“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. They shall walk and not faint.” Many have often quoted and used this prophetic promise as a text for preaching. However, if we do not understand the condition upon which these glorious expectations for strength rest, it will become impossible for us to fully enjoy the benefits. It is with this thought in mind that we are writing this article in which we will briefly consider what it means to “Wait upon the Lord.” (Isa. 40:31).
To begin, let us consider what Isaiah meant when he said, “The Lord shall renew their strength.” In the English language the implication is to merely replenish or revitalize that which has become feeble or worn out. This thought seems to agree with the promise in Romans. It says, “If the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he will also quicken your mortal bodies.” “This enlivening takes place by God’s Spirit that dwells in you.” What more could anyone hope for than experiencing their mortal body being quickened, or revitalized by the Spirit of the Lord? Hoping for the renewal of our natural strength does seem correct. After all, no one wants to grow old and feeble and die! (Rom. 8:11).
However, the Book of Proverbs say, “There is a way that seems right to a man. However, the end thereof are the ways of death.” The path, or course of life spoken of in Proverbs is one that seems correct, pleasant, and even prosperous. Could it be that the renewing of our natural strength might be the wrong path to pursue? Jesus said, “If anyone will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.” “Whosoever will save his life will lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake will find it.” “What is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? Or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?” (Pro. 14:12; M’t. 16:24ff).
Thus, the prophet Isaiah declared, “The everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth, does not faint, neither is he weary? Moreover, there is no searching of his understanding.” He went on to say, “The Lord gives power to those who become fatigued and exhausted.” “For all those who have no strength, ability, power, or wealth God increases strength.” The apostle Paul declared this principle when he wrote concerning the thorn in his flesh. After seeking the Lord to remove it three times Paul heard God say, “My grace is sufficient for you: for my strength becomes perfected in weakness.” This revelation caused the apostle to say he would rather glory in the feebleness of his body and mind. The reason Paul wanted this was so that the power of Christ could rest upon him. Moreover, Paul declared, “I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ's sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.” Thus the prophet Isaiah tells us that God causes even the youths to become tired and weary. Moreover, it is the doing of the Lord that causes the young men to fall down utterly exhausted. Likewise, all creation became subjected to vanity. That is, the original creation became enslaved to the empty disappointment and passions of the sensual realm. This condition did not come because creation made a wrong choice. It came because God locked up the entire creation in anticipation of deliverance from corruption. That is God concluded all in sin that he might have mercy upon all and deliver all from the missing of the mark. This agrees with the original thought of the Hebrew language is much richer and fuller than what appears in the English translation. The thought of “renewed strength” in the original text specifies the complete and full change or exchange of that which has become depleted and inferior, for something different and far superior. It is much more that a revitalizing of something that has become worn out. (Strong's #2498; Theological Wordbook #666; Dictionary of Old Testament Words; Isa. 40:28ff, Rom. 5:12, 18f, 8:19ff, 11:32, 2Co. 12:9f, Gal. 3:22).
Remember! God completely ended the old and former source of life’s strength through the cross of Jesus Christ our Lord. The Creator formed first humanity, Adam, out of soil became “soulish.” That is, He derived and replenished his life's strength from the earth. This resulted in all creation becoming subjected, not willingly, but in expectation, to corruption and disappointing misery through the passions of the sensual realm.(Rom. 8:20, 1Co. 15:45ff). Adam “Became a living soul” and he procreated in the likeness of his corruptible earthen image (Gen. 5:3). This caused the earthy estate of the first humanity to be no different from that of the wild beasts of the earth. All those patterned after the first humanity find their strength in that which is out of the earth, earthly and in the breath of life that is in their nostrils (Ge.1:29f, 3:17ff, Ec. 3:18f, Ps. 73:22, 49:12, 20, 1Co. 15:47, 2Co. 4:16, 5:14ff, Eph. 4:23).
