We’ve come to the last of the three practical ways we can express our obedience to the Word of God. The first one is align with God’s purpose. The second one is cultivate endurance and the third waiting. 1 Thessalonians 1:9–10, a very remarkable passage, which is speaking about the testimony of the unbelievers to the experience of the Thessalonian Christians, says this:
“For they themselves declare concerning us what manner of entry we had to you, and how you turn to God from idols to serve the living and true God, and to wait for His Son from heaven whom He raised from the dead, even Jesus who delivers us from the wrath to come.”
These people turn to God as a result of the ministry of Paul to do two things. And there’s no suggestion that one is more important than the other. To serve the living God and to wait for His Son from heaven.
As Christians we are all to serve but we are also called to wait. And I’ve spoken to Christian ministers and workers in many places, I sometimes ask this question, “Which takes more faith? To work or to wait?” And never have I ever had anybody answer it takes more faith to work than to wait. The real test of faith is waiting. And, it’s a test to which we will all be subjected because we are called to turn from idols to serve God, to wait for His Son.
Let’s take a look in Isaiah 64:4, from the NIV. This describes one unique aspect of the true God. It says:
“Since ancient times, no one has heard, no ear has perceived, no eye has seen any god besides you who acts on behalf of those who wait for Him.”
What’s the one unique, distinguishing characteristic of God? He acts on behalf of those who wait for Him. Turn to John 9:4. Jesus says:
“We must work the works of Him who sent me while it is day. The night is coming when no one can work.”
There is coming over the Earth a night of darkness when work will be over and we’ll only do one thing; which is, wait. We’ll wait content if we’ve done our job. But it will be intensely frustrating when the night descends and you say, “But I should have done this, I should have done that, I should be there.” Because, it’ll be too late. The night is coming when no one can work. The only thing we can do is to wait and we don’t know how long we’ll have to wait. You know what I’ve noticed about God’s trials? He hardly ever tells you, “This is a trial and if you hold out for six months you’ll be through.” And some of us get to five months and twenty-nine days and we give up. We didn’t know we only had one more day. Never give up! There’s no precedent in the Bible for giving up. God determines how long the test will last, not we.
Dear Father, I see around me that the world is becoming darker and darker. But I also see there’s still time to work for You, and the advancement of Your Kingdom, before it will be too late, and no work can be done anymore. Please give me grace to not be distracted by the things of this world, to seek Your face and do what You want me to do. In Jesus’ Name amen.