Volume. XXIX, No. 12
Sunday, 21 September 2014


From the Pastor's Heart: Waiting on God (Part 10)


Psalm 37:34, “Wait 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.” 

 
While we are waiting for the Lord to meet us, we need to know how to prepare ourselves, or where should we go to meet Him. The psalmist tells us that we ought to keep the way of the Lord. Isaiah says the same thing in Isaiah 64:5, “Thou meetest him that rejoiceth and worketh righteousness, those that remember thee in thy ways: behold, thou art wroth; for we have sinned: in those is continuance, and we shall be saved.” We need to know and understand that the Lord must be found only in His ways. Thus, He will meet those who keep His ways. There must be a few considerations for us to keep His way.
 
First, keeping the Lord’s way is a matter of our heart. (1) External conformity to His way is important, but we must be aware of the danger that such conformity is possible even without internal agreement, conformity, and affection, which displeases the Lord. The Lord has never commanded His people to do what He has commanded only for the sake of external display. It is a common understanding even amongst us that as a man’s heart is, so is he before God. Unless our heart is moved, touched and is ready to obey His commandments, we cannot go any further into deeper fellowship with God and the holy place of His presence. We cannot truly wait for Him in such state of heart. (2) Our heart is the centre of all our obedience to and trust in the Lord. Proverbs 3:5 says, “Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.” We find an interesting contrast here between heart and understanding. Our mind needs to be enlightened and we ought to improve our mind so that we must have understanding. Our knowledge must grow, and we should not be ignorant people. Charles Bridges says in his commentary on Proverbs that “ignorance is the fruit of sloth, dissipation, or misguided delusion.” However, we do not depend on our own understanding in times of needs and trials. Charles Bridges quotes from John Owen, saying, “Whenever in our trials we consult our own understandings, hearken to our preservation; yet the principle of living by faith is stifled, and we shall in the issue be cast dawn by our own counsels.” Our heart must lean on God and desire to keep His way not our ways. (3) Our sanctified heart may go against our own understanding. We are inclined to think that we must be in the Lord’s way, as long as we are occupied with the truth. Thus, we think that our spiritual life is good, and our apprehension of God must be the solution of all problems. However, we cannot but admit that there are times when these thoughts are in collision courses against the real life experiences. For example, Job could not understand when tragedies came upon his own family in such a way that even the evil ones did not have to suffer with. Prophet Habakkuk could not understand why God who had pure eyes did not see the evil ones but punished His own people, though not perfect but still better people than their enemies.   Understanding and knowledge did not produce right opinions of God in such times. It is more than possible that our sanctified heart may have to be against our own understanding. (4) Our heart can be also a source of our unseen problems. The reason that keeping the Lord’s way is a matter of heart is because the heart has to play a very significant role in our perspectives and active obedience to God’s commandments. However, it may fail to encourage us to do His way but discourage us from doing His way. Our heart may refuse to give its consent to the Lord’s way, which causes internal frictions and conflicts, which will result in not following the way of the Lord. Our heart needs our constant management by cultivating it for good and things of the Lord.   Psalm 31:24, “Be of good courage, and he shall strengthen your heart, all ye that hope in the LORD.” 
 
Second, keeping the Lord’s way implies that He cares about His way and requires His people to keep it. (1) His eyes are upon such people who keep His way. Psalm 33:18-22, “Behold, the eye of the LORD is upon them that fear him, upon them that hope in his mercy; 19 To deliver their soul from death, and to keep them alive in famine. 20 Our soul waiteth for the LORD: he is our help and our shield. 21 For our heart shall rejoice in him, because we have trusted in his holy name. 22 Let thy mercy, O LORD, be upon us, according as we hope in thee.” Because we fear Him and find hope only in Him, we look upon Him. (2) Keeping His way comes from such a heart that fears the Lord. His ways are higher than ours, and His thoughts are different from ours. The people who fear the Lord have the highest view of God in deep reverence and humble self-abasement. Until we enter into the deeper fellowship and relationship with the Lord, we will not understand His greatness. When we stand before the holiness and glory of His presence, we shall tremble. The ones who do not understand the glory, majesty, and holiness of God will not fear the Lord and cannot even desire to keep His way. 
 
Third, keeping the Lord’s way while we are waiting for Him is a clear sign that our outer life is not different from our inner life. (1) It shows that there are both inner and external submissions to the will of God. While we are waiting for the Lord, we ought to surrender ourselves to His way and His will. (2) It shows the maturity in such a person waiting for the Lord while keeping His way. Psalm 37 challenges us by allowing us to consider the most conflicting situations in our spiritual life. The wicked are prosperous, while the righteous suffer. The evil doers thrive, but there is no punishment against them in sight. There is no God’s retributive justice seen. The psalmist does not deny a possibility that the righteous person may fall. However, he refuses to follow the steps of the wicked. Instead, he exhorts fellow-believers in verse 27, “Depart from evil, and do good; and dwell for evermore.” He proclaims in verse 31, “The law of his God is in his heart; none of his steps shall slide.” Disappointments in life and lack of understanding of his surroundings did not bring him down to doubts and cause spiritual bankruptcy. He refused to bow down to any pressure. Instead he constantly looked up and committed all matters to the Lord only by faith. Those who are waiting for the Lord are also keeping His way which requires them to be spiritually mature. 
 