However, this is no longer our estate. The incorruptible seed of Christ has brought us to life from above, through the word of God, which lives and abides. (1Pe. 1:23f, Jam. 1:17f). Yes, God has begotten us anew, that is afresh, through the incorruptible seed of the last Adam, who is the Word of Life and reality. We have exchanged the old and former source of corruptible strength for the life giving Spirit of the new man. That is Christ is in us, the expectation of the unveiling of God's glory to all creation. Thus we begin to comprehend that it is not the old and corruptible strength of the first Adam that God is replenishing. As we learn to wait upon the Lord, he increases the incorruptible life of the last Adam and becomes our new source of strength. Hallelujah! What an expectation! (Isa. 6:3; 40:3ff, Hab. 2:14, John 1:1ff, Rom. 8:8ff, 18ff, 1Co. 15:45, Gal. 2:20f, 3:16, 29, Col. 1:27, 2:20ff, 3:1ff, Jam. 1:18, 1Jo. 1:1).
Many say this is true positionally, but is not yet experientially a reality! However, this theological jargon or double talk only serves to cause confusion that produces unbelief in the hearer of God's word. Understanding that our position must agree with our experience is necessary. Moreover, our experience must coincide with our position. Otherwise, a breach created between faith and truth. If this breach exists, then faith becomes worthless and void because it conflicts with reality.
Let us look at an example of how position and experience agree and yet remain unseen. I am positionally a resident of Omaha, Nebraska. This, by the way, is also the true experience of in my life. The fact that I am absent from my home and city does not alter my position or experience one iota.
Likewise, the Gospel of Christ announces we died. Moreover, our life is hidden with Christ in God. This is positionally true and therefore must also be experientially true. Even if we cannot fully prove the evidence by our actions, it is both the position and experience of our Christian life. This is the fact even if we have not yet developed the ability to fly, run or walk within the strength of our new life. (Col. 3:3, Gal. 5:25).
Consequently, it becomes necessary for us to accept that when God speaks, he settles it. What we think or see should not determine how we walk. On the contrary, we walk by the persuasion of faith, which God establishes in us through the hearing of the word. The Word Who has gone out of God's mouth cannot return to Him void or unfulfilled. However, it will accomplish what God sent it to do. He will prosper in the very thing God has purposed.
God intentionally generates us through the Word of truth, so that we might be the first fruit of a specific species of Himself creatures. The Bible declares God has begotten us of incorruptible seed that lives and abides through all ages. It also reveals that now we are a new creation, even the offspring of God. Through Christ we received the Spirit of Adoption that places us into the family of God as sons. Therefore, let God be true and every theological jargon and cunning craftiness of humanity a falsehood. AMEN! (Isa. 55:10f, John 1:13, Rom. 3:3f, 8:15f, 10:17, 2 Cor. 5:17, Gal. 4:4ff, Eph. 4:14f, 1Th. 5:5, Jam. 1:18, 1 Pet. 1:23, 1Jo. 3:2f, Rev. 21:5).
The real difficulty in being able to accept and believe the Word of God. For the Bible declares God dealt a final blow to the old nature through the cross of Jesus Christ. The problem seems to surface when we begin to examine ourselves and compare our behavior with the pattern Son, Jesus.
However, a son who is still a child cannot say he is any less of a son just because he cannot produce the exactness of his Father's character and maturity. As he develops into adulthood, he increasingly will take on the likeness of the one who loves and disciplines him. It is important he learns TO JUDGE NOTHING BEFORE THE TIME. This is so he will not develop an inner complex that continually causes him to condemn himself for his missing of the mark. Such negative thinking makes it impossible for him to believe any positive encouragement the Father may give. (Rom. 8:1, 2Co. 4:1ff; Heb. 2:5ff).
As the offspring of God we find that in the mind and heart of the new creation our true delight is in the law of God. Moreover, we want the quality and character of Christ's life to become a mature expression through us to a world that God locked up in futility. Yet, the very things we want to do we are not yet able to perform. Moreover, the evils that we do not want to perform we find ourselves doing. The very things that we abhor are the things we find ourselves involved in. We have the capability of willing to perform that which is good. However, we cannot always find the ability to practice the ideal. (Rom. 7:14ff).
