Please Wait

Audio: mp3

Of all the generations that have ever lived on the planet, waiting is something that our generation has not learned. We don’t like waiting. If something takes too long, we have to invent a quicker way of doing it. If the Internet connection is too slow, we have to get a faster one. We need to make everything go fast. There is a problem with that mentality. One of the attributes of God’s spirit is patience. When everything is done at the snap of a finger or quickly and on demand, when there are so many conveniences, it becomes very inconvenient to learn patience therefore, ‘Please Wait’ is the title of this study.

In the book of Revelation it talks says, “Here is the patience of the saints”. The word here indicates it is in a time of the mark of the beast and the destruction of the wicked and torment of individuals and in the midst of that time it says, “Here is the patience of the saints.” It is something to observe. God wants to draw the attention of the universe to this scene. It’s as if he is saying, “Look at this, here is some patience.” Do we want to be part of that number? In our generation when things are done so fast we have things to learn and that is – please wait.

I would like to bring our attention to the reason why the world is so bad.

2 Peter 1:4 Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.

This world is full of corruption. It comes from lust. The word lust means desire. When we desire something, we just want to go and do it. The method of following the urge is the whole reason we are in a mess today. If we feel angry at someone and we hit them or if we feel annoyed at someone and speak a bad word about them, these are the things that destroy our planet. If we think we are in love with someone and get married to him or her, then what happens? There is a disaster of a marriage. Because of bad marriages, there is bad child training and this wreaks havoc in society. If you can break the family, you can break the nation or the world. It is hinged upon the desire to have something or to do it. Corruption through lust is in the world.

Galatians 6:7 Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.

6:8 For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting.

Lust and flesh are the same thing. The lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes and the pride of life are of the world. When we see something nice we want it. These principles have wrecked our world. It is all because we make actions according to how we feel.

Where does the whole disaster of the planet come?

James 4:1 From whence [come] wars and fightings among you? [come they] not hence, [even] of your lusts that war in your members?

We would never have global war if people could control themselves; to be able to deny their desires.

James 4:2 Ye lust, and have not: ye kill, and desire to have, and cannot obtain: ye fight and war, yet ye have not, because ye ask not.

4:3 Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume [it] upon your lusts.

4:4 Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.

Think of a situation where you may be really challenged and you desire to snap out and express anger at someone. The action upon the feeling is the root of the problem. I can look around the world and say why do all these people do all these things, yet I act upon how I feel and then I look at others and say why are they doing that? Why do I do what I do? It is no different. This is the whole problem. It is based upon the fact that we cannot control ourselves therefore we don’t have patience. This applies directly to Christians.

Think of Samson a strapping young man. Delilah comes along. She is very pretty. Samson would like her because she is pretty. Was that a good move or a bad move? It was a bad move. But if someone came to him and told him it was a bad move do you think he would have listened? No, he was so engrossed in the desires of his flesh. As Samson starts sowing this relationship with Delilah, he reaps corruption. He lost his own life and made all of Israel suffer from his one choice.

Think of Abraham. God promises him he is going to have a son. Abraham thinks it is good and decides to implement this plan on his own behalf, and finally has a child to Hagar. What do we suffer today from Abraham’s action? We suffer all the fighting in the Middle East. It was born because Abraham didn’t wait. We are living right at the end and we may be tempted to think the ripples of our corruption are not going to go as far because we are at the end of the world. It will just go as far and as deep to your own soul as it did to Abraham. Abraham has suffered and the whole world has suffered because of a so-called good idea that was not a good idea. It was born from the flesh. Abraham was thinking he could help God and acted upon the emotion and feelings that came upon him. The result slowly grew and now we can see its full significance. Abraham could not have seen what we see today.

Elijah does an amazing thing for the Lord on Mount Carmel. He stood for the Lord. He was powerful in God’s strength and then he is afraid of Jezebel. What did he do? What do we do when we are afraid? Elijah feels scared and he runs. God asks, “Elijah what are you doing here? I don’t want you here. If you had waited there you would have experienced an amazing victory, but you went.” So whether it is anger, sexual lust or feel, if we act upon them we will miss out on God’s blessings. We may find ourselves in a situation where we want to get out of and then we start making actions and God says, “Hang on, just wait” but we are off and find ourselves in a really bad predicament and then God says, “What are you doing in this predicament now? Why are you in this situation now?” Should you be here now? We can trace all our difficulties back to a bad decision. If we ever find ourselves in that type of situation the message of tonight is don’t give up but this is the result of acting upon the flesh.

