Waiting on God Continually
By Andrew Murray
Therefore turn thou to thy God: keep mercy and judgment, and wait on thy God continually. Hosea 12:6
Continuity is one of the essential elements of life. Interrupt it for a single hour in a man, and it is lost; he is dead. Continuity, unbroken and ceaseless, is essential to a healthy Christian life. God wants me to be, and God waits to make me; I want to be, and I wait on Him to make me, every moment, what He expects of me – what is well pleasing in His sight. If waiting on God is the essence of true faith, the maintenance of the spirit of entire dependence must be continuous. The call of God, ”wait on thy God continually,” must be accepted and obeyed. Although there may be times of special waiting, the disposition and habit of soul must be there unchangeably and uninterrupted.
This continual waiting is indeed a necessity. To those who are content with a feeble Christian life, it appears to be a luxury beyond what is essential to be a good Christian. But, all who are praying the prayer, ”Lord, make me as holy as a pardoned sinner can be made! Keep me as near to You as it is possible for me to be! Fill me as full of Your love as You are willing to do!” feel at once that it is something that must be had. They feel that there can be no unbroken fellowship with God, no full abiding in Christ, no maintaining of victory over sin and readiness for service, without waiting continually on the Lord.
The continual waiting is a possibility. Many think that with the duties of life it is out of the question. They cannot always be thinking of it. Even when they wish to, they forget. They do not understand that it is a matter of the heart and that what the heart is full of, occupies it, even when the thoughts are otherwise engaged. A father’s heart may be continuously filled with intense love and longing for a sick wife or child at a distance, even though pressing business requires all his thoughts. When the heart has learned how entirely powerless it is for one moment to keep itself or bring forth any good, when it has learned how surely and truly God will keep it, when it has, in despair of itself, accepted God’s promise to do for it the impossible, it learns to rest in God. In the midst of occupations and temptations, it can wait continually.
This waiting is a promise. God’s commands are enablings. Gospel precepts are all promises, a revelation of what our God will do for us. When you first begin waiting on God, it is with frequent intermission and failure. But, do believe God is watching over you in love and secretly strengthening you in it. There are times when waiting appears like just losing time, but it is not so. Waiting, even in darkness, is unconscious advance, because it is God you have to do with, and He is working in you. God, who calls you to wait on Him, sees your feeble efforts and works it in you. Your spiritual life is in no respect your own work; as little as you begin it, can you continue it. It is God’s Spirit who has begun the work in you of waiting upon God. He will enable you to wait continually.
Waiting continually will be met and rewarded by God Himself working continually. We are coming to the end of our lessons. I hope that you and I might learn one thing: God must, God will work continually. He ever does work continually, but the experience of it is hindered by unbelief. But, He, who by His Spirit teaches you to wait continually, will bring you also to experience how, as the Everlasting One, His work is never ceasing. In the love and the life and the work of God, there can be no break, no interruption.
Do not limit God in this by your thoughts of what may be expected. Do fix your eyes upon this one truth: in His very nature, God, as the only Giver of life, cannot do anything other than work in His child every moment. Do not look only at the one side: ”If I wait continually, God will work continually.” No, look at the other side. Place God first and say, ”God works continually; every moment I may wait on Him continually.” Take time until the vision of your God working continually, without one moment’s intermission, fills your being. Your waiting continually will then come of itself. Full of trust and joy, the holy habit of the soul will be: ”on thee do I wait all the day” (Ps. 25:5). The Holy Spirit will keep you ever waiting.
My soul, wait thou only upon God!
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About the author:
Andrew Murray (1828-1917), was born in Cape Town, South Africa and became a revered missionary leader in the late 1800s and early 1900s, promoting and establishing missions in South Africa. His Devotion writings are considered classics of the Christian faith. This Devotion is taken from Murray's series of writings titled, Waiting on God.
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