It is at this point of realization in the Christian life and experience many subconsciously feel a need to vindicate and justify God and His word. This is simply a reaction due to immaturity and the lack of being able to produce the perfect manifestation of the life of Christ. It is a result of trying to make the word fit the manifest behavior of the believer. Instead of recognizing we are now living by a new principle of life found in the Spirit of Christ. That is, we are being matured and brought forth through metamorphosis as God is forming Christ within us and revealed through us.
We can no longer measure our growth or process by an outward set of rules and expectations to which we attempt to CONFORM. (Rom. 12:1f; 2 Cor. 3:17f). Let us realize that the word of God and the Spirit of Truth do not need our defense. They will always stand sure and unchanging, in spite of mankind's inabilities and habitual weaknesses. (M't 5:17f; Mal 3:6; Heb 6:18; Isa. 55:10f). God clearly states the reality in his word. The old man, the world, Satan, and even we are not the problem. God crucified and fully dealt with all these through the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ. (Rom. 6:6; Gal. 2:20f; 6:14; Heb 2:14).
If I am not careful at this point, I will find myself deviating so far from the subject we will never find our way back in this article. Therefore, let it suffice to say in this present writing, IF GOD SAID IT or inspired a writer to write it THAT SETTLES IT! We are a new creation and the old or the former source of life's strength has fully passed away to rise no more.
Now, all is becoming new, in character and quality. Yes, all is out of God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ. (2 Cor. 5:17ff). We must understand that the quality and character of Christ’s life are becoming reproduced in us. This is the result of the discipline and progressive experience God’s grace. This causes one to come to the place of trusting in this very thing, he who started a good work in us will also perfect it. (Ph’p. 1:6; Tit 2:11f; 2Pe 1:2). We have not yet arrived at the goal set before us. Therefore, let us press toward the mark into the prize of God's calling that is above in Christ Jesus. Now, this one thing we are to do, forgetting those things that are behind us, and reaching forth to those things that are before. (Ph’p. 3:13ff; Col. 2:20ff).
The Apostle John so aptly expressed the idea of progressive growth to maturity when he wrote to little children, young men and fathers. (1 Joh. 2:12ff). Now, we are God's sons because we have received the Spirit of Adoption that places us into His family. The Spirit of the Father witnesses that we are His offspring. (Rom. 8:15f). Sonship is a gift of God's grace and love. Our becoming a son of God has nothing to do with our merit. Nevertheless, we must develop this relationship by becoming involved with the excellent and divine nature of the Father. We must continue to develop our association with the Father until we come to full maturity. We continue through the processing until we come to a place of complete responsibility accomplishing our full potential. In each stage of our growth, we are sons both positionally and experientially. Our experiences as a son may vary however, depending on the stage of our development.
First, we see the sons who are still LITTLE CHILDREN in their relationship with the heavenly Father. Though they are not yet able to fend for themselves, they cause much rejoicing and delight to arise in the Father's heart because of what He foreknows concerning them. (Isa. 46:8ff, Pro. 20:24, 16:1, Rom. 8:29, 11:33ff).
To those who are in this stage of growth the apostle John writes, “YOUR SINS HAVE BEEN FORGIVEN OR DISMISSED FOR THE SAKE OF THE FATHER'S NAME.” These also become acquainted with their Father through experience. (1Jo. 2:12f).
This is a glorious unveiling of the Father's faithfulness and love. It causes us to understand that the forgiveness or dismissal of mankind's sins has not been based upon need or worthiness. God simply will not allow His name or nature to become defamed and questioned because of His offspring comes short of expressing His glory. God began His family with the loving purpose in mind. He purposed to have many sons created in His image and likeness. Moreover, this company of sons will have dominion over all the works of their heavenly Father. Now God is faithfully perfecting what He intended from the very foundation of the world. (Isa. 43:13, Eph. 1:3ff, 2Ti. 1:9).
We are not mistakes that resulted from a population explosion or the lusts of men's hearts. We are not mistakes who have caused God untold grief and agony. He has never been kept busy trying to find some way to solve the seeming dilemma of the human race and its infatuation with the momentary pleasures of sin.
