VII.B.6.b Waiting in Preparedness



Article 6  – Progressive Aspects


By Daniel Irving

i.    Receiving of God through Girding Ourselves with Truth

ii.   Receiving of God through having Our Lights Burning

iii.  Attending unto Intimacy with God

iv.  The Psalms on Waiting

Lamp 02


i.  Receiving of God through Girding Ourselves with Truth

What does it mean to wait upon the Lord?  While we find numerous references in the prophets to waiting upon the Lord, such references are rare in the New Testament.  The principle New Testament reference to waiting upon the Lord appears to be that found in the Lord’s commandment:

Let your loins be girded about and your lights burning; And ye yourselves like unto men that wait for their Lord, when He will return from the wedding;Lamps & Virgins 01 that when He cometh and knocketh, they may open unto Him immediately.  Blessed are those servants whom the Lord when He cometh shall find watching; Verily I say unto you, that He shall gird Himself, and make them sit down to meat, and will come forth and serve them.  And if he come in the second watch, or come in the third watch, and find them so, blessed are those servants.                              Luke 12:35-38

What does it mean for us to wait on our Lord?  The particular meaning of the Greek word translated “wait”[1] is of interest.  It occurs elsewhere as follows:

Luk 15:2   And the Pharisees and scribes murmured, saying, This man receiveth sinners, and eateth with them.

Act 23:21  But do not thou yield unto them: for they lie in wait for him of them more than forty men, which have bound themselves with an oath, that they will neither eat nor drink till they have killed him: and now are they ready, looking for a promise from thee.

Rom 16:2  That ye receive her in the Lord, as becometh saints,

Php 2:29    Receive him therefore in the Lord with all gladness;

Heb 10:34  For ye had compassion of me in my bonds, and took joyfully the spoiling of your goods

Heb 11:35 Women received their dead raised to life again: and others were tortured, not accepting deliverance; that they might obtain a better resurrection:

This list represents a majority of the occurrences of this word.  The word means to receive.  The Greek lexicon defines it as to “admit to intercourse, hospitality . . to await (with confidence or patience); to accept, allow, look for, take.”  And is this not the Lord’s very context?  For what is the outcome of this waiting?  Their Lord shall even . . .

. . .  gird Himself, and make them sit down to meat, and will come forth and serve them.  And if he come in the second watch, or come in the third watch, and find them so, blessed are those servants.                                  Luke 12:35-38

While the ways of God are discerned spiritually, there is nonetheless a preparation for receiving the mind of Christ and moving pursuant to His will.  We make ourselves receptors for the Lord’s Spirit.  As to how is this done, two ways are expressed by the Lord:  We must; let our “loins be girded about” and have our “lights burning.”  Herein lies the two critical components of waiting upon the Lord so as to receive of His Spirit.

The first instruction is that we ensure that our; “loins be girded about.”  As to this instruction, Paul informs us that we do this by preparing our minds with truth.  The girding of our loins is a reference to having our minds ready and comprehensible to the truth of Christ:Loins Girt 01

Stand firm therefore, having girded your loins with truth . . .                                                                                       Eph. 6:14

Peter supports Paul that this concept of “girding” oneself relates to the preparing of our mind that we may receive from God.  He writes:

“Therefore gird your minds for action, keep sober in spirit, fix your hope completely on the grace to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ.”                                                  I Peter 1:13 Sailing Ship 03

The girding of our mind in the truth of Christ is likened in the prophets to the girding of a well- masted ship which is able to support a sail that can catch the direction of the wind.  This is the mind girded upon the truth of Christ as revealed in the word of God.  It is able to receive the motive thrust and direction of God’s Spirit.  But if our mind is not continually girded through occupation and meditation upon the Truth, then it  is loosened.  Loosened tackle on a sail cannot pick up the direction of the wind and is in danger of shipwreck.  Sailing Ship 02Therefore Isaiah prophesies:

Thy tacklings are loosed, they could not well strengthen their mast, they could not spread the sail.                          Is. 33:23