If we want a different result, we have to do something different. If we always do the same thing, we will always get the same result. It is not hard to understand this. Bad things will happen if we action upon the flesh; it is not karma; it is reaping what we sow. If we sow to the flesh, we will reap corruption of the flesh. We have all sown to the flesh. Now we have to reap it. But the gospel is that Jesus Christ is coming to reap it with us. In reaping it, we now have to learn patience. We need to wait. Think of the story of Jonah.

Jonah

Jonah 1:1 Now the word of the LORD came unto Jonah the son of Amittai, saying,

1:2 Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and cry against it; for their wickedness is come up before me.

1:3 But Jonah rose up to flee unto Tarshish from the presence of the LORD, and went down to Joppa; and he found a ship going to Tarshish: so he paid the fare thereof, and went down into it, to go with them unto Tarshish from the presence of the LORD.

Was that a good idea? God said, “Jonah I have a good idea for you. Go to Nineveh and warn them of the judgment.” Jonah does not like that. He does not want to do that. He wants to go the other way. He wants to escape from following the Lord; He thinks following the Lord is too difficult. He does not want to be mocked and thinks it will cost him too much to do God’s will. He wants to get away. He starts running and boards the ship and the ship sails.

What does the Lord do?

Jonah 1:4 But the LORD sent out a great wind into the sea, and there was a mighty tempest in the sea, so that the ship was like to be broken.

1:5 Then the mariners were afraid, and cried every man unto his god, and cast forth the wares that [were] in the ship into the sea, to lighten [it] of them. But Jonah was gone down into the sides of the ship; and he lay, and was fast asleep.

Jonah is relaxing. Maybe he is thinking I’m away from following the Lord. If we follow the Lord, there is a cost. There is persecution to suffer, hatred of other men to suffer and we are not popular if we follow the Lord. There is a cost and people do not want that cost. Jonah also doesn’t want that cost and he is off doing his own thing relaxing. This is the nature of following the flesh. There is always a bit of enjoyment in following the flesh it is called the pleasure of sin.

Moses did not choose the pleasures of sin for a season. There is a certain pleasure in releasing your anger in some violent word of action; there is gratification in doing that. There is a certain pleasure in pursuing a girl that isn’t matched for you. There is a certain pleasure in running away from fear but be assured while there is a certain season of pleasure it will not stay that way. Corruption is to be reaped. God is not mocked. You will reap corruption if you activate on what you want to do. Jonah is doing this and he is asleep.

Jonah 1:6 So the shipmaster came to him, and said unto him, What meanest thou, O sleeper? arise, call upon thy God, if so be that God will think upon us, that we perish not.

1:7 And they said every one to his fellow, Come, and let us cast lots, that we may know for whose cause this evil [is] upon us. So they cast lots, and the lot fell upon Jonah.

His days of pleasure are over. He realizes he is found out. Now he has to pay the price of corruption that is due.

Jonah 1:8 Then said they unto him, Tell us, we pray thee, for whose cause this evil [is] upon us; What [is] thine occupation? and whence comest thou? what [is] thy country? and of what people [art] thou?

1:9 And he said unto them, I [am] an Hebrew; and I fear the LORD, the God of heaven, which hath made the sea and the dry [land].

Now Jonah expresses his profession and says I am a follower of the Lord. I believe in creation and that God is all-powerful. He begins to wonder if it was a good idea. Sometimes we make a profession as Christians yet still follow our flesh. We still follow the fears and the annoyances that come to us. For example, a child annoys us and we respond in an angry way and express annoyance forgetting our profession.

Jonah 1:10 Then were the men exceedingly afraid, and said unto him, Why hast thou done this? For the men knew that he fled from the presence of the LORD, because he had told them.

The heathen sailors are afraid and say to the professed Christian, “What are you doing? Why have you done this?” In other words, why are the sailors suffering what the Christian has done? Be assured whenever we make a move in the flesh we will affect other people. We cannot live to ourselves. We cannot express anger and not affect other people. It cannot be done. We cannot get into a relationship that is not approved of heaven and not affect other people. Those other people who are suffering on the action of God’s people their question is “What are you doing? We must live up to what you have decided. We are to wait on the Lord. One of the fruits of the spirit is patience.