The reality is, children are the heritage of the Lord and the fruit of the womb is His reward (Ps. 127:3). We are His handiwork created in Christ Jesus upon good works, so that we might walk in them (Eph. 2:10). Just as we have come out of God, he is now gathering us into Christ. Each in his own order or classification brought to full maturity and relationship with the Father. This process continues until ALL that came out of God becomes transformed through Christ. All creation brought to a mature and correct relationship with their Creator, causing God to become everything in everyone. Hallelujah! His love never fails! His purpose never changes! (Ge.1:26ff, Ps. 138:2, Mal. 3:6, Rom. 8:19ff, 11:33ff, 1Co. 13:8, 15:20ff; Eph. 1:9ff, 2Ti. 1:9, Heb. 2:3ff).
God gives children who learn to wait upon him WINGS, so they can MOUNT UP as the eagle. God gives them wings so they can take flight and soar into the heavenlies. This is the means by which they ascend to a place above the storms of the "nitty-gritty, nasty now and now" of life's circumstances. The ability to soar above the trials and pressures of the storms which rage. God gives them this ability because they cannot stand on their own in the midst of the testing and warfare (1 Cor. 10:13).
Have you ever noticed how the young Christian is almost oblivious of the pressures that result from trials and life's perplexing situations? This is not hard to understand when we consider they are children with almost no responsibility and are unable to defend themselves. They need a loving guardian to bear them up and bring them to a place of security. It is no wonder that it is the nature of a child to be picked up, held and carried to a place of safety when the storms rage. When Israel came forth as God's children out of Egypt into “the wilderness of Sin,” the Lord said, “I BEAR YOU ON EAGLES WINGS, AND BROUGHT YOU TO MYSELF!” He continues to bear all of His children up on wings as the eagle, bringing them INTO Himself. He brings them to the security and defense they need from the storms of life. (Ex. 19:4, Ps. 91:1ff, 4:8, 27:5, 31:19f, 143:7ff).
It is not my intent or goal to conflict with the idea of the overcomer being likened unto the eagle. I too, teach these typological truths. However, in this passage I can also see a picture of the progression that takes place in one's relationship with the Father. Viewing this passage in this manner reveals a continual increase of strength in a believer's life as he becomes a mature son.
It is time the offspring of God awaken out of the slumber that “BABYlon” has seduced them into. Moreover, they must recognize God's purpose in bringing them forth as a new creation, the second humanity in the earth. It is not so they will always be in need of an escape rapture to get above the trials and warfare of life's situations. The plan of God reveals sons growing to maturity. Who, after becoming fully equipped, walk out the full manifestation of Christ's victory before all creation. They will cause the entire creation to become delivered and set free from the bondage of ignorance and corruption. They will also bring all people into participation with the glorious freedom of God’s offspring. Let all creation praise him! Hallelujah! (Rom. 8:21; Ph’p. 2:5ff, Col. 1:27, 2Ti. 3:1ff, 1Jo. 2:18ff)
Next we find John addressing the young men as overcomers of the lawless one. They are also considered strong ones, and the Word of God abides within them (1 Joh. 2:13f). It is in this stage of development that those who have learned how to wait upon the Lord become enabled to run a victorious race without becoming weary. Have we not all noticed how it is the very nature of a young man to run and run, competing for the prize, yet he never seems to grow tired?
The Apostle Paul taught that we should run the course set before us so that we might reach the goal. It is by reaching the goal that we obtain the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.
It becomes necessary, during this time of development, to put off all the excessive weight of former behavioral patterns. They must also put off every missing of the mark that does so easily beset them. These sons must learn to run with calm endurance the course set before them. Those who run are maturing young men. However, we must keep the possibility of running and not obtaining the prize in mind. The runner suffers this loss when he does not run lawfully and is disobedient, stubborn, and does not participate in the reality (Rom. 2:7f; 1 Cor. 9:24f; Ph’p. 3:14; 2 Tim. 2:5, 3:8f; Heb 12:1).