The mast of a ship is an allegory of prophecy that points to the cross of Jesus Christ as a motive spiritual force whether preached honestly or from men’s own selfish conceits.  The cross of Christ is the foundational truth for all mankind’s interactions with God.  Thus, wherever the Gospel is proclaimed, “whether in pretense or in truth,”[2] Paul could rejoice so long as it was the truth that was indeed preached.  Therefore this witness must hold fast its base if there is to be a true witness of the Spirit of God.  This is performed through the tight rigging of keeping the truth of the life, the death, and the resurrection of Jesus Christ firmly within our conscience, and by placing the Son of God before our face in meditation, study, and prayer.  Absent the mind’s reinforcement in the Gospel truth of the Person and work of Jesus Christ, we are left with loose rigging that cannot “spread the sail.”[3]  But those born of the Spirit must be ready to do so, as:Sailling Ship 04

The wind blows where it wishes and you hear the sound of it, but do not know where it comes from and where it is going; so is everyone who is born of the Spirit.                                                                                     John 3:8

If we will prepare our mind in truth as revealed in Scripture, God will renew our mind in Truth as the spiritual knowledge of Himself.  He will minister unto us the substance of His Word, which is even Himself.

So faith comes from hearing, & hearing by the word of Christ.    Rom. 10:17

In this way we allow the Spirit of God to renew the spirit of our mind.  Thus Paul writes:

And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mindthat you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.                   Rom. 12:2

If we have the Spirit of God indwelling us, we have access to the mind of Christ.  But we appropriate that mind of God through the girding of our loins in Truth.

ii.  Receiving of God through having Our Lights Burning

The Lord’s second instruction is that we have our “lights burning.”  This suggests the manifested presence of the Holy Ghost, that occurs whenever God is offered spiritual worship.  Recall Jesus’ words to the Samaritan woman:

“But an hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers shall worship the Father in spirit & truthfor such people the Father seeks to be His worshipers. God is spirit, & those who worship Him must worship in spirit & truth.”                                                                                   John 4:23-24

The fact this statement was made to a Samaritan woman is particularly noteworthy!  For the Samaritans were known as idolaters.  In fact, Samaria (as occupying a place in Israel) stands as a figure for spiritual worship while under a deficit of truth.[4]  Recall the Lord had told the woman, “Ye worship ye know not what.”[5]  Therefore if the command to gird our minds relates to Truth, the command to also have our lights burning, reasonably relates to the second leg of the true worship of God; which is that His worship include the component  of spirit.

What is spiritual worship?  While spiritual worship is internal, it has outward evidences depending upon the individual’s gifting from God.  Spiritual worship may manifest in various ways, including body movements, singing to the Lord, praise, thanksgiving, or psalms when one is moved upon by the Holy Ghost.  Spiritual worship may involves the gifts of the Spirit as well, particularly the gift of tongues given its purpose in the edification of the individual worshipper.[6]  There are many other kinds of evidences of spiritual worship.

How do we offer unto God spiritual worship?  We cannot “worship in Spirit and in Truth” unless we are made alive to do so through the Spirit of Christ indwelling us.  When once we are given life in the Spirit through admittance thereto by Christ, we may worship in spirit.  Therefore it is necessary to seek God for the Holy Spirit.  Lamp 03Until the Spirit of Christ is indwelling the believing heart, the attempt to worship God is a dry and fruitless exercise.  For this, we need the Lord’s baptism.  Christ must light our lamp.  But when He does, we have a part in keeping the lamp burning!  Recall that Paul writes to Timothy:

  Wherefore I put thee in remembrance that thou stir up the gift of God,  which is in thee by the putting on of my hands.                       II Tim. 1:6

If “the spirits of the prophets are subject to the prophets,”[7] then reasonably so are the spirits of those operating in the gifts and the divinely-appointed ministries subject to the gifted and to the minister.  They may be neglected, or they may be cultivated.  Likewise, the anointed worship of God is joined into the volitions of the worshiper, and may be either; allowed expression, or stifled.  While the unction of the Holy Spirit often initiates worship, the exercise of a gift, or the occasion of ministry, we are commanded to bring what God has activated within us to the fore of experience by stirring up the gift.   Therefore Paul writes:

Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us,  whether prophecy, let us prophesy according to the proportion of faith; Or ministry, let us wait on our ministering: or he that teaches on teaching; Or he that exhorteth, on exhortation: he that giveth, let him do it with simplicity; he that ruleth, with diligence; he that shows mercy, with cheerfulness.                  Rom 12:6-8

When we are brought into remembrance of our true hope and the object of our affection, the soul and the spirit will be stirred and awakened to action.  Therefore Peter tells the church, “stir up your pure minds by way of remembrance!”[8]

iii.  Attending unto Intimacy with God                                                           

Notice that when the Lord tells us to let our “loins be girded about and [our] lights burning,” he also alludes to the ultimate object of our preparedness, which is marriage.Lamps & Virgins 01

And ye yourselves like unto men that wait for their Lord, when He will return from the weddingthat when He cometh and knocketh, they may open unto Him immediately.         Luke 12:36

There is a marriage that is occurring!  Our earnest prayer to the Lord should be that not a moment pass that His Spirit is not attendant upon our soul whether waking or sleeping.  Likewise, our earnest efforts should be that our soul be always attendant upon His Spirit!  This tending after one another becomes an intimate transaction wherein we increasingly know the Lord, or more accurately, He knows us.[9]  We know Him by the love that comes through familiarity with His holy presence:

But if any man love God, the same is known of Him.                                                                                      I Cor. 8:3

Thus we procure the presence of the Holy Ghost through facilitating ourselves to His approaches for the purpose of our sanctification which is our conformity to image of God that is Christ.  Lamps & Virgins 04Spiritual intimacy with our Creator, becomes an eternal betrothal to our Creator.  Therefore Isaiah prophesies:

For thy Maker is thine husband, the Lord of Hosts is His name; and thy Redeemer the Holy One of Israel; The God of the whole earth shall he be called.               Is. 54:5

No more are the natural things of this world our focus and desire.  No more does the law of sin and death have dominion over us.  The title “Lord of Hosts” is a reference to Jesus Christ as sanctifier of His body, the Church.[10]  Sanctification is the redemptive process of union with God as we continually procure His death and His resurrection via the sanctifying work of His Spirit.  Thus our Creator is inviting us into union with Himself!

Isaiah introduces bride to husband when he prophesies: “and thy Redeemer the Holy One of Israel.” She that is called to marriage must understand that her; “Redeemer is the Holy One of Israel”, as “without holiness no man shall see the Lord”.[11]  How is she joined to a husband she will never see?  She will “see Him” after a process of preparing her garments through the covenant that entitles her access to the resources of her eternally-betrothed.  Heaven 01At the culminating time, she shall open her eyes and truly “see” something that shall effect a change that God already accomplished when he said; “Let there be . . . ”, ie. the eternal union of the creature to the Creator.  The fulfillment of the “marriage supper of the Lamb”, to which John alludes when he writes:

   Beloved, now we are children of God, and it has not appeared as yet what we shall be; but we know that,  when He appears, we shall be like Him, because we shall see Him just as He is.                         I John 3:2

iv.  The Psalms on Waiting

The Psalms speak extensively of waiting upon the Lord.  David prays:

Lead me in Thy truth, and teach me: for Thou are the God of my salvation; on Thee do I wait all the day.                    Ps. 25:5

This teaches us that waiting on the Lord allows us to be instructed by the Spirit of God.  We are “taught of God.”[12]  We will have hundreds of thoughts during the day that are not based in God’s word.  These typically have their source in self-interest, self-seeking, and faulty notions of truth.  The fruit of these thoughts is confusion and sin.  Waiting on the Lord involves laying these thoughts aside through the aide of His Spirit by identifying them as not of God, but of the flesh.  We wait upon Him by orienting ourselves to the truth of His word.   This allows the Spirit of God to motivate us and to quicken (ie. invigorate) us unto His ways and purposes.