Jonah 1:11 Then said they unto him, What shall we do unto thee, that the sea may be calm unto us? for the sea wrought, and was tempestuous.

1:12 And he said unto them, Take me up, and cast me forth into the sea; so shall the sea be calm unto you: for I know that for my sake this great tempest [is] upon you.

Have anyone of us suffered something that we have caused? Then we can say this situation is the result of me, I cannot blame God or anyone for it, it is my problem. When we identify what we have done and now reaping today, there is good news. God wants to teach us patience in what we have just sown. God wants to give us a lesson. We have done the wrong thing but God will not waste this experience. He will turn it into good. He will create light out of darkness. He will use the opportunity to teach us very valuable lessons. God wants to communicate to us very valuable lessons.

Jonah 1:17 Now the LORD had prepared a great fish to swallow up Jonah. And Jonah was in the belly of the fish three days and three nights.

While ever Jonah had made mistakes and was to reap corruption, God had mercy on him. Jonah should have drowned but God prepared a great fish. Only God can do that. Jonah finds himself sitting in the stomach of a fish for three days and three nights. How long would that have felt? He may not have got much sleep. It would have been very acidic due to the stomach juices and he would have been in the water that kept coming in.

He would have had time to think. He would have prayed to be released. But the Lord had a certain time for him to be in the stomach of the fish. He was sitting there for three days and three nights. The following verse is what he had to say while in the belly of the fish. Notice whatever situation we are in and whatever circumstances you find yourself in, even in a fish; God will hear your prayers. When we have wronged and are reaping the results as in a stinky fish situation God will hear your prayers.

Jonah 2:1 Then Jonah prayed unto the LORD his God out of the fish’s belly,

2:2 And said, I cried by reason of mine affliction unto the LORD, and he heard me; out of the belly of hell cried I, [and] thou heardest my voice.

The belly of the fish was hell for Jonah. How many of us suffer a living hell because of what we have done? How many of us do that. This is the time God will hear our prayers.

Jonah 2:3 For thou hadst cast me into the deep, in the midst of the seas; and the floods compassed me about: all thy billows and thy waves passed over me.

2:4 Then I said, I am cast out of thy sight; yet I will look again toward thy holy temple.

Jonah 2:5 The waters compassed me about, [even] to the soul: the depth closed me round about, the weeds were wrapped about my head.

2:6 I went down to the bottoms of the mountains; the earth with her bars [was] about me for ever: yet hast thou brought up my life from corruption, O LORD my God.

If we sow to the flesh we shall reap what? We will reap corruption. This world is suffering the corruption through lust. Jonah had made bad decisions because he does not want God’s will. He wants the easy way out. He made some bad decisions because he does not want to wait on the Lord to reveal his power. He chooses his own way and because of doing that, he ends in a very bad situation but the Lord redeemed him out of corruption. He should have died. The Lord said he will suffer and pay consequences to what he had done but God saved his soul.

If we have done something and now reaping the results, whether it is in a bad marriage or stuck in a bad environment at work or anything, God is willing to redeem you for that corruption. As Jonah prays this prayer, he cries to the Lord.

Jonah 2:6 … yet hast thou brought up my life from corruption, O LORD my God.

2:7 When my soul fainted within me I remembered the LORD: and my prayer came in unto thee, into thine holy temple.

2:8 They that observe lying vanities forsake their own mercy.

2:9 But I will sacrifice unto thee with the voice of thanksgiving; I will pay [that] that I have vowed. Salvation [is] of the LORD.

In this situation, Jonah comes to a point of rejoicing. Mind you, Jonah does not realize he is about to be spat out. As far as Jonah is concerned, he is in the belly of the fish. He has no idea when if ever he will be released. Like Jonah, we can be in a situation in which we cannot get out of. While in his locked in this condition, he remembers God’s mercy and prays with earnestness and then he says he is going to offer a sacrifice with his voice of thanks giving. He actually thanked God. How many of us can thank God when we are in a bad situation?