However, the young men who properly learn to wait upon the Lord will become disciplined and strong through meditation and deep contemplation of the Scripture. They will discover the Word of life abiding within them. This living Word grounds and settles them bringing them into reality. They will learn to cast down imaginations, and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God. Moreover, they will come bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ. Finally, they become ready to revenge all disobedience, when they fulfill their obedience. If they simply learn to set their thinking on things above and not on things on the earth they will fully overcome the lawless one (2 Thes. 2:1ff).
Overcoming the Lawless One is not a reference to “the Devil,” as the old wives' tales of “Babylon” taught us to believe. The writings of the apostles tell us that Jesus rendered the Devil powerless making his works of none effect through His death on the cross. The apostle Peter wrote, “Be self-controlled and alert. The devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that your brothers throughout the world are undergoing the same sufferings. If you do this the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will only allow you to suffer a little while. Then, he will restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast. To him be the power for ever and ever! Amen!” Moreover, Paul warned the church in Ephesus to give no place to the devil (Eph. 4:27; 1 Tim. 1:4; Heb 2:14; 1 Pet. 5:8ff; 1 Joh. 3:8ff).
The apostle warned that the adversary goes about like a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour. However, he is void of the power to do anything until people through his own thoughts and imaginations give him the teeth that make him dangerous.
Everyone setting his mind on the flesh and the things pertaining to it, is an enemy and hater of God. The flesh is not subject to the law of God, neither can it be. Therefore, we overcome the Lawless one by putting off the former behavioral pattern of the old adamic life. Renewing the spirit of the mind accomplishes this. Moreover, to love the world and the adornment of established things will cause one to become disqualified from the race. “For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life is not of the Father” (Gen. 3:6; Lu. 4:1ff; Rom. 8:5ff; 1Jo. 2:15ff).
Therefore, let us cleanse ourselves from all the pollution of flesh and spirit. The cleansing of ourselves will perfect holiness in the fear of God. We accomplish this when we gird up the reproductive areas of the mind with truth. Running with a sound mind and perfect expectation toward the goal will cause the glory of God to become manifest. (2Co. 7:1, Eph. 6:14, Col. 1:27, Tit. 2:13, 1Pe. 1:13ff).
Yes, we must run to win the prize, becoming a manifest overcomer. However, it is the walking out of the fullness of Christ’s life that will enable all to know his triumph on calvary. Yes, the walk enables others to understand the glorious victory Jesus accomplished through His death, burial, and resurrection. (Rom. 8:37, Ph’p. 3:7ff, 1Jo. 5:3ff, Rev. 2:7, 11, 17, 26ff, 3:5f, 12f, 21f; 21:5).
Finally, we see the son who becomes a father. It is at this point of development toward maturity the son's oneness with his procreator begins to become evident. This one has grown up to the place of a steadfast confident walk. He stands firm in his convictions while he gently reproduces the character and quality of the life of Christ in other sons.
The Apostle John records that a father is one who knows his procreator through experience and intimacy. In other words he knows him who is from the originating. He came a full cycle in his growth and relationship with his own Father. Furthermore he gained the wisdom and understanding that is necessary to reproduce and manifest the quality and character of life belonging to the royal family to which he belongs. (1 Joh. 2:13f; Rom. 8:16ff; 1 Pet. 2:9; Rev. 1:6; 5:10).
The prophet Isaiah tells us the Lord's purpose in bringing us forth as sons equipped to reign with Him. It is so we may know, believe and understand that it is he who is! The child has come to know the Father as protector and provider of all his needs. Now with complete trust and love he does all that he can to please the Father. Yet he really does not have an understanding of why the Father is who and what He is. The young man has grown up and learned that by relying on, trusting in, and sticking to the principles of the Father he can do warfare. Moreover, he can continually defeat the enemy. Yet, often he finds himself questioning the purpose for such standards and strains to find his own identity. The father on the other hand is one who has lived and experienced fully the life that is his as the heir of the heavenly Father. Although he may still have quite a way to go before he is fully mature, the manifestation of the life of Christ becomes greater with each passing day. He has come to the place of understanding his origin, his purpose. He further comprehends the responsibility in reproducing the life and principles of the Father into his own sons. (Isa. 43:1, 10; Joh. 12:23f; 15:8; Rom. 8:29, 9:6ff; Gal. 6:15f; Ph’p. 3:3; Heb 2:10f).
