Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Wait and Worship

I wait for the Lord, my soul doth wait, and in his word do I hope. (Psalm 130:5)
Most Christians have had someone tell them to "wait on the Lord" without their really knowing what that means or what it requires them to do. Part of the problem is our human thinking on what "waiting" is. Waiting seems to be a long, dull period of inactivity with no definite end point. In other words, we don't know how long we will be waiting or when, or if, God's answer will come.

But the word "wait" in the Hebrew has a marvelous definition. Strong's Exhaustive Concordance uses words like "collect", "gather together", and "expect". I'd like to focus on its initial meaning, however - "to bind together". *

I admit when I first read that I thought it was a curious rendering. "What," I asked myself, "does binding (or twisting, which is also included in the definition) have to do with waiting for something?" And then the Lord gave me a marvelous answer!

Wait on the Lord: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the Lord. (Psalm 27:14)
When two objects are bound together, they become inseparable. A twisted rope, for instance, contains thousands of strands. These strands standing on their own are weak. They can't suspend anything, retain anything, or support anything. But when you take many strands and wind them around each other, their strength is ten-thousand-fold what each was alone.

God's Word very plainly says waiting on the Lord brings strength. We see this again in an oft quoted verse in Isaiah.
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. (Isaiah 40:31)
Using our definition, we could therefore paraphrase this verse as saying, "'Bind yourself' to God and He will renew your strength." But what it mean to "bind" oneself to God?

Well, realize that waiting is an action. It is a verb. An action, or a verb, calls for us to do something. This goes against what we have thought waiting was - "a long, dull period of inactivity". Instead, when we wait on God, we are to be actively doing.

Okay, I see that, but what are we to be doing? First, we are standing in faith, expecting God to answer. "Expect", you will recall, is part of the definition of the word "wait". Someone who expects an answer knows there will be a definite end point to their wait. Look back at Psalm 27:14 - "Wait...and he shall..." The word "shall" is definite; it is fixed.

Second, we are "binding ourselves" to God. We do this through the act of worship. Worship brings us into the presence of God. (James 4:8) Worship brings refreshment to our spirit and our soul, and it brings strength. There is a scripture in 1 Corinthians which really speaks to my heart.

Do ye not know that they which minister about holy things live of the things of the temple? and they which wait at the altar are partakers with the altar? (1 Corinthians 9:13)
Now, the apostle Paul was specifically talking about those in his day who worked in the church. However, God has told us all to come boldly to the altar. (Hebrews 10:19) He said we should "draw near with full assurance." (verse 22) When we partake of the altar, through worship God's presence comes and we bind ourselves to Him. (Psalm 91:1) As the hymn says, "Where He leads me I will follow / I'll go with Him, with Him, all the way." **

Bound together with the Lord in worship, expecting the answer, waiting becomes the most precious time in my life. No longer is it dull or am I impatient for it to end. Instead, it is refreshing and strengthening. Waiting is a marvelous, marvelous thing! And notice what God has said comes from it.
For evildoers shall be cut off: but those that wait upon the Lord, they shall inherit the earth. (Psalm 37:9)

on the Lord, and keep his way, and he shall exalt thee to inherit the land: when the wicked are cut off, thou shalt see it. (Psalm 37:34)
"To inherit" in the Hebrew means we "occupy by driving out previous tenants, and possessing in their place." *** Wow! That makes waiting even more powerful.

Waiting is time spent with God in worship strengthening our heart until bound together with Christ the wicked in our life is driven out. I don't know about you, but I can't wait to wait!

* H6960; Dictionaries of Hebrew and Greek Words taken from Strong's Exhaustive Concordance by James Strong, S.T.D., LL.D., 1890. ** "Where He Leads Me I Will Follow"; Words: Er­nest W. Blan­dy, 1890. Music: John S. Nor­ris, 1890 *** H3423; Dictionaries of Hebrew and Greek Words taken from Strong's Exhaustive Concordance by James Strong, S.T.D., LL.D., 1890.

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Suzanne Williams Photography
Florida, USA

Suzanne Williams is a native Floridian, wife, and mother, with a penchant for spelling anything, who happens to love photography.

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