Renewal, the rinsing away of dead things, both personal and traditional, requires from us a resilient strength. God instructed Isaiah, “you who put the Lord in remembrance, take no rest, and give him no rest.” God is asking some to take seriously the call to be vigilant in waiting upon Him. ‘Those who wait upon the Lord will acquire a new strength,’ so goes the famous Isaiah scripture. To wait means to get into position to receive, much the same way a wide receiver will to catch a pass. Waiting is more about positioning ourselves, and pushing hurdles and overwhelming heaviness away. It’s about perseverance. As God builds our spiritual stamina we dig down into places untouched, into the marrow of our belief system and draw out of it the smallest seed—faith to stay until He shows up. Following are several hurdles that stand in our way of this happening.
The Hurdle of Noise
We have surrounded our lives with many voices, all good ones, and very few negotiable. The noise can deafen us, and keep us from hearing what God wants to say. Are you willing to risk an earnest journey out of the din, and into the stillness of resting, waiting, and seeking? It would be similar to keeping a bedside vigil. No rest, nothing getting in the way, pure love and focus, because that’s all you can do. Only wait for them to stir, and say something. In my experience I have found intimacy through prolonged proximity; a discipline that has deepened love between us. But it has always begun with tuning out noise and tuning into the Holy Spirit.
The Hurdle of Patience.
Ask God to fill you with the fruit of patience. Without it, prayer becomes a distracted side bar conversation with oneself. To hear the inaudible inflection of His Voice we must rest from the creeping squiggles; feelings of urgent movement away from focused vigil. It helps us sink into the belief that we too have ascended the hill with Christ, cross firmly on our back, and there die to all motivations beyond the scope of love. Patience allows us to strain the anvil of the spiritual inner ear to detect a syllable of grace from the cross He hung upon. To rest in the utterance He made at the end of His agony; “It is finished.” The time we spend in worship, resting in his finished work, removes the stops from ears accustomed to heavy audible words, and allows us to hear faint whisper, a delicate, yet concrete impression, pushing us out of comfort, and into faith; always faith. Our place now is in response to His impulses.
The Hurdle of Words
Chatty Cathy dolls have their place with little girls, but her verbosity doesn’t square with Isaiah’s call to wait. We don’t dial into the Voice, as if a radio, nor can we manipulate His heart to bring us words we need. It is a gift, a grace available to all born-twice children of Abba. David said, “if I don’t hear you, I will be like those who go down to the pit.” It is our birthright, our very DNA, that we connect heart to heart with a Father, whose motivation is not that we would pray, pray, pray, but listen, listen, listen. We often pour out our petitions, empty our concerns and then go to the next to do. It takes some time before we are ready to hear the inaudible.
Build your ability to wait, pray, worship, dance, listen, listen and listen, and you will begin to depend on the Voice, and grow in faith. Personally, when I can wait upon God without hindrance, that’s when the spiritual anvil of my ear feels a faint vibration, an inaudible but specific impression—His unmistakable Voice. That’s when I begin to write on my notepad, feverishly capturing His heart. That’s when I say a prayer of intent to obey by faith all that I have written.