Yes, he has grown to the place of maturity to understand him who is from the beginning realizing no other exists. This son has learned to walk consistently in union with the Spirit of Life. He has learned the true source of life's strength is within the Spirit of Christ, which dwells in him. The Fathers’ nature causes him to become sure footed in his walk. He seeks to establish an example that others can imitate, as he works through all the trials and battles of life without fainting or stumbling. The behavioral patterns of his life manifest that Jesus is “the same yesterday, today and into the age of ages.” He is always there to uphold the child and protect him from the storms. Moreover, God also fully equips him to bring forth the encouragement and discipline needed to bringing the young man to full maturity. (1Co. 4:16, 11:1, 1Th. 2:10ff, Heb. 13:7f, Rev. 1:4, 8).
The young man runs with strength and zeal to finish the race and come to the goal as a victorious conqueror. The Lord continually protects the child from the battles of life until he gains the ability to get into the race and run for the prize. Those who are fathers rest in the steadfast wisdom they have gained and enjoy what this new life in Christ has to offer. The Father will keep busy walking out what he has learned, producing an example for those who are younger. He will take time to observe, enjoy and reproduce the exactness of God's will and purpose in the lives of those whom the heavenly Father has entrusted into his care (John 17:9ff; Gal. 5:25; 4:19; 6:16, Col. 2:6ff).
So then we are children borne up with wings as eagles and given the protection of our heavenly Father. Then possibly we have become young men full of energy and zeal, running the race to win the prize. Some may have become fathers who know the benefit of walking out in calm endurance all they learned from their Father.
Along with all this it takes the knowledge of what it really means to wait upon the Lord, to fully exchange the strength of the earthen man. Moreover, one must understand what it means to come to the ever increasing strength of the heavenly man. That is, the ever increasing ability of the new creation that enables us to produce kingdom reality in the midst of all creation. Hallelujah!
The word wait in the English language just does not express or bring out clearly what the original Hebrew language is stating. For us to truly enjoy the benefits of this prophetic promise it is necessary for us understand the condition contained within it. Can it be to remain stationary? The first English definition for wait that comes to mind is, “to remain stationary in readiness and expectation” (Webster). Although this meaning contains part of the truth, it conveys an understanding that has led many to a place of spiritual lethargy. All too often those that wait upon the Lord in this sense are a laid back people that become at “ease in Zion.” They are just hoping to hold on to the end. Their expectation is much like one who occupies a railway bench waiting for the arrival of a train. They are sure it will arrive, but they do not know the exact day or hour of its coming.
It is this secret coming that is to solve all the Church's problems. However it will only benefit the one who is waiting and looking expectantly. Those, and only those, who are looking for this rapturous event can expect to become whisked up and away. They hope to become carried off into glory land away from all earth's problems. For many this is the final destination and hope. Among many in this hour, such an idea has promoted a false idea of security. The false notion causes them to believe their salvation, and perfection is in waiting for the event and not the finished work of the cross. However the Scripture says Jesus will present a glorious Church to himsel, not having blemish, or wrinkle, or any such thing, but that it may be holy and faultless. This is not what He is going to produce, but what he has produced and is going to receive (2Co. 7:1, Eph. 5:26, Col. 1:21ff, Jam. 1:27).
Now on the other hand, some look at a doctrine such as this escape rapture and call it absurd. While they look for some future day when they will become manifested sons of God. They believe they are to pursue perfection in this life by leaving all the foundational teachings and enter a complete state of rest. They expect to sit back and wait for a mystical change to take place whenever God decides its time. However, they are not very different from the first group because they are still looking for a day to come. They have not realized they are now the offspring of God and only they prove to have a responsible walk will we receive the full blessing of a son.