Jonah starts to thank God in the belly of the fish. As far as he is concerned he is there for the rest of his life and likely to die there but he thanks God and counts is blessings anyway and meditates on God’s goodness. As he does this, he inspires his own soul with thanks giving that he will pay his vows unto the Lord. He vowed to follow the Lord all the time. So he decides to keep the vow and follow God now, in the belly of the fish at the bottom of the sea, in the destruction of hell he decides to follow the Lord. At that point, the fish spits him out.

Until we can come into a situation with thanks giving and willingness to follow the Lord in the dire circumstances we are now in, God cannot deliver us because we haven’t learned patience. God says, “Please wait.”

What do we tend to do when we are in dire situations?

Micah 7:5 Trust ye not in a friend, put ye not confidence in a guide: keep the doors of thy mouth from her that lieth in thy bosom.

Whether it is your friend, a church leader, or your own wife, we cannot totally depend upon them. For our salvation, we cannot depend on them. Why? Read verse 6.

Micah 7:6 For the son dishonoureth the father, the daughter riseth up against her mother, the daughter in law against her mother in law; a man’s enemies [are] the men of his own house.

The biggest living hell people can go through is terrible relationships. It is one thing to crash your car and another thing to have your house broken into but it is another thing altogether to have your immediate family crumble under you. That causes a total different stress. When the social fabric we have been created in starts falling apart it pains like nothing else. In this situation of social demise, relationships breaking up, children against their parents and all the anguish that comes with it, parents that have seen their children leave the Lord or suffer at the hand of their children know exactly what we are talking about. In this situation, what does it say?

Micah 7:7 Therefore I will look unto the LORD; I will wait for the God of my salvation: my God will hear me.

If my family is broken or I have a bad marriage or a bad situation, I am going to wait on God. There is nothing I can do. People who go through bad marriages cannot do anything to fix it because often they are the problem. What can you do then? you cannot do a thing. This is what to do. Look unto the Lord and wait for the God of my salvation. What can we tell the devil in this situation?

Micah 7:8 Rejoice not against me, O mine enemy: when I fall, I shall arise; when I sit in darkness, the LORD [shall be] a light unto me.

7:9 I will bear the indignation of the LORD, because I have sinned against him, until he plead my cause, and execute judgment for me: he will bring me forth to the light, [and] I shall behold his righteousness.

If we feel we are in a hell of a situation and have no ability to get out of it, t is beyond us then we can look unto God and wait. We can say to the devil, “Don’t get too happy because although we have fallen we shall arise. Yes, we have fallen, sinned, and sown to the flesh but we will get up.” A righteous man falls seven times. He cannot fall seven times unless he gets up seven times. In this situation I will bear the indignation of the Lord and suffer what has been reaped until God will plead my cause, until he will sort me out and have mercy on me. I will sit in the belly of the fish forever as far as I am concerned, but I will trust in God to do what is right. I am going to give my case to the Lord.

How often when we try and get out of our impossible situations we make it worse because we try to get out of it according to the flesh? How can we get out of corruption that is caused by the flesh by the flesh? We cannot use the flesh to get out of the fleshly problem. How many of us try this? We try and use the flesh to solve the flesh’s problem. That is insanity. If I keep doing the same thing, I keep getting the same results. God wants us to learn this lesson and bring us to a situation where we have to wait for Him. You have to wait for the mechanic to arrive to fix your car; you have to actually wait for someone else not yourself to solve the problem. That could be a long time; are we willing to wait? When we look at our characters, we think how we could ever be saved. Our case appears hopeless. In waiting is a development that can’t happen any other way than waiting. We always want things so fast in our day and age and God says, “No, no, just wait.”

It is agreeable, but not most profitable, to exercise those faculties which are naturally the strongest, while we neglect those that are weak, but which need to be strengthened. {3T 33.2}

How many of us like waiting? Who loves a slow Internet connection? Who loves it when everything takes ages? Who likes that? Is waiting a strong or weak point? If we just strengthens the things we are strong at, getting things done straight away and moving on and exercise that it is not profitable to us as much as realizing by weak point is patience so give attention to that point. What will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and loose his own soul? It will not profit a thing.