David exhorts:

Wait on the Lord; be of good courage, and He shall strengthen thine heart; wait, I say, on the Lord.                   Ps. 27:14

Waiting on the Lord strengthens our faith, and is urged as an essential aspect of our relationship with God.  David later exhorts:

Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for Him;  fret not thyself because of him who prospereth in his way, because of the man who brings wicked devices to pass.  Cease from anger & forsake wrath; fret not thyself in any wise to do evil.  For evildoers shall be cut off; but those that wait upon the Lord, they shall inherit the earth.                                                                                      Ps. 37:7- 9 

To “wait patiently” is to rely upon His justification rather than upon our own.  We withhold ourselves from judgment and from retaliation in the flesh.   We defer, we wait for God’s judgment.  Just as we do not rely upon our own works, neither do we condemn or criticize others on the basis of their works, as evil as they may be.Dark Sunset

Wait on the Lord and keep His way, and He shall exalt thee to inherit the land; when the wicked are cut off, thou shalt see it.               Ps. 37:34

If we are faithful in this, we shall see the wicked cut off.   God allows us to see the results of our patient resistance to answer back an insult or to retaliate.  In truth, what was truly wicked may not have been the thing we supposed!  In this way we learn of His righteous judgments.

There is a correlation between waiting and conformity to the ways of Christ.  Christ describes Himself as being “meek and lowly of spirit.”  Christ holds the perfect power of God.  Through waiting, we learn this.Breastplate 02

Because of His strength will I wait upon Thee.  For God is my defense.                                                                                      Ps. 59:9

David prophesies:

Truly my soul waiteth upon God; from Him cometh my salvation.  He only is my rock and my salvation; he is my defense; I shall not be greatly moved.                                                                                    Ps. 62:1-2

Again, waiting on God relates to reliance upon Him alone to justify.  We have no quarrel with men regardless of their wickedness.  We make recognition in waiting, that our justification comes through Christ alone.  We no longer demand the benefits of the Law, even as Christ did not, Who was “cut off out of the land of the living” for a transgression not His own.[13]    When we defer from demanding our rights and benefits under the law, neither do we fall under its reciprocal condemnation.  We wait for another covenant.  We wait for God’s mercy and grace, which is a  vastly greater thing!

If Thou, Lord, should mark iniquities, O Lord, who shall stand?   But there is forgiveness with Thee that Thou mayest be feared.   I wait for the Lord.  My soul doth wait.  And in His word do I hope.   My soul waiteth for the Lord more than they that watch for the morning;  I say, more than they that watch for the morning. Let Israel hope in the Lord; for with the Lord there is mercy, and with Him is plenteous redemption.                            Ps. 130:3-7

Waiting upon the Lord means to hope in God with a confidence in his mercy and forgiveness, because we know that His redemption is “plenteous.”  Lamps & Virgins 02The soul that has experienced the immense  forgiveness God extends due to the sacrifice offered by His Son, has received great encouragement and reason to hope again.  These have learned to wait.

. . . so our eyes wait upon the Lord our God, until that he have mercy upon us.            Ps. 123:2

[1] G4327  prosdechomai   pros-dekh’-om-ahee     From G4314 and G1209; to admit (to intercourse, hospitality, credence or (figuratively) endurance); by implication to await (with confidence or patience): – accept, allow, look (wait) for, take.

[2] Philippians 1:18

[3] Isaiah 33:23

[4] “Judah” (conversely) represents the opposite stumbling-block, ie. a holding to the truth as doctrine while denying its power (ie. “spirit”)

[5] John 4:22

[6] I Corinthians 14:4  He that speaketh in an unknown tongue edifieth himself; but he that prophesieth edifieth the church.

[7] I Corinthians 14:32

[8] II Peter 3:1

[9] Galatians 4:9

[10] See commentary on Isaiah 8:13 for discussion of term “the Lord of Hosts”

[11] Hebrews 12:14

[12] John 6:45, I Thessalonians 4:9

[13] Isaiah 53:8  He was taken from prison and from judgment; and who shall declare his generation?  For he was cut off out of the land of the living; for the transgression of my people was he stricken.


About Lamp-Stand

I was converted to the faith of Jesus Christ in 1982 at which time I received water baptism and Spirit baptism. In the Spring of 2008 I was led of the Spirit through a process of repentance upon which I had an encounter with Christ that worked a profound change upon my inner being. I became aware that I had been forgiven a great debt of sin. I soon felt the Lord's direction that I close my office that my energies not be divided from the study of doctrine.
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