Incorrect teaching has led many brethren into a lethargic state through these futuristic notions. Such teaching produces no worthwhile changes in the earth. It has also caused many to embrace death as a friend, rather than an enemy. These also have a false hope that will prevent them from truly knowing the reality of the renewed strength promised in Isaiah 40:31.
The Lord is not producing sons with a mentality of escapism. He also has no interest in the mentality that lives in tomorrow, for tomorrow never comes. The reality is God has finished the work and established the Kingdom in the invisible realm of the heavens. Now he is bringing forth sons to establish his kingdom within the visible dimension of the earth. This is the way he purposed to set forth his sovereignty before the eyes of all people. Yes, He expects us to begin moving in the authority and glory of His finished work and present kingdom, manifestly setting the creation free. Hallelujah!
Since remaining expectantly stationary for God some magical event to produce a utopia is not the true definition of “wait.” What is the true definition? Could the word, “wait,” possibly mean “to attend as a servant” (Webster)? When one looks at the condition in the light of this definition, he probably considers that his works will attain the promise of renewed strength for him. Legalistic teachings mislead many to believe God has an interest in “do-be's,” never understanding that what He is producing are “be-do's!” Believers often become so busy serving and doing the religious works of Christianity. They believe this is what being a Christian is all about. They join the choir hoping to become a praise to God and pass out tracts in an attempt to become a witness. Moreover, they faithfully attend regular meetings so that they might become a member of Christ's body. However, all the doing of humanity can never cause one to become anything other than what he really is.
I read an article sometime around the seventh grade that seemed, at the time, to be a total waste of time and energy. However, a few months ago the Lord caused it to come to mind while I was ministering. As I began to share the story, an answer to a question the Lord had given me months before gloriously unfolded to my conscience understanding. The question was simply, “Are you a do-be or be-do?” The writing told about some men who had gotten together and went to a great expense to build a huge machine that covered an entire city block. After many years of hard work they finally accomplished what they set out to do. After completing it, they put bales of hay into one end of this humongous contraption. It then began, with much distraction and noise, to break the hay down processing it until on the other end of this mechanical beast milk poured forth. The milk was better in quality and greater in quantity per bale than the natural dairy cow had ever produced. However, the article went on to say this procedure would never become practical to use. The extreme expense involved would make the price of milk out of reason, even for the very wealthy.
Now, what was the revelation that I received from such a peculiar article? It was simply this. The machine could do the work of a dairy cow all day long. It could even produce a better quality, and greater quantity of milk, but no matter how hard and how long it labored, it would never be a cow. Yet, the old dairy cow out on the hillside, in her season, only had to be what God had created her to be. Moreover, as she practiced being herself, she would accomplish the work purposed for her by the Creator.
God created us to be his representatives in the visible realm of the earth. God has created us to be God like and to be in dominion over all the works of His hands. That is, “We are His handiwork, created in Christ Jesus upon good works, which God has before ordained that we should walk in them.” God has not called us to do so that we might be. The reality is God set our destiny before us. He predetermined that we should be a praise, a witness, an overcomer, and a son. We are his workmanship created upon the good works of Christ Jesus. Simply through being we will do what we are to do (Eph. 2:10; Heb. 2:5ff).
We have seemingly been left with a dilemma, as to just what it could mean to wait upon the lord. The thoughts of remaining steadfast, in readiness and expectation and attending as a servant could certainly both apply, if properly understood. However, we need an accurate understanding that will convey to us exactly what God was saying through the prophet Isaiah.
Enlightenment comes as we look to the inspired Hebrew language for the answer. The Hebrew word translated “wait” in this verse is “qavah.” It simply means to bind together by twisting and intertwining; to become fully absorbed, confide and reside within (Strong's #6960, Theological Wordbook; Dictionary of Old Testament Words). Therefore, the condition of this prophetic promise should read, they who bind together by intertwining with the Lord will exchange their strength. Hallelujah!
