There is always There

The pace of the Bible is slow, and when you’re in a hurry you’re out of sync with God.   Modern man thinks everything can be better if we make it faster, but God disagrees.  God says wait for it.  For still the vision awaits its appointed time;….If it seems slow, wait for it; it will surely come…”  Habakkuk 2:3 ESV.   The vision awaits its appointed time;….If it seems slow, wait for it.   Does it seem slow right now?  The next verse tells us “”Behold, his soul is puffed up; it is not upright within him, but the righteous shall live by his faith.” Habakkuk 2:4 ESV.  If it seems slow, wait for it.  And live by faith.   Faith is waiting.   Faith is waiting for it.  When it seems slow, wait for it, that’s living by faith.   The apostle Paul tells us “But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience.”  Romans 8:25 ESV. The writer of Hebrews tells us that it’s through faith and patience (waiting for it) that we inherit the promises – And we desire each one of you to show the same earnestness to have the full assurance of hope until the end, so that you may not be sluggish, but imitators of those who through faith and patience inherit the promises.” Hebrews 6:11-12 ESV

John the Revelator exposes the beast of the Roman Empire.  The beast of our era is a combination of technology, consumerism, militarism and things like that that, which are all enemies of waiting.  Remember They have no rest, day or night, these worshipers of the beast  Revelation 14:11.  We get formed by the corrupt values of a superpower culture and one of the things it does is steal your rest, it steals your peace, you can’t even sleep at night.   If we allow our souls to conformed to the beast of a superpower culture, we become the most impatient people in history and we can’t even sleep at night because the flashing lights settled deep in my brain…

The Bible says things like this – Be still and knowthe Bible says be at rest.  The Bible says have patience.  The Bible says wait for God.   The beast, the dominant culture, says just the opposite.  The Bible says be still, the beast says be loud.  The Bible says be at rest, the beast says be upset.   The Bible says have patience, the beast says demand it now.  The Bible says wait for God, the beast says wait for nothing.   And the flashing lights settled deep in my brain and you can’t even sleep at night…

Here’s the lie that impatience tells you – impatience says life isn’t worth living until you get everything you want.  That’s the lie.  The truth is almost all of life happens while you’re waiting.   Life happens in the waiting.  But if we buy into the modern lie that we can have everything we want right now, and that waiting is some form of malady, the what you have done is created a way of living that makes it impossible, for the most part, to be happy.

Most of life happens in the waiting.  But if you can’t be happy in the waiting, you have created an unhappiness for yourself.  A needless frustration with life.  If we don’t learn to live in the waiting, our lives are wasted in needless frustration.

So what was Abraham doing as he sat at the door of his tent in the heat of the day (Genesis 18:1)?   Waiting.  Waiting for what?   You could say God.  Abraham might have said that.  But if asked ‘What are you doing Abraham?”, he might have said “Nothing, I’m just here.”   But what are you doing Abraham?   “Guess I’m waiting.”   Well, what are you waiting for?   “I don’t know. I’m waiting for what comes next.”   Does that bother Abraham?  A modern man, this would bother.  Abraham might just offer us a date (the fruit).   Abraham lives his life at the pace of a nomadic shepherd.

Another way of saying it would be like this – what was Abraham doing in the heat of the day?   Living.  He didn’t feel compelled to make something happen.  Yet he lived the most important life prior to Jesus Christ, most of it just waiting.   But living in the waiting.

For almost everyone reading this, thus says the Lord – God wants you to slow down!!   God wants us to slow down by learning to live now and stop being in a hurry for an imagined future.  We all think we’re going to be happy when I get there.   I’ll be happy when I get there.  We’re goal oriented, we read books on goal setting.  But the thing about there is you never get thereThere is always there. The only place you’re ever going to be is here.  You never get there.  

So many of us say I’m not really happy right now, I’m kind of frustrated, but when I get there I’m going to be happy.   Oh, dear one.  We will lay you down in the grave and say kind words over you before you’ll ever be happy, because you never get there.   If you’re going to be happy, be happy here.

Some of us need to sit at the entrance of our tent (or our house), we need to sit outdoors in the heat of the day, with a bowl of fruit, eat that fruit slow, and say I’m going to sit here until I’m happy.  I’m going to sit here until my blood pressure lowers, my heart rate comes down, and I understand I don’t have to  do something to be in the will of God.  All I have to do is wait, because that’s faith.  The vision is for an appointed time…if it seems slow, wait for it.  The just shall live by faith.

From Isaiah – “Have you not known? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He does not faint or grow weary; his understanding is unsearchable. He gives power to the faint, and to him who has no might he increases strength. Even youths shall faint and be weary, and young men shall fall exhausted; but they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.”  Isaiah 40:28-31 ESV.  We used to wait for it.   The word of the Lord today is wait for it.  Slow down.  Wait for the Lord.  Learn to live in the waiting so you can sleep at night and be at peace.

For still the vision awaits its appointed time; it hastens to the end—it will not lie. If it seems slow, wait for it; it will surely come; it will not delay. “Behold, his soul is puffed up; it is not upright within him, but the righteous shall live by his faith.” Habakkuk 2:3-4 ESV

But we desire each one of you to show the same earnestness to have the full assurance of hope until the end, so that you may not be sluggish, but imitators of those who through faith and patience inherit the promises.” Hebrews 6:11-12 ESV

And the smoke of their torment goes up forever and ever, and they have no rest, day or night, these worshipers of the beast and its image, and whoever receives the mark of its name.“” Revelation 14:11 ESV

John Lewis

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