Volume. XXVIII, No. 49
Sunday, 08 June 2014


From the Pastors heart: Waiting on God 5


Merriam-Webster’s English Dictionary defines philosophy of life as “an overall vision of or attitude toward life and the purpose of life.”  If life is more than biological existence, every human being must have his/her own philosophy of life.  What kind of vision or attitude do we have?  What are the purposes of our life?  Such questions allude that life is not monotonous in terms of events, happenings, situations, or conditions of life.  Such questions also includ people's thoughts and ideas that are varying in terms of their mood, temperaments, personalities, characters, or perspectives in life.  People may experience the same events but respond differently according to their circumstances, backgrounds, experiences, ages, gender, and even cultures they are living in.  It means just one thing: Life can be very complicated, and complications may vary from person to person!  On top of this complexity of life, life is full of contingencies that will bring forth totally unexpected surprises and upsets.  Moreover, men and women in their nature have many deficiencies.  They are not sufficient beings.  They have many limits and wants in terms of knowledge, power and even duration of their existences.  When all of them are compounded together, life, in a word, becomes very unpredictable.  It is no wonder that the wisest man on earth confessed that life was vanity of vanities.  How true it is when Ecclesiastes 6:11 says, Seeing there be many things that increase vanity, what is man the better? 12 For who knoweth what is good for man in this life, all the days of his vain life which he spendeth as a shadow? for who can tell a man what shall be after him under the sun?”  Besides, the unpredictability and innumerable contingencies of life destroy any degree of our confidence in life.  Though we make plans in life,  at the same time, we plan for many scenarios  when such plans do not go well.  However, we cannot live without directions.  We need to have certain perspectives of life, by which we set goals and purposes in life and make plans accordingly.  We need to make decisions and choices every day.  Then how should we make such decisions?  Especially as we desire to honour and glorify God through decision-making processes and their subsequent results.  How can we find our life directions accurately and purpose of life correctly? 

 

One of the most frequent questions we raise is “how can we know God’s will?”  How can we find His instructions for us?  If you have been thinking of this question, you are not alone.  There are many books in relation to this topic.  Probably, many of you have read Peter Master’s book, Steps for Guidance.  He offers six steps for guidance (pp. 33-54): (1) Prayer and submission – submit yourself entirely to God and pray fervently for guidance and protection; (2) Clearing the decks – identify and dispose of all wrong desires, attitudes, and motives; (3) Using the Scriptures – Corinthians 6:12 and 10:23 are essential tests (“All things are lawful unto me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but I will not be brought under the power of any.”  “All things are lawful for me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but all things edify not”); (4) Weighing pros and cons - it is the stage of personal discernment.  The faculty of mind is not to be bypassed; (5) Overruling of God – God will point out the right course by a direct intervention – circumstantial overruling; and (6) Assurance or unease – either warning of a wrong decision or assuring us that we are in the path of His bidding. 

 

Desiring to know God’s will and His ways is not unusual to the believers.  Psalm 25:4-5 says, “Shew me thy ways, O LORD; teach me thy paths. 5 Lead me in thy truth, and teach me: for thou art the God of my salvation; on thee do I wait all the day.”  It is a Davidic psalm.  He is asking the Lord to show him His ways and teach him His paths.  He wants to be led by the Lord into His truth.  Thus, he says, “On thee do I wait all the day.”  David, who was after God’s own heart, wanted to know the will of God.  He wanted to be led by God.  It is interesting to apply David’s words to our daily walks of life.  “Show me thy ways” is like “give me your orders” or “give me your instructions.”  Then, what David says in the latter part of verse 5, “on thee do I wait all the day,” is “I’ll wait for your instructions.”  Listen to what Andrew Murray has to say: “See how beautifully this comes out in Psalm 25.  The writer knew and loved God’s laws exceedingly, and he meditated in that law day and night.  But he knew that this was not enough.  He knew that for the right spiritual understanding of the truth, and for the right personal application of it to his own particular circumstances, he needed a direct, divine teaching” (Waiting on God, 20-21).

 

Then, let us return to what David said in “on thee do I wait all the day.”  There are two outstanding lessons: (1) David will wait on God, and (2) He will wait all the day.  Firstly, we must not neglect to meditate on the first point, simply because it is a very familiar and frequent expression in our spiritual life and fellowship.  How often do we say that we are waiting on God?  However, do we really appreciate what it means?  There are a few spiritual attributes involved in it: David’s faith in God, his submission to Him, and his absolute dependency on Him.  As for David, God was a person who could guide and assist him.  He was not just an accidental being, but a person who knew and was able to understand all things concerning him.  He was also a person who was sympathetic with him and understood him well.  He believed in a personal God.  He also submitted himself to the Lord’s guidance by denying his self-determinism.  He refused to make his own decisions based on his experiences or even preferences.  By waiting on God, David declared his dependence upon Him.  He set his own opinions and feelings aside.  It also tells us that there is a far more important element while seeking for guidance than making plans and using good resources to help ourselves.  Though all of them are important, we must not forget that there has be time to wait upon Him completely.  In the midst of busy work and plans, we need to pause and pray, and await instructions from the Lord.  Secondly, David says he will wait on God all the day.  Along this line of thought, we also need to look at Psalm 25:9, “The meek will he guide in judgment: and the meek will he teach his way.”  “The meek” in the KJV are translated as “the humble” in other translations.  When we combine all these thoughts, we may learn a few important lessons.  Waiting on God is not only waiting for the sake of waiting.  It is waiting with a right attitude and humility.  Sometimes people come to me to ask my thoughts on certain matters.  However, many of them come with a pre-determined mindset.  What they want me to do is just to agree with them.  Though I may find some faults in their decisions or thoughts, they will not listen to me anyway.  Likewise, when we ask the Lord for guidance, we must not make demands of Him with pre-determined decisions or choices, indicating we are not ready to hear Him.  The Lord will guide and teach the humble ones. Also, waiting on God continues all day long.  It means “constant waiting.”  It is like a habit to wait on Him.  It is not a once in a while practice but habitual.  We need the Lord every moment and every hour.  Waiting on Him all the day also implies unceasing and entire dependence on Him.  It is a confession that we are nothing but He is everything to us.  It is a confession that we cannot do anything without Him.  “May we wait on Him all the day!”

