His Name for ever!"
The Eternal Reward of Labor and Suffering
Numbers 27:1-7; Joshua 15:13-19; Romans 8:17
I have just one thought that I want to pass to you here. It relates to inheritance. In the New Testament that word is found to compass quite a lot. In the first place, inheritance is there shown to be a matter of birthright; then it is extended to a bequest, a gift; and then still further it applies to reward for labor, for service. It is in this last connection that my word lies.
While it is fully recognized - not for a moment would we detract one iota from the grand fact - that everything is of grace; even enablement to work for reward is of grace - while that is true, this other aspect of inheritance, or heirship, as a matter of reward for service and suffering, is very fully revealed. Inheriting by laboring, entering into the fruits of labor; inheriting by warfare, entering into the spoil of battle, entering into suffering and being recompensed for suffering. It is surely inherent in labor, in suffering, that there should be some gratification, and the gratification is the wages. While we know that it has been grace that has enabled to suffer and to labor, nevertheless we have suffered and we have labored and we have battled, and there is something for that, by the faithfulness of God - there are wages, there is that sense of achievement. There is no greater gratification than to know that, through labor and suffering, something has been achieved.
(continued with # 41) - (Inward Relationship to the Object In View)