POWER BELONGS TO GOD

Ps.62:11 – Once God has spoken; twice have I heard this: that power belongs to God,

This is where humility sets in. Power belongs to God, never to us. Most are not in touch with it but humans are all looking for power. Having your name on the sign or the mic in your hand, it seems to be a stumbling block for humans. The bottom line is this, the Lord refuses to share His glory with anyone. It’s not Jesus and so and so that accomplished anything, it is Jesus alone. The sooner we see that the easier things will go. The Lord is the One Who saves, heals, sanctifies, provides, and whatever else needs doing. Taking credit for anything that happens under your watch is an exercise in futility. Spurgeon talked about hearing God’s voice being connected to His power. Check out his comments on this verse.

“Twice have I heard this. Our meditative soul should hear the echo of God’s voice again and again. What he speaks once in revelation, we should be always hearing. Creation and providence are evermore echoing the voice of God; “He that hath ears to hear, let him hear.” We have two ears, that we may hear attentively, and the spiritual have inner ears with which they hear indeed. He hears twice in the best sense who hears with his heart as well as his ears. That power belongs unto God. He is the source of it, and in him it actually abides. This one voice of God we ought always to hear, so as to be preserved from putting our trust in creatures in whom there can be no power, since all power is in God. What reason for faith is here! It can never be unwise to rest upon the almighty arm. Out of all troubles he can release us, under all burdens sustain us, while men must fail us at the last, and may deceive us even now. May our souls hear the thunder of Jehovah’s voice as he claims all power, and henceforth may we wait only upon God!”

Even practical Christianity is dependent on power. Its not enough to know we are to behave a certain way, we must have the power of God in us to actually perform it. How many alcoholics have good intentions but never change? How many spouses never meant to be unfaithful, but one thing led to another; well you no the rest. Its not knowing how to behave that changes us, it is the power of God. At the end of the day, power belongs to God.

WAIT IN SILENCE

Ps.62:5 – My soul, wait in silence for God only, for my hope is from Him.

Before I became a Christian I had to always be surrounded by noise. I would put a stack of albums on my turntable to play before I went to sleep. I could not stand the silence. Several weeks before my conversion my car broke down late at night several miles from my house. The breakdown was in Pearl River, Louisiana; not a very friendly place for hippies in 1973. I decided to walk home. In took me about eight hours to accomplish that task. It was a very quiet country road with nothing but an occasional car or truck passing by. It was a very long and very quiet walk. I didn’t like being alone with my thoughts in those days, thankfully the Lord began to speak to me and draw me in that night. I was waiting in silence, I just didn’t know it. Here is how Bonhoeffer describes this waiting.

“We are silent in the early hours of each day, because God is supposed to have the first word, and we are silent before going to sleep, because to God also belongs the last word. We are silent solely for the sake of the word, not in order to show dishonor to the word but in order to honor and receive it properly. Silence ultimately means nothing but waiting for God’s word and coming away blessed by God’s word…. Silence before the word, however, will have its effect on the whole day. If we have learned to be silent before the word, we will also learn to be economical with silence and speech throughout the day…The silence of the Christian is a listening silence, a humble silence that for the sake of humility can also be broken at any time. It is a silence in connection with the word…. In being quiet there is a miraculous power of clarification, of purification, of bringing together what is important.”

Actually this is what Advent is all about. We are waiting for the appearance of the Savior. If you take time and wait in silence and focus on passages from the Word of God, you too will experience that voice that speaks in the silence. Always talking comes from thinking that we have all the answers. Coming to the end of ourselves brings us to the place where we can only listen for His voice.

SHUT UP AND WORSHIP

Ps.62:1 – My soul waits in silence for God only; From Him is my salvation.

Ps.65:1 – There will be silence before You, and praise in Zion, O God, And to You the vow will be performed.