 

Lovingly,

Your Pastor


More Lively Hope

 

Announcements

*Kitchen Roster Leader: Today: Dn Colin Gan.  Next Lord’s Day: Bro Phil Surman.

*All worshippers are encouraged to attend Bible Study classes & fellowship activities.

*Adult & Junior RPGs for Apr - Jun QTR available now. Please help yourself to a copy. Donation: $1.

*The Korean Presbyterian Church of Adelaide has a “Mission Fete” on Monday, 10 am - 4 pm. Address: 309 The Parade, Beulah Park. All are welcome.

*There is a “Building Q&A” on Saturday, 28 June, at 12:45 pm. All members are encouraged to attend.

*Pledges for Mrs WolHee Kim & family: please hand it to Bro Tony Law by 22 June. The pledge is for July 2014 to June 2015.

 

Praise & Thanksgiving

1. Journey mercies: Ps Ki (S’pore); Bro Phil & Sis Iris Surman (Mildura/KL); Bro Houston Li & Sis Jan Sing (KL/S’pore); Bro Raphael Ng (Waikerie/Adl); Sis Mary Ting (Syd/Adl); & others who have arrived safely at their destinations. 

2. Church activities in the past week.

3. God’s daily mercy, guidance & blessings.

4. Healing: Sis Ruth Ngoma

5. Successful cardiac surgery: Bro Raymond Ang’s father (S’pore).

 

Prayer Items

1. Health & God’s healing - Dr Gary Cohen (USA), Dr SH Tow (S’pore); Rev Edward & Sis Lehia Paauwe; Rev George van Buuren; Grandpa Ki (S’pore); Bro Colin & Sis Kathleen Creaser; Bro Len & Sis Margaret Pearson; Preacher Zhang (Sihanoukville); Bros Surish Dharmalingam (Laos), Elton Law & Kang Fun Tan (Sis Felicia’s father - S’pore); Sisters Lai Kheng Chiong (KL), Margaret Hooper, Grace Gan’s father (healing), Choon Fong Lee (KL), Iris Surman’s brother, Corinne Teng, Susan Varadi, Susan Weng & Mavis Wong’s mother (salvation & healing); Mr Swee Liang Ng; Mr Mang Soo Ong; Bro Peng Cheong Wong; Mr Lucas Lee; Mr Tony Zhang; Mrs Maggie D’Mello (Mumbai); & others in affliction.

2. Special Prayer: Sis Queenie Lau (post-op recovery at home); Bro Herbert (Dilly) Anderson, missionary to Kenya (recovery from pneumonia & renal failure).

3. God’s comfort: Sis Lynette Booth & family.

4. God’s strength, guidance & provision: Sis WolHee Lee (Kim) & family (S Korea).

5. iSketch & Tell Studio, YouTube Ministry: Pr Hai Seng Lim (missions work in South East Asia).

6. Cambodia Missions - Bro Chan Sopheak & Ministry (Kampot).

7. Batam Missions - Sis Ang Liang Phoa & Ministry; Filadelfia B-P Church, orphanage & kindergarten.

8. New Life BPC (London) - strength & encouragement for congregation; Resident Preacher Mok.

9. Future ministry - God’s provision & guidance for Bro David & Sis Susan Weng. 

10. Ministry in Ebenezer BPC (June): Rev Edward & Sis Lehia Paauwe.

11. Ministry in Singapore: Pastor Ki (Calvary Jurong).

12. Journey mercies: Bro Houston Li & Sis Jan Sing (Overseas); Bro Phil & Sis Iris Surman (Adl); Bros Raymond Ang (Pinnaroo/Adl) & Raphael Ng (Waikerie/Adl); & others travelling.

13. Interpreters of sermon into Mandarin.

14. Health in pregnancy: Sisters May Lau & Tabitha Tan.

15. God’s guidance & wisdom for those in authority in Australia.

16. PR application: Bro William Song; Sisters Xiao Hui Chye & Yashu Qin.

17. Post-natal recovery: Sis Kerrie Lam; health & normal development - Isabella.

18. High school & university students - strength & endurance in study & exams.

 

 

© Hope Bible-Presbyterian Church
PO Box 398, Fullarton, Adelaide, South Australia 5063