August 01, 2022 Pastor Steve Behlke

Wait On The Lord

Wait On The Lord

YHWH transcends the universe, for He was here before it. Everything that has been made, has been made by Him. When people talk about cavemen and evolutionary theory we sometimes forget this.

We measure time by revolutions around the sun. Yet God made the sun on the fourth day. So even though for our sake, He enters and exists in time and space, He is not limited by it. He is transcendent and holy. Separate. High above it all. 

From last week, when Isaiah saw the LORD in His temple, He was high and lifted up. Angels beamed "Holy Holy Holy." Isaiah felt small, sinful, unworthy. He was in the presence of the One who is immortal Spirit, yet we are mortal flesh. And yet, for our sake, God became flesh. And in Jesus, the Holy One who preexisted before this universe, bore our sin on the cross. “He was crucified under Pontius Pilate; He suffered death and was buried. On the third day he rose again.” And He imputes to the believer His righteous standing with God.

On every level, the Lord who is is amazing. Holy. Without equal.

Isaiah 40:25 “To whom then will you liken Me that I would be his equal?” says the Holy One. 26 Lift up your eyes on high and see WHO has created these stars, the One who leads forth their host by number, He calls them all by name because of the greatness of His might and the strength of His power, not one of them is missing.

God is set apart and holy as our Creator and by the greatness of His might and the strength of His power. He upholds His creation. So when we are in need, struggling—despite the world’s lies: God has no equal in love, in power, in wisdom, in action.

Isaiah 55:6 Seek the LORD while He may be found; call upon Him while He is near. 7 Let the wicked forsake his way and the unrighteous man his thoughts; and let him return to the LORD, and He will have compassion on him, [return] to our God, for He will abundantly pardon. 8 For My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways,” declares the LORD. 9 For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways and My thoughts than your thoughts.

The One we hope in is wonderfully not like us in that He is not bound to worldly solutions. He doesn’t view life through the same lenses: not everything is political nor is He influenced by media, or any baggage of unresolved hurts.

God is holy and exalted above us, yet intimate in love, and fully committed to us! No matter what. Never think that He doesn’t see what faces you,

Isaiah 40:27 Why do you say, O Jacob, and assert, O Israel, [when things go bad] “My way is hidden from the LORD, and the justice due me escapes the notice of my God”?

Never imagine for a moment that what you are dealing with escapes God’s notice. Not with your children, your health, your marriage, your loneliness. Don’t give up on God. Don’t give up hope in Him. And while you may be tired, ready to throw in the towel, it’s a real opportunity to turn to the Lord anew,

Isaiah 40:28 Do you not know? Have you not heard? The Everlasting God, the LORD, the Creator of the ends of the earth does not become weary or tired. [He never gives up. He never takes a nap on us. He’s always ready.] His understanding is inscrutable. 29 He gives strength to the weary, and to him who lacks might He increases power. 

So many people weary and tired right now. Weary of politics, lies, inflation, the recession. COVID wearied us. The first shutdown isolated us from community, church, worship; another shutdown wearies us.

Many weary of personal relationship struggles. Being the only one trying. Love that goes unreciprocated. Forgiving the same offense.

We may be weary of serving God or following Jesus. We may want to give up. Be tempted to turn from what God says to do. Be pampered. Eat, drink and be merry. I get it. Before COVID many of us did way too much.

But hear and know—the Everlasting God never wearies or tires! “He gives strength to the weary, and to him who lacks might He increases power.” 

We might take a year off from church or ministry and wait for our energy to return. We might be weary and we’re just waiting for retirement or vacation. We might wait for the other person to change, or for the apology that never comes. 

Isaiah 40:31 Yet those who wait for the LORD will gain new strength; they will mount up with wings like eagles, they will run and not get tired, they will walk and not become weary.

To wait on the Lord is to actively trust Him for His goodness to carry you through. I.e., “Those who actively trust in the Lord will gain new strength.” 

The Hebrew word for WAIT originally meant “to twist" or "to bind together,” like twisting two ropes together. It referred to getting stronger in the waiting. Not waiting alone. Not binding yourself to something else. But wait on the Lord. Bind yourself to Him in the waiting.

Those who “bind themselves together” with the LORD, praying, trusting Him, meditating on His Word, expecting God to deliver you in His way, His timing, will gain new strength. 

