November 30, 2008 Matthew

Waiting and Keeping Watch Together

Wait and keep watch together.

 

Our soul waits for the Lord; he is our help and our shield.

Psalm 33:20

Bind up the testimony; seal the teaching among my disciples. I will wait for the Lord, who is hiding his face from the house of Jacob, and I will hope in him.

Isaiah 8:16-17

So, could you not watch with me one hour? Watch and pray that you may not enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.

Matthew 26:40-41

Somewhere along the line, the modern church dumped the prayer meeting and soon what was meant to be a sacred gathering quickly became a “service” in which we have found ourselves waiting upon people instead of upon the Lord. To still one’s soul and wait on the Lord is to imply a deep relationship and fear of the Lord or going precisely toward that end. “Godliness is of value in every way, as it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come…to this end we toil and strive…” (1 Timothy 4)

For many, it would be ill-fitting, or their soul would be troubled, just to wait upon the Lord for it is precisely because he is holy and to be feared. He makes our flesh tremble in dread. God is near to the brokenhearted, and saves those of a contrite spirit. He is not known to rip open the heavens and come down on behalf of a coffee confab or a fifteen minute “worship service”. That is yet to be seen.

But the modern Christian trends are pulling the masses towards godless social club palavers. A place where anyone will feel comfortable, especially wolves in sheep’s clothing. Pure devotion to Christ seems to have been twisted and geared toward our great American “pursuit of happiness”. What I am not talking about is Christians doing fun things together, but about gathering as church. The crucial difference between that and any other kind of gathering is that you are searching out the face of God and not your own happiness.

But what happens when we scorn the practice of waiting on the Lord, or rousing ourselves to take a hold of God? Our faith fades like a leaf….and when we fade like a leaf, our sins, like wind take us away. (Isaiah 64:6-7)

Faith comes to those who listen—to those listening for the word of the Lord—and that means waiting on him.