These passages describes something that is strange to the natural man but precious to those who know the Lord. Both Psalms use a Hebrew word – dumiyah – which literally means silent praise. We obviously commonly think of praise as being vocal and often times very loud and exuberant. You know like David described – prophesying on a 10 stringed instrument, the sound of crashing symbols, and the mighty blast of the trumpets. Loud worship can be quite powerful but there is also a silent praise that David describes in these two Psalms. There are times in worship where the glory comes down and there is such a majestic silence that fills the room that our silence becomes a powerful response of worship to the Lord.

I can remember a particular service like this in Bulgaria a number of years ago. We were having a series of meetings, day and night, for several days. It had been quite a week of joy and shouting and dancing before the Lord. I can remember the looks of shock and amazement in one particular service when the majesty of the Lord filled the room; no one could say anything, no one should say anything. That silent praise was just as powerful as the most demonstrative service we had that week. Here are some thoughts from Dick Mills on what he called a “holy hush”.

“In my sixty years of serving the Lord, the thing that stands out in my mind as the most precious in public gatherings was the “holy hush”. While we were singing praises, the presence of the Lord would fill the place. A holy quietness would set in. Everyone was stilled and filled with awe. It only lasted a few minutes but had a lasting effect of being overwhelmed by the beautiful presence of the Lord. Any sound at that moment would have been totally redundant. I am believing that we will have more of the holy hush, the silent praise in future gatherings. “Do it again, Oh Lord, let praise be silent before you!”

One of the most effecting words the Lord ever gave me was to “Be still and know that I am God.” Silent praise is when we are receiving and responding, sometimes we just need to be quiet before our awesome God or in everyday language ‘shut up and worship’.

WAITING AND EXPECTING

Ps.62:1,5 – WEB – My soul rests in God alone. My salvation is from him.

He alone is my rock and my salvation, my fortress.

My soul, wait in silence for God alone, For my expectation is from him.

This verse describes how hope progresses to a true expectancy. I recently described expectancy as a sure thing, like an expectant mom expecting a child. Pregnancy is the difference between hope and expectancy. In today’s verse we see the spiritual facts of life. Waiting and resting in God alone is where expectancy is birthed.

For me, the body of Christ is in a state of expectancy or spiritual pregnancy, pregnant with a shocking move of God characterized by radical conversions of what would be considered the least likely candidates. The Lord delights in saving and using the unlikely for His glory. Think about it, there was the angry Pharisee (Saul of Tarsus) who turned the Roman Empire on its ear and wrote most of the New Testament. Then there was the demonized man chained in a cemetery in Gadara who was delivered and started a spiritual awakening in Decapolis (10 cities). And who could forget the lady of the night who was delivered from 7 demons and washed Jesus feet with tears and ointment, people are still talking about her 2000 years later. I am expectant, expectant with another radical season of harvest. Here is Spurgeon on this.

“For my expectation is from him. We expect from God because we believe in him. Expectation is the child of prayer and faith, and is owned of the Lord as an acceptable grace. We should desire nothing but what would be right for God to give, then our expectation would be all from God; and concerning truly good things we should not look to second causes, but to the Lord alone, and so again our expectation would be all from him. The vain expectations of worldly men come not; they promise but there is no performance; our expectations are on the way, and in due season will arrive to satisfy our hopes. Happy is the man who feels that all he has, all he wants, and all he expects are to be found in his God.”

I love that statement, “Expectation is the child of prayer and faith”. What are you pregnant with. Take some time to wait on the Lord, expectancy will be the fruit.

EXPECTING

My expectation is from him —Psalm 62:5

 

Are you expecting? I mean are you expecting something from the Lord? For the expectant mother, she is beyond hoping she is going to have a baby, she is pregnant and a baby is coming for sure. The only question for her is the timing, when will that baby be born? We can learn a great lesson from the expectant mom, we too are not hoping for a fulfillment of our promise, there is a certainty that it is on the way. What is the difference of believing for something and being expectant? The difference is enormous. Many of us are praying or hoping for certain things to come to pass in our lives but that is not expectancy. Expectancy happens when the answer is actually conceived in us by the Word of God and the Holy Spirit. When that happens, the promise is certain, timing is the only question. Here is how A.B. Simpson describes this verse.