The prayer of David's heart well expresses the thought found here. He declared, “one thing have I desired of the Lord that will I seek after.” “I want to dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life and to behold the beauty, the pleasantness, and the delightfulness of the Lord.” “I want to contemplate him with admiration in his temple.” This one desire was a longing to become so fully absorbed and committed he could reside within God's temple or house never having to leave His anointing and presence again. In this place of relationship and fellowship, one would be able to truly see and contemplate the Lord in all of His fullness and beauty (Ps. 27:4).
In the New Covenant, the temple of stone and mortar become a type or shadow of the past. God has never chosen to live in temples made with human hands. Instead, he chooses out living stones whom he is building together a spiritual house a holy habitation in the Lord. Do you not know and understand? You are the Temple of the living God! God has said, “I will dwell in them, and walk in them . . .” This is a precious promise and is even more wonderful when we come to the understanding it is NOW a positional AND experiential reality within one who believes. Hallelujah! Jesus promised the Holy Spirit to the believer as an earnest of the inheritance. He was promising that the full compliment of Deity would inhabit these earthen vessels by dwelling bodily in the transcendence of His power and glory (John 14:16ff, 23, Acts 7:48, 2Co. 4:7, 6:16, Eph. 1:13f, 2:19ff, Col. 2:9f, 1Pe. 2:5).
The Apostle John taught the Father and Son took up residence within us when we received the Holy Spirit, the seal or guarantee of our redemption. Based on this glorious reality, we are now dwelling in the spirit, that is, where Christ Jesus is there we are also. Concerning our state of being the apostle John said, as he is, so are we in this world! This agrees with the writings of the Apostle Paul. He taught that we are not in the flesh, but in the spirit since the Spirit of God is dwelling, remaining and continuing in us. That is, we have died and our life has been hidden with Christ in God. (John 14:1ff, 16, 17:17ff, Rom. 8:10ff, Col. 1:27, 3:4, 1Jo. 4:2, 13, 17).
However, since we live in the spirit, we need also to learn to walk observing the elementary principles through the Spirit. You see too many believers are still walking in an outward show of wisdom, will worship and humility. The dictionary calls this, asceticism and is no value toward correcting the inconsistencies of the flesh. It is time to fix or set our thinking on the Spirit of Christ. This will place our thinking above all earthly contradictions, thus becoming fully absorbed into and joined to the one who lives in us. Even becoming joined to the one in whom we live, move and have our existence, so that we might begin not only living in the Spirit, but also walking in the Spirit. Remember! The person joined to, cemented to, and glued to the Lord is one spirit. We can only accomplish this joining, intertwining or binding together to become one with the Lord as we practice the awareness of his presence within and all about us. Our dwelling in the Christ, who lives in us, is of a truth our present existence. However, we need also to attempt to fill our thinking with the awareness of His indwelling presence. (Acts 17:28, Rom. 7:14ff, 1Co. 6:17, 8:6f, Gal. 5:25, Eph. 4:4ff, Col. 2:20ff).
Our eye must become single with the one desire - to behold the Lord of glory in deep contemplation so we might fully recognize Him in the midst of His Temple. We should no longer set our affections on the body of flesh, and the opposing principles that works therein. By doing this, we will see Him as He really is. Moreover, we will awaken to the reality of whom we are in Him. Hallelujah! (Isa. 26:3, Rom. 7:14ff, 2Co. 3:17f, Ph’p. 3:8ff, 1Jo. 3:1ff).
The conscious effort of setting our affections above the earthy and upon the indwelling Christ will cause His life in us to become a manifested reality in this present world. Furthermore, our thinking and actions will become so intertwined with him that is in us. When he shines forth in glory, the awareness of our oneness with Him will cause our lives to shine forth in glory with him. Therefore, let us learn to abide in the reality of our exchanged strength. Moreover, looking upon the Christ and the finished work of the cross because they are really complete in us. Let all creation praise Him for being the loving and faithful Creator that He is. Hallelujah! (Pr. 23:7, Col. 3:1, 1Jo. 3:1ff, 4:17).
More to come . . .
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