The feeblest faculties should have careful attention, that all the powers of the intellect may be nicely balanced and all do their part like well-regulated machinery. We are dependent upon God for the preservation of all our faculties. Christians are under obligation to Him to so train the mind that all the faculties may be strengthened and more fully developed. If we neglect to do this, they will never accomplish the purpose for which they were designed. We have no right to neglect any one of the powers that God has given us. We see monomaniacs all over the country. They are frequently sane upon every subject but one. The reason of this is that one organ of the mind was specially exercised while the others were permitted to lie dormant. {3T 33.2}

We could actually be totally sane until an impatient situation arises and then we could go mad. Have you ever seen that? When some cool, calm and collected person is put in a very stressful situation and they go mad because that part of the brain that can’t restrain itself is not being exercised. It can’t be exercised unless we are put into a situation that doesn’t get repaired for a while.

The one that was in constant use became worn and diseased, and the man became a wreck. God was not glorified by his pursuing this course. Had he exercised all the organs [sections or departments of the brain] equally, all would have had a healthy development; all the labor would not have been thrown upon one, therefore no one would have broken down. {3T 33.2}

If we learn this attribute of patience in waiting for God when things look disastrous, and exercise the part of the brain that does it, we will have the ability to possess [control] ourselves in a trying experience. This is something we need to learn. We need to develop this. God will do it.

Nation against Nation

In Luke Jesus is describing future events to the disciples about the last day events and end of the world and things that we are experiencing now.

Luke 21:10 Then said he unto them, Nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom:

21:11 And great earthquakes shall be in divers places, and famines, and pestilences; and fearful sights and great signs shall there be from heaven.

21:12 But before all these, they shall lay their hands on you, and persecute [you], delivering [you] up to the synagogues, and into prisons, being brought before kings and rulers for my name’s sake.

Can you imagine this stressful situation? What does Jesus say in verses 18 and 19?

Luke 21:18 But there shall not an hair of your head perish.

21:19In your patience possess ye your souls.

What is he saying? In this scene of persecution and terrible fearful sights of brethren against brethren and in a stressful situation when we want things done God makes a promise. Not a hair on your head will perish. In your patience possess ye your souls. In the midst of the last day trials God says, “Here are the patience of the saints. Have a look at this. This is incredible. Look at the situation they are in and they are waiting patiently.”

Pet owners like to teach their pets to stay. We think that is impressive. We like to show our friends how well the dog can sit, then everyone walks off and the dog just sits there. We all think that is impressive. God wants to show off His abilities to create in impatient people the ability to stay put at the command of His word, “Stay there.” The universe will go wow. They will glorify our Father in heaven purely because of that.

When we say things need to happen, things need to change, circumstances need to be better? Do they or not? Perhaps not because God wants to develop our patience and till we can learn to sing a song of praise and to pay our vows in the belly of hell we will not be spat out, we won’t be delivered. When the patience of the saints is revealed in the time of trouble God will deliver His people and pull them out.

The following text is something to ponder about. We can only be patient and possess our souls by knowing our God. By knowing that He is the controller of this tempest and the creator of the seas and the lands and although I fall into the sea and feel like I’m drowning God is the king of all that.

Isaiah 40:28 Hast thou not known? hast thou not heard, [that] the everlasting God, the LORD, the Creator of the ends of the earth, fainteth not, neither is weary? [there is] no searching of his understanding.

Don’t we know that? Have we ever thought about the fact that we may fall over but God has never fallen over? God is neither weary nor faint.

Isaiah 40:29 He giveth power to the faint; and to [them that have] no might he increaseth strength.

40:30 Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall:

There is something about the joy and spring in the step of a youth with future hopes and anticipations of success. It is good. They start running to win the race but then youth faint too. When depression seizes them, they can’t run any more.

Isaiah 40:31 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.

Wait upon the Lord. Whatever our situation is, the call is to please wait. Don’t try and act with the flesh to get out of our fleshly problems. Don’t do it. Wait on the Lord to solve the problem, do what God wants. If He wants you to go to Nineveh and do the horrible tasks you don’t want to do, think about Jonah. If we don’t do it, it will be worse. If we don’t engage in the tedious work of housekeeping and work and all the other things that are tedious and draining if we don’t do that and instead say, “I’m off on a boat where I can sleep and enjoy myself,” there is a belly of hell waiting for us if that is what we want to do. Sure, we will get our pleasure of sin for a season, but it will end. Think about it. I trust we will stay put in our trials until God please our cause.

Amen.


Posted on March 1, 2012, in Divine Service Sermons, Sermons For Sabbath. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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