“When we believe for a blessing, we must take the attitude of faith and begin to act and pray as if we already had it. We must treat God as if He had given us our request. We must lean our weight upon Him for the thing that we have claimed and just take it for granted that He gives it and is going to continue to give it. This is the attitude of trust.

When a young woman is married, she at once falls into a new attitude and acts in accordance with the fact. So it is when we take Christ as our Savior, our Sanctifier, our Healer and our coming Lord. He expects us to fall into the attitude of recognizing Him in the very capacity that we have claimed. Therefore, expect Him to be to you all that you have trusted Him for.”

When you were first born again you were introduced to this world of faith. Suddenly you realized you were saved by the blood of Jesus. You don’t hope you are a Christian, faith assures you that you are His child. All of God’s promises are like that, suddenly the light turns on and we move from hoping to knowing. Are you expecting? What kind of promise has been germinated in you? Stay in His word and abide in His presence, His promises are certain and your answer is on the way.

JUST WAIT

Psa. 62:1 ¶ For God alone my soul waits in silence;  from him comes my salvation. 

At the end of the day, prayer can be reduced to waiting on God. After we get past all of our requests and troubles we find ourselves in the place of total dependency. Total dependency, I like the sound of that. It takes matters out of my hands and places them where they belong, in the hands of God. If you think about it, why does the Lord need my prayers? He knows everything that is going on, even my secret thoughts. Prayer is for my benefit. Prayer recognizes total dependency and opens me up to the greatest of all answered prayers; intimacy with God Himself. Here are some thoughts from Andrew Murray on waiting upon God.
“Waiting becomes then the only way to the experience of a full salvation, the only way, truly, to know God as the God of our salvation. All the difficulties that are brought forward as keeping us back from full salvation, have their cause in this one thing: the defective knowledge and practice of waiting upon God. All that the Church and its members need for the manifestation of the mighty power of God in the world, is the return to our true place, the place that belongs to us, both in creation and redemption, the place of absolute and unceasing dependence upon God. Let us strive to see what the elements are that make up this most blessed and needful waiting upon God: it may help us to discover the reasons why this grace is so little cultivated, and to feel how infinitely desirable it is that the Church, that we ourselves, should at any price learn its blessed secret.”
Murray used a term, full salvation. He connected that to knowing God intimately. Could it be that at the bottom of God’s instructions for us to pray is His desire to fellowship with us and our need to know Him? I think that is exactly why we are instructed to wait upon God. God is amazing! We seek Him in prayer for our greatest dilemmas and He not only answers our prayers but He Himself shows up in our lives. I like this full salvation thing, it is what we were born for. After everything is said and done, the very trouble that brought you to your knees becomes God’s path to bring you into this full salvation.

RESTING CALMAND UNDISTURBED

MERRY MONDAY BY PARRIS BAILEY

“He only is my rock and my salvation: he is my defense; I shall not be moved.”

“My soul, wait thou only upon God.” — Psalm 62:6.

This morning I woke up and went down to the river. We had a slight freeze so the morning was chilly. The river seemed clearer than usual and there was a mist coming up from the water. I couldn’t help but notice the beauty and it being so calm. Funny how creation understands the faithfulness of God.

John Trappe said “Waiting is nothing else but hope and trust lengthened.” What is God lengthening in you this day? When we rest on His bosom breakthrough happens.

Calvin translates this verse, “My soul, be thou silent before God.” Rest calm and undisturbed. Thine enemies are round about thee, and have sore beset thee thy troubles do surround thee like strong bulls of Bashan; but rest, my soul, in God. Thine enemies are mighty, but HE IS Almighty; thy troubles are grievous, but he is greater than thy troubles, and he shall deliver thee from them. Let not thy soul be agitated. The wicked are like the troubled sea that cannot rest: be not thou like unto them. Be thou calm: let not a wave ruffle thine untroubled spirit. “Cast thy burden on the Lord,” and then sleep on his bosom. Commit thy way unto Jehovah, and then rest in sure and certain confidence.”

