To Know His Goodness

On April 3, 2010 I started reading a daily devotion book called “Waiting on God” by Andrew Murray. It is 31 days of writings about waiting on God.  It is one year and nine and a half months later and I am on day twenty four. Each time I read I chew on the day for weeks and months. Sometimes I can knock a couple out in a months time, but it usually takes me a while to let these truths settle and form into my soul. I also love that every time I am urged to pick it up again it speaks DIRECTLY to my soul. The Holy Spirit brings words from the page that enter into the mingling of my mind and heart and communicate in the midst of the groanings and longings that are too strong for words that I usually can’t communicate.

Tonight was no different.

On April 3, 2010 I was reading about the God of Our Salvation.  Murray says that waiting on God to do the work that pleases Him is our first and highest duty. He says that waiting becomes then the only way to experience full salvation, the only way to know God as the God of our salvation.  He used words in parallel with waiting like “blessed” and “needful.” “Fullness” and “Joy.”  “Riches” and “Love.” Waiting was also described in a new way to me- it is sequential with dependence on God. Man was to have the joy of receiving every moment out of the fullness of God. In essence, our original intended state was to be a state of waiting- ultimate dependence on God. An absolute poverty and helplessness, that we had no sense of the need of absolute and unceasing dependence, or the unspeakable blessedness of continual waiting on God. It was our state.  His writing encourages and boldly states that waiting on God becomes the brightest hope and joy as one apprehends how God, as God, as Infinite Love, delights to impart His nature to His children as fully as He can. How God is not weary of each moment keeping charge of his children’s lives and strength. That as children we would come to a spot and wonder that we ever thought otherwise of God as a God to be waited on all the day. God unceasingly giving and working; His child unceasingly waiting and receiving; this is the blessed life.

In the following days and in my journal entries to follow this concept was foreign to me. I actually had started to read the book because I was waiting on God to do something very specific in my life that I thought I wanted and what I thought was best for me. By God’s grace He didn’t allow that.

Again, this idea was Ab.so.lute.ly Foreign.

I understood the root of the idea- that I was created to depend on something. But I noted on April 14th, 2010 that the idea of restoration back to how I was intended to operate (waiting on God) felt so hard. It felt so foreign.

Somewhere along the way an understanding grew within me that this idea becomes less foreign. The goal was to delight in this dependence on God. That I would long to wait on God. On God, and nothing else. That I could receive only God and nothing else and be completely satisfied. I came to understand this implies sacrifice and separation a soul entirely given up to God as it’s all, its only joy. Somewhere in the midst of that I started to fast for a desire for God above all other things. I was asking God to sanctify me. I prayed for a deep restriction of all earthly concerns. I prayed for an extensive cultivation of all my godly concerns. I wanted to be intensely focused on God’s point of view. I want to be kept for God’s purpose alone. I want to be made one with Jesus so that the nature that controlled Him will control me.

Tonight, I sit- in tears because of God’s resounding response to those prayers.

I have noticed it for some time now, but the goodness of God is falling over me and it is overwhelming. The last several weeks I have been meditating on  the fact that it is such a delight to wait on God. That the idea of having needs and desires unmet feels safe. The perseverance in understanding what waiting on God is has brought about things in my soul I can’t express. My soul mingles with the Lord. The intimacy and community I have with the Trinity feels unreal sometimes.  Lamentations 3:25 says that the LORD is good unto them that wait for him. Indeed, this is true.

As I have said in previous posts I am just sitting under the favor, grace, mercy and blessings of Jesus. The foundation of this is that I am getting more of the Lord in ways I didn’t know existed. Goodness is also overflowing in physical ways and circumstances. I am boldly proclaiming in prayer blessing and favor over the coming days and months.

Murray says that if you want to fully know the goodness of God, give yourself more than ever to a life of waiting on Him.  I can understand and agree now. It doesn’t feel as foreign as it did so many months ago.  At first entering into this line of thought I was set on the idea of the physical blessing that would come out of the act. Graciously, God used my needs and desires to help educate me for something higher than I could fathom. I was seeking gifts. He longs to give Himself and to satisfy with His goodness. And it is for that reason that He often withholds these gifts. And for that reason I can praise His name that many gifts have not come my way at this time. He is constantly seeking to win the heart of His hold for Himself. He longs that long before our gifts come and even if they never come that I would all the time be experiencing it is good to wait on Him.

Tonight, many longings and desires are not met that I wait upon God for…but my soul is satisfied (as much as it can on this side of heaven) in God and God alone. It is overwhelming.  I sit here praying and proclaiming more favor and blessing for the days and month ahead of me, but I am satisfied. I can’t not ask for these things because I feel compelled by the Holy Spirit to do so…but I would be content with the now.

I will close with the last part of Murry’s 24th day. Be blessed my friends and may it spur you into a life of waiting in delight.

“What a blessed life the life of waiting then becomes, the continual worship of faith, adoring, and trusting His goodness. As the soul learns its secret, every act or exercise of waiting becomes just a quiet entering into the goodness of God, to let it do its blessed work and satisfy our every need. And, every experience of God’s goodness gives new attractiveness to the work of waiting. Instead of only taking refuge in time of need, there comes a great longing to wait continually and all day. And, however duties and engagements occupy the time and the mind, the soul gets more familiar with the secret art of always waiting. Waiting becomes the habit and disposition, the very second nature and breath of the soul.

Dear Christian, begin to see that waiting is not one among a number of Christian virtues, to be thought of from time to time. But, it expresses that disposition that lies at the very root of the Christian life. It gives a higher value and a new power to our prayers and worship, to our faith and surrender, because it links us, in unalterable dependence, to God himself. And, it gives us the unbroken enjoyment of the goodness of God. “The LORD is good unto them that wait for him.”

Let me stress once again that you must take time and trouble to cultivate this much needed element of the Christian life. WE get too much secondhand religion from the teaching of e. That teaching has great value, even as preaching of John the Baptist sent his disciples away from himself to the living Christ, if it leads us to God Himself. What our faith news is more of God.

Many of us are too occupied with our work. As with Martha, the very service we want to render the Master separates us from Him. It is neither pleasing to Him nor profitable to ourselves. The more work, the more need of waiting upon God. The doing of God’s will would then be, instead of exhausting, our meat and drink, our nourishment and refreshment and strength. “The LORD is good unto them that wait for him.” How good is known only by those who prove it in waiting on him. How good none can fully tell but those who have proved Him to the utmost.

My soul, wait thou only upon God!”

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