Learn To Wait On The Lord

November 10, 2015

“Then he blessed him there.”  (Genesis 32:29)

It takes more faith to wait than it takes to be active.  God’s guidance prescription for what we call Type A personalities like Jacob is to wait on the Lord.  Jacob was missing God’s will for his life because he was always running ahead of God.  He was a make-it-happen, mover, shaker and doer kind of person.  Read the story of Jacob in Genesis, chapters 25 through 32, and Paul’s commentary on that story in chapter 9 of Romans.  As you read how God crippled Jacob so He could crown him with His will for Jacob’s life, you will see what I call, “The Cripple Crown Blessing of Jacob.” When a man is crippled what else can he do but wait on the Lord?

Sometimes on our journeys of faith, God puts us in a holding pattern.  We are like commercial airplanes when they are directed by the control tower to circle the field while waiting their turn to land.  In the book of Psalms, the word Selah is found in 73 places.  The Amplified Bible’s paraphrase for Selah is: “Pause, and calmly think of that.”

As He leads us God frequently places Selahs in our lives. Sometimes what God does in our lives while we’re waiting can be more important than what we’re waiting for.  He may want us to pause and calmly think about our priorities, our vision statement and mission objectives and other issues as we experience His will for our lives.  When you encounter one of the Lord’s Selahs and find yourself in one of His holding patterns, ask yourself what God wants you to pause and calmly think about.  And, never put a question mark where God places a period in your walk of faith.

Dick Woodward, 10 June 2013


100% Total Commitment

October 10, 2014

“And every man stood in his place all around the camp (of the Midianites); and the whole army (of Midian) ran and cried out and fled.” (Judges 7:21)

One of the greatest victories described in the Old Testament is the victory of Gideon over the army of the Midianites.  There were several hundred thousand Midianites and Gideon only had 300 soldiers.  In the middle of the night, in pitch darkness, Gideon placed his 300 committed warriors in three strategic locations around the sleeping enemy army.

On signal from Gideon each group of 100 soldiers exposed 100 torches, blew 100 bugles, and then 100 men shouted: “The sword of the Lord and of Gideon!” This gave their enemy the impression they were surrounded by a powerful army.  The Midianites completely panicked.  In the darkness they began fighting each other and were soon conquered.

Although this was a great miracle it was a miracle that required a total commitment on the part of Gideon’s 300.  That’s why he reduced his army down to less than one percent of what he started with.  He had to know that his men were a one hundred percent committed minority rather than an apathetic majority.

This victory also teaches the critically important concept of teamwork.  The work of God is a team sport and requires a team effort.  The verse quoted above summarizes the key to this great victory.  We read that every man of the 300 ‘stood in his place.’  If even a few had been too frightened to execute this plan the event would have been a disaster.

Are you willing to find and stand in your place that together we might defeat all the powers of hell?

Dick Woodward,  12 December 2012


ABOUNDING GRACE

June 20, 2014

“… God is able to make all grace abound toward you, that you, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound unto every good work.” (2 Corinthians 9:8 KJV)

I once heard Dr. A.W. Tozer preach on this text. After he read the verse with much inflection, he paused, shook his head and said, “Sometimes you cannot help but allow the thought that God oversold the product in the New Testament!” Of course, he went on to explain that God has not oversold the product. We tend to undersell the product because our access into God’s abounding grace is flawed.

Think of this with me for a moment. God is able to make all grace, (not just some grace), abound toward us, (not just trickle in our direction), that we, (he repeats that for emphasis meaning it’s not just for pastors or missionaries, but for every believer), always, (not just sometimes), may have all sufficiency, (not just some sufficiency), in all things, (not just some things), may abound, (not just go limping), unto every good work, (not just the ones we like.)

Once you have meditated on this verse a few times ask yourself this question, “True or false?”

If we answer that question as we should by saying it’s true, should that not give us the courage to tackle the things God is leading us to do that we know we cannot do? Are you doing anything that can only be explained by the supernatural reality that He is, only He can, and He did because you accessed His abounding grace?

Dick Woodward, 16 March 2010


Paradoxes

June 12, 2013

“…  work out your salvation…  for it is God who works in you.”   (Philippians 3: 12)

The Bible is filled with paradoxes.  A paradox is something that appears to be a contradiction, but when examined closely, you discover there really is no contradiction.   There are times when a paradox is not a contradiction because the two propositions stated by the paradox could both be true; they could be both complementary and supplementary.  They are often resolved when you realize that it is not either/or but both/and.

THE ELEVENTH STEP:  Keep moving.

The Scriptures tell us we can miss the will of God because we are in a hurry and God is not.  When that is the case, we need to wait on the Lord (Selah).  There are other times when we miss the will of God because we are sitting on our apathetic and indecisive immaturity, demonstrating our lack of faith and courage, and the Lord moves on without us.  These two apparently opposite concepts are really not contradictory.  It is not either/or, but both/and.  The truth is we sometimes need to wait on the Lord and at other times need to keep moving.

We have an adversary who does not wish us well.  His first strategy is to make us into lazy, indecisive, apathetic, spiritual wimps, who miss the will of God because we lack the faith and courage to follow the leading of the Lord.  If that fails, he will turn us into obsessive, compulsive workaholic movers, shakers and doers who miss the will of God because we are out-reaching His will for our lives, running far ahead of the Lord.

Obviously, we all need balance to discern and do the will of the Lord.