Find yourself spinning plates? All the pots are boiling over? I can’t help but think of the song–

“Clear the stage and set the sound and lights ablaze
If that’s the measure you must take to crush the idols
Jerk the pews & all the decorations, too
Until the congregations few, then have revival
Tell your friends that this is where the party ends
Until you’re broken for your sins, you can’t be social
Then seek the Lord & wait for what He has in store
And know that great is your reward so just be hopeful

‘Cause you can sing all you want to
Yes, you can sing all you want to
You can sing all you want to
And still get it wrong;

worship is more than a song

Take a break from all the plans that you have made
And sit at home alone and wait for God to whisper

Beg Him please to open up His mouth and speak

And pray for real upon your knees until they blister

Shine the light on every corner of your life

Until the pride and lust and lies are in the open

Then read the Word and put to test the things you’ve heard
Until your heart and soul are stirred and rocked and broken

‘Cause you can sing all you want to
Yes, you can sing all you want to

You can sing all you want to
And still get it wrong; worship is more than a song”
Jimmy Needham

ALONE WITH GOD

ALONE WITH GOD

“My soul waiteth only upon God [marg: is silent unto God]; from Him cometh my salvation.”‘Ps. 62:1

It is said that David wrote this Psalm when he was in exile. His son Absalom was attempting to take over the throne and David was out in the wilderness running for his life. This was not David’s first rodeo, he had become familiar with this wilderness over the years. He had been running from the Philistine army and he had been running from Saul, but this experience had to be the worst. David loved his son. He had always felt that Absalom would follow him as King of Israel but this turn of events was totally unexpected. Not only was David betrayed by his own son, there were military officers and priests who had thrown in with Absalom. Many of these men had been David’s closest counselors. Talk about conflicted, David could not bring himself to fight against his son. So here he was, out in the wilderness, all alone. Alone with God. This is where David excelled, he would just wait on The Lord and leave the consequences in His hands. He said that he would wait on The Lord because salvation (deliverance from our enemies) could only come from God. Here is an excerpt from the book “Waiting on God” from Andrew Murray.

“If salvation indeed comes from God, and is entirely His work, just as creation was, it follows, as a matter of course, that our first and “highest duty is to wait on Him to do the work that pleases Him. Waiting becomes then the only way to the experience of a full salvation, the only way, truly, to know God as the God of our salvation. All the difficulties that are brought forward as keeping us back from full salvation, have their cause in this one thing: the defective knowledge and practice of waiting upon God. All that the Church and its members need for the manifestation of the mighty power of God in the world, is the return to our true place, the place that belongs to us, both in creation and redemption, the place of absolute and unceasing dependence upon God.”

Maybe you are in a tight spot today. Maybe you have faced betrayal by friends or relatives. Maybe you have be given a bad medical report. Or maybe you are facing financial collapse. You may feel like you are alone but sometimes that is the best place to be, alone with God. Alone with God is the strongest position to be in. Here is the place we learn to wait. This is the place where we discover His secret power, waiting on The Lord. If you think about it, that is where the church was birthed. The disciples had be given a task bigger than any of them could imagine; so what did they do? They waited on The Lord. They were waiting in an upper room and the rest is history.

WAIT UPON THE LORD

WAIT UPON THE LORD

Psa. 62:1 ¶ Truly my soul silently waits for God;
From Him comes my salvation.