Fourth, keeping the Lord’s way while waiting for the Lord cautions us that keeping His way and waiting for the Lord and subsequent events which are the works of God in our lives are all inter-related. (1) If we do not keep His way but claim to wait for Him, we are irreligious and ungodly. The spiritual condition to wait for the Lord must be demonstrated in our conduct by keeping His way. If waiting for the Lord is an inner characteristic of our spiritual life, keeping His way is its external manifestation. (2) We must see that both acts (waiting for the Lord and keeping His way) are consciously done. There is no sense of involuntariness in waiting for the Lord and keeping His way. 
 
Fifth, keeping the Lord’s way and waiting for the Lord teach us that we must depend on God faithfully and constantly. It is because we cannot wait for the Lord with our strength alone in times of spiritual torments and trials. There is nothing to believe within us for ourselves. Every strength even to believe must be supplied by the Spirit of God. How can we be content in times of trials? How can we keep the way of the Lord still faithfully when circumstances are all doubtful and challenge our faith? We must come to God, bow down before Him and receive His power. Wait upon the Lord!
 
Lovingly,
Your Pastor
 

More Lively Hope

 

Announcements

*Kitchen Roster - Leader: Today: Bro Raphael Ng. Next Lord’s Day: Volunteer.
*Deepest Sympathy to Sis Margaret Pearson; Bro Richard & Sis Margaret Pearson & family on the home-going of the late Bro Len Pearson.
*Funeral service for the late Bro Len Pearson will be held in Lobethal. Address for service TBA.
*Please note: No Ladies’ Fellowship Share & Prayer on Friday.
*Please note: No AFG till 25 Oct.
*All worshippers are encouraged to attend Bible study groups & fellowship activities.
*Service rosters for Oct-Dec: please let Bro Lucas Yiew know of your availability.
 
Praise & Thanksgiving
1. Journey mercies: Bro Aaron & Sis Monica Tan & family; Bro Vincent Sim; Sisters Shu Ai Cho, Christabelle Selvanayagam (Adl) & Yu Yuet Teng (KL); & others travelling.
2. Church activities in the past week.
3. Visitors & new worshippers.
4. God’s daily mercy, guidance & blessings.
5. Calvary Jaya B-P Fellowship (KL): 30th Anniversary.
6. Sharon B-P Church (S’pore): 43rd Anniversary.
 
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; Preacher Zhang (Sihanoukville); Bros Herbert (Dilly) Anderson (Kenya), Raymond Ang’s father (S’pore), Surish Dharmalingam (Laos), Elton Law & Kang Fun Tan (Sis Felicia’s father - S’pore); Sisters Margaret Hooper, Grace Gan’s father (healing), Choon Fong Lee (KL), Margaret Pearson, Iris Surman’s brother, Corinne Teng, 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. God’s comfort in their grief: Sis Margaret Pearson; Bro Richard & Sis Margaret Pearson & family.
3. Post-op recovery: Bro Jason Teng & Sis Myung Ki
4. God’s strength, guidance & provision: Sis WolHee Kim & her two daughters (S Korea).
5. Chemotherapy: Sis Queenie Lau (Canberra).
6. iSketch & Tell Studio, YouTube Ministry: Pr Hai Seng Lim.
7. Independent Board for Presbyterian Foreign Missions & Presbyterian Missionary Union: board members & missionaries.
8. Cambodia Missions - Rev Moses Hahn & Ministry; Pr Zhang & Ministry (Sihanoukville).
9. New Life BPC (London) - strength & encouragement for congregation; Resident Preacher Mok.
10. Batam Missions: Sis Ang Liang Phoa & Ministry; Filadelfia BPC, orphanage, kindergarten & school.
11. Providence B-P Church, Valley View - Bro David & Sis Susan Weng, & congregation.
12. Youth Pastor for Hope B-P Church.
13. Journey mercies: Rev Hyun Choi; Sis Carol Sim; invited wedding guests (Adl); & others travelling.
14. Interpreters of sermon into Mandarin.
15. AFG - YAF Retreat - Speaker: Rev Mark Chen; organizers & participants.
16.  Preparation for marriage: Bro Daniel Ki & Sis Clara Sim.

 

 

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PO Box 398, Fullarton, Adelaide, South Australia 5063