our Strength for His
Ronald L. Taylor
The Bible makes it clear that our Lord has a wonderful plan
for each of us. Unfortunately, we often spend far too much
time trying to evaluate His plan in order to decide if it
will be acceptable to us.
“For I know the thoughts that I think toward you,
LORD, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a
future and a hope.” Jeremiah 29:11-12 NKJV.
Isaiah 55:8 tells us that God's thoughts are higher than
our thoughts, and His ways are higher than our ways. Therefore,
His plan is not only good for us, but it is far better for
us than we can ever imagine. The real problem that we face
is not in our accurately evaluating His plan for us to see
if we would like to submit to it, but in finally coming to
grips with the fact that "without Him, we can do NOTHING."
“I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides
and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do
nothing.” John 15:5 NKJV.
Many of the problems and difficulties we face are simply
the result of our attempting to do things in our own strength
instead of learning to listen for His voice, and follow His
The Lord has been speaking to me about this from a familiar
passage of Scripture in Isaiah chapter 40. In verse 27 the
Lord says "Why do you say, O Jacob, and assert, O Israel,
"My way is hidden from the Lord, and the justice due
me escapes the notice of my God?" This is exactly the
situation that I have found myself in at times. It sometimes
feels like the Lord simply does not notice me. It is easy
to recognize that the Lord is doing wonderful things in the
lives of others, but there have been times that I have basically
felt left out.
In times like these, it is important for us to recognize
that the problem is not with the Lord! Instead of giving up,
or even trying harder, the advice He gives is for us to “wait
on Him.” Isaiah 40:31 tell us, “Yet those who
wait for the Lord will gain new strength.” This new
strength that we gain is His strength, and we obtain it by
exchanging our strength for His as we wait on Him. In other
words, we must recognize that we cannot do anything in our
own strength, but He works on our behalf, when we learn to
wait on Him (Isaiah 64:5).
The key then, is not in our trying harder, or in strengthening
our resolve, but in waiting on the Lord. An examination of
Young's Concordance reveals three basic aspects of waiting
as the term is used in Scripture.
The first aspect has to do with our simply stopping, and
becoming silent. In our present culture, this is especially
hard to do. We are conditioned to action and noise. When these
are removed, we tend to become very uncomfortable. However,
our coming into a state of rest is absolutely essential, if
we are ever going to hear His voice and thereby become aware
of His plan for us.
The second aspect of waiting is keen expectation. After becoming
quiet within, we must expect that the Lord is going to speak
to us. We are anticipating His presence and His voice. We
wait attentively. This is not an attitude of "If you
want me, come get me". It is
anticipation bathed in desire and hope. It is like a young
man watching carefully for a glimpse of his beloved. It is
a time of delight, not a fulfillment of duty. It becomes a
“Blessed is the man that heareth Me, watching daily
at My gates,
waiting at the posts of My doors.” Proverbs 8:34.
The third aspect of waiting flows out of the other two. It
has to do with our service to Him. Acts 6:2 uses "wait"
in this way. The whole process is similar to waiting on tables
in a restaurant. Have you ever had a waiter who was so preoccupied
with personal matters that he was not attentive to your needs?
Then, to make matters worse, when
you finally got his attention, he did not take the time to
listen carefully to your request, resulting in delivery of
the wrong items. In the same way, for our activity to be other
than wood, hay and stubble, it must be in response to the
Word God being quickened, or
speaking to us.
Our Lord’s word to us is a living, vibrant word that
makes a difference in our life WHEN we implement it. For example,
He may speak to us regarding issues such as forgiveness, repentance,
and service. Our part is to respond without reservation. In
Luke 6: 47, Jesus
indicates very clearly that the man who built on the rock
and the man who built on the sand both heard the word. The
difference between them was that the man who built on the
rock responded appropriately to the words he heard.
Take time to become still before the Lord. Wait expectantly
for Him. When you do this, He will work on your behalf, and
you will be amazed by the wonderful plan He has for you!