Does it ever seem like God is just slow. You know what I mean, He says something and it takes years for anything to happen. David learned to “wait on the Lord” while living in caves while as he ran from King Saul and his army. David received a promise from the Lord as a young boy, this promise took about seventeen years to begin to come true. In the mean time David did a lot of waiting. He didn’t have to wait alone though. The Lord was very present by the power of his Spirit upon David. Waiting does not have to be tedious, it can be filled with pleasure found only in the presence of the Lord.
John Trapp said, ‘Waiting is nothing else but hope and trust lengthened.” Luther said, “My soul is still (calm) in God.” Pool remarked that waiting is “silently, quietly, and patiently looking up to God for deliverance.”
Albert Barnes said, “My soul waiteth upon God – Septuagint, ” Is not my soul subject to God?” So the Latin Vulgate. The Hebrew word – du – means ” silence, quiet, rest” ; and then, a silent expectation or hope. The idea here is, “Truly toward God is the silent waiting of my soul” ; that is, ” In him alone do I trust; there is calmness of mind; I have no apprehension as to what can happen. My mind is at peace, for I feel that all is in the hands of God, and that He is worthy of entire trust and confidence.” The feeling is that which exists when we have entrusted all to God; when, having entire confidence in his power, his goodness, his wisdom, his mercy, we commit the whole case to him as if it were no longer our own. Such is the calmness – the peace – the quiet – the silence of the soul – when all is left with God.”
Jonathan Edwards points out the utter focus on God Himself that waiting involves. We are not just waiting, our eyes are fixed on Him as we wait.
“Looking to, or looking for, are used as phrases equivalent to trusting, seeking, hoping, waiting, believing on… Behold, as the eyes of servants look unto the hand of their master, and as the eyes of a maiden unto the hand of her mistress; so our eyes wait upon the Lord our God, until that he have mercy upon us.”
Do you feel like the Lord has forgotten you and His promises that He made or maybe you could have been mistaken about His promises? Turn your affections and attention on God Himself. When we acknowledge Him and draw near to Him several things happen. First, His presence is more than enough to lift, encourage, and satisfy us in our journey. Secondly, the promises are confirmed and strengthened in us as we look toward Him. Finally, the promise itself is fulfilled, it seems when we are fixated on God rather than his promises that the promise suddenly appears. So I think I am going to practice “waiting silently” like David did, that is the place of utter rest and contentment.

WAITING IN SILENCE

WAITING IN SILENCE

My soul waits in silence for God only; From Him is my salvation. He only is my rock and my salvation, My stronghold; I shall not be greatly shaken.
Ps.62:1,2

I remember the first word I received from Dick Mills back in 1976. At that time I was a little “wound up” or “intense”. He gave me a word that challenged me and encouraged me at the same time. The word was “Cease striving and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth” Ps.46:10. The word challenged me because it made me realize that all of my striving was just human activity trying hard to perform the will of God. This word exposed this problem in my life, challenging me to trust the Lord for change. At the same time the word encouraged me, suddenly I saw a glimpse of God’s greatness and sovereignty. He said He would be exalted in the nations, that would happen without my help, the Lord will perform His will. Charles Spurgeon spoke about waiting silently on the Lord, listen to his timeless words.
“No eloquence in the world is half so full of meaning as the patient silence of a child of God. It is an eminent work of grace to bring down the will and subdue the affections to such a degree, that the whole mind lies before the Lord like the sea beneath the wind, ready to be moved by every breath of his mouth, but free from all inward and self caused emotion, as also from all power to be moved by anything other than the divine will. We should be wax to the Lord, but adamant to every other force.”
Waiting upon the Lord is a great spiritual discipline, it is one of the hardest lessons for His children. Taking matters into our own hands is much more natural, waiting on the Lord is unfamiliar to the natural man. Many times, as you wait upon Him, you become more aware of the Lord, our mind and our affections begin to cling to Him.
As I write these words today, Parris and I are in the mountains of North Carolina. We love to go for long walks on the mountain trails in the Smokey Mountains. As you get away from all of the human noise, the television, radio, the traffic sounds, it is quite amazing what you begin to experience. The voice of the Creator begins to sing out through all of His handiwork. There is something very special about the sounds of silence that are everywhere in His creation. When you get all alone and listen to the silence, you will be amazed at how quickly you will become aware of His voice. Today, let your soul wait in silence for the Lord, because from Him only is our salvation.