The Praise in Waiting

The Praise in Waiting

Our praise in Pentecost is often associated with clapping, singing, dancing, and exuberant utterances. Most of our praise services are heavy with shouting, crying out, and making a joyful noise unto the Lord. But there is a form of praise that does not require a sound. There is one form of praise that does not accompany a clap or a shout. That praise is simply the praise of waiting.

I’ve seen concert goers arrive two or three days prior to an event and camp out on the sidewalk waiting to get a ticket. I’ve seen customers stand in line for hours just to be the first to get the latest iPhone or gaming device. I’ve seen deer hunters leave the evening before, paddle a canoe to a deer-stand location on an island in an East Texas river bottom, and spend the night in a wooden box with mosquitoes and water moccasins just to prevent flushing the deer out the next morning.

We attribute worth to something by demonstrating how long we are willing to wait for it. The word ‘worship’ comes from an Old English word ‘weorthscipe’. The English version is ‘worth-ship’. It means an acknowledgment of worth. When we worship something, we acknowledge its worth. Waiting is a form of worship because we assign value or worth to something by how long we are willing to wait for it.

In addition to waiting patiently for Jesus’ soon return, we have needs that exhibit themselves on a daily basis. There are prayers that we pray and for which we desire an answer. But often times we have to wait on God to respond. When we patiently wait on him, even with no answer, we are expressing to God how much we value his response. We, in essence, are telling God, “I’m willing to wait as long as it takes because I value your answer above all other things.” When we do this, it is a form of praise that ascends up to God as a sweet smelling savor! There is a Praise in Waiting!

Is 40:29-31 says, “29 He giveth power to the faint; and to them that have no might he increaseth strength. 30 Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall: 31 But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.” (KJV)

God mentions three strengths that you can obtain in this scripture. But if you’re like me, you don’t seem to be able to grasp these strengths half the time. The key to obtaining and understanding how these strengths work is to understand the word wait as it is used here.

What does it mean to wait? The Hebrew word is qavah (kav-waw’). The figurative meaning of the word is “to bind together like a cord.” The imagery is that of the process of twisting or weaving small strings together to form a rope. The more strands that are twisted or woven together in the rope, the greater the strength. The literal meaning of the word is “hope”.   We wait because our hope is in the Lord.

When we go through trials and struggles and we are waiting on an answer or a solution from God, we need to unite with the Lord like strands of a rope. The longer we wait, the more the strands that are woven. The longer we wait the stronger is our connection to God. This unity renews our strength! The Bible says in Ecclesiastes 4:12, “…a cord of three strands is not quickly broken.” (KJV)

If you want to have a strong relationship with God, you must learn to wait on Him. In doing so, you will allow His strength to intertwine with yours forming a strong bond like the cords of a rope. Then, after waiting, you will come out “renewed” with the kind of strength that will allow you to “mount up with wings as an eagle.” The longer you are willing to wait for this strength, the more praise you are sending up to God. David said in Psalms 65:1, “Praise waiteth for thee, O God, in Sion…” David understood that God may not always readily manifest himself. David was aware that God may at times be slow to respond but praise would always be waiting upon Him no matter how long He took. There is a Praise in Waiting!

The Favor of God

You often hear people refer to the “Favor of God”. When people say this, it usually is in reference to blessings or “a door” that has opened. The Favor of God seems, for most people, to be a circumstance that is very positive or prosperous. When it just seems that the doors are opening and everything is falling into place so easy then it must be the Favor or “will” of God.

Unfortunately, everything happening so easily and everything feeling so right does not always constitute the favor of God. The favor of a God is not meant to be confused with the Favor of men. Often times when we pray, “God give us favor” or “I need to find favor with you God”, we are actually praying for the favor of man. The favor of man can include blessings, prosperity, financial increase, and generally positive things. It can be a beautiful thing to find favor with men and to find favor in your city or on your job.

A person should be very cautious, however, when praying for the favor of God in their lives. Be careful when asking for the favor of God because you may find yourself in situations that you did not expect.

Being in His perfect will and experiencing His favor is not always easy, just ask Job. He went through living hell when his entire life crumbled around him. No doors were opening, it was the greatest struggle of his life, he was attacked from every angle. The favor of God looked more like the judgments of God to the finite eye.

Joseph had a dream that was given by God. But that dream landed him in a pit. From there, he was sold to the Ishmaelites. Soon he was a servant to an Egyptian named Potifer and eventually falsely accused of attempted rape. He landed in a dungeon where he interpreted dreams only to be forgotten by those he helped.

If there ever was a man that appeared to have “missed it”, it was Joseph. “Joseph, you missed it buddy. You’re not in the will of God. His favor is definitely not on you!” But, on the contrary, all of this happened while he was right, square in the middle of God’s will! Unlike popular belief, THIS is what the favor of God looks like. All of this happened because God had favor on him.

The next time you question God’s direction, favor, or will in your life because things are getting a little difficult, remember, God’s favor may come in a series of trials and tests. We can’t cut and run every time the road gets tough and claim that “we must not be in the will of God”.

This mentality lends itself to instability. We must stay the course. Continue steadfastly, even if we feel like we’re backing up. Joseph appeared to be backing up. He backed up until finally his legs touched something solid and he sat right down on the throne of Egypt.

God will accomplish his work in your life. It’s going to take patience, however. Don’t cut out on God before the work is finished. Impatience has destroyed the dreams of many. Joseph’s patience and his dream eventually set him up for his divine purpose and that was to be in position to preserve the very seed of Abraham.

Sometimes it’s the struggle that lets you know you are still in the will of God. Be prepared, if you pray for the favor of God…

What is the one thing you want for Christmas?

 

What is the one thing you want for Christmas?

I know it’s hard to narrow it down.  We’ve become so accustomed to receiving so many gifts and experiencing so many different pleasures during the Christmas holidays.  But if you could only have one wish granted this Christmas, what would it be?  Think about it.

Many, whose children are lost, would probably ask for their salvation.  Some, who suffer from disease or sickness, would choose healing.  Others, who have struggled financially, would ask for money.  The overwhelming response, according to the odds, would probably be a vain and superfluous request of some kind.

When you narrow it down to one thing, you have to begin to set your priorities.  One can’t afford to be wasteful.  One must wade through the shallow rubbish that clogs our minds and carnal desires to find the one thing that means more to us than anything else.

In 2Kings 4:-8-37, we find the story of the Shunammite Woman.  She quickly realized the most important thing that she could do was make place in her home for the man of God, Elisha.  She had her husband build a room on the side of her house to accommodate him every time he passed by.  This wise choice, this realization of the most important thing in her life, led to her receiving the one thing that mattered more to her than anything else.

She was barren.  The prophet, in gratitude of her hospitality, asked if there was anything that she needed.  After some coaxing, she revealed that the one thing she desired above all other things was a child.  The prophet prophesied that she would have a child “about this season, according to the time of life.”  In paraphrase, her reply was this, “My Lord, you better not be lying to me.  You better not be playing with my emotions.  Because, I’ve narrowed it down, and this is the one thing that is most important to me!”  She had searched her heart and found the one thing that she desired most.  Her request was soon granted and she brought forth a son.

She put God first in her life and as a result, her deepest desire was granted her.  Jesus instructed his listeners in Matthew 6:33, “But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.”

So this year, it’s important to narrow it down.  We know that Christmas is the celebration of Christ’s birth but if Jesus would grant that one request, what would it be?  The Psalmist David said this in Psalms 27:4, “One thing have I desired of the Lord, that will I seek after; that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the LORD, and to enquire in his temple.”