Abraham. Daniel. David. Apostle Paul. Jesus Himself. All actively waited on the Lord.

Queen Esther was faced with the possible destruction of her people. Rather than turn her back on what she trusted God wanted her to do and maybe lie to the king, manipulate him. Though time was of the essence, she fasted before the Lord for three days and heard from God. She then offered her king the perfect strategy. 

Isaiah 41:10 Do not fear, for I am with you; do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, surely I will help you, surely I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.

Whatever you are facing, deciding, or struggling through, bind yourself to God in faith and wait on Him. He will strengthen you for the task. Don’t go it alone. “Do not fear, do not anxiously look about,” God says, “I will strengthen you, surely I will help you, surely I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.”

Isaiah 43:3 For I am the LORD your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior…

He’s not just Israel’s Holy One, or Israel’s Savior. Today, Jesus is our Savior. The Head of His church. And not just ours! He is also the Savior of the world. 

He still seeks to save the lost. He still reconciles sinners to the Father. And He does so through believers who trust Him and receive of His grace and love Him. Not just apostles but us. And He does so through the preaching of His Word, the sharing of the good news, and through the work of His people.

You are His witnesses. 

Isaiah 43:10 “You are My witnesses,” declares the LORD, “And My servant whom I have chosen, so that you may know and believe Me and understand that I am He. [YHWH. The Holy One. The true and living God.] Before Me there was no God formed, and there will be none after Me. 11 I, even I, am the LORD, and there is no savior besides Me.”

After God revealed his holiness, Isaiah thought he was a dead man. But the Lord forgave him. The angel touched the coal of the altar to Isaiah’s lips and said, “Your sins have been forgiven.” Then, He asked who would speak to others on his behalf, “Whom then shall I send?” Isaiah said, “Send me.” 

And for any of us who have witnessed God's love in action, who've received of His mercy or have been set free by His grace. Any who’ve been encouraged by His word and found refuge in His promises, whose sins have been forgiven, or who've seen God change your heart. He says, “You are my witnesses.”

We believe we are forever saved and forgiven but we aren’t just saved to be forgiven. We are also given a great commission. Jesus’ ongoing mission. 

So even why we are here right now, even something as simple as going to church is not just about going to church.

Why do you go to church? Among other things,

We come to hear from God together, and to be formed together into a faithful people who submit to God. Really, it’s not about the music or comfy seating.

We come here to speak to God together, because we believe it's important to pray, and worship, and partake in the Lord’s table as the body of Christ. 

We come here to serve one another, in love, even in sacrifice. So we can help each other to know Him better, live a little freer, and love a little more. God has called us to love him with all our heart and mind and will and body and to love one another. And we haven't perfected that yet.

We also gather as His church so that Jesus can send us into the world each week a little more like Him. 

When we realize how hard life can be for us individually, then we look around and wow, it's a big world out there. It’s hard. And sin takes a heavy toll, even on those who deny it. So there are LOTS of hurting, weary, stressed humans who live without hope. And we believe God has put people in our lives that He wants to rescue, and people in our lives who are open, even called to Him. 

We gather to be prepared to share the good news that kicks the devil in the teeth and breaks the chains around those who wish to be set free.

Isaiah 43:10 “You are My witnesses,” declares the LORD, “And My servant whom I have chosen, so that you may know and believe Me and understand that I am He. Before Me there was no God formed, and there will be none after Me. 11 I, even I, am the LORD, and there is no savior besides Me.”

We believe the church is the servant that God has chosen so that others too may know and believe in Jesus, that He is the Holy One who saves and there is no god but Him. He is the true God. And there is no savior besides Him

A weary and divided world doesn’t need more angry people, or self-righteous people, political people, or holier than thou people. It needs more loving witnesses to God’s grace and salvation in Jesus who are unashamed to tell others the good news of a holy God who gave His life for them.

Romans 1:16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. 

Jesus gives eternal life to whoever trusts Him; this message saves all that believe. Jesus makes sinners right with God forever; this messages saves.

We believe the gospel is the power of God to save whoever believes. The gospel. Not church marketing. Not Facebook memes. Not arguing with people about political views. Not agreeing with the world on political views.

The gospel is the power to save whoever believes. 

John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.