“Wait on the Lord, be of good courage, and He shall strengthen your heart; wait, I say, on the Lord” (Psalm 27:14)
Last week was Easter and it was a very interesting time. On the previous evening we had attended a liturgical service in which the lights were turned off altogether and a large candle was carried by white-robed individuals throughout the church. One candle lit others, and soon that large church of several hundred people was brightly lit from just the candles we all held in our hands. The following morning we were attending a Sunday morning service that was more “protestant” in nature, though I don’t think they were protesting anything.
My wife had invited a young widow to attend the Sunday service with us and from their texts back-and-forth on cell phones the plan was that the young woman would soon arrive with her four young children. My wife, Genevieve, placed her purse, her Bible and a couple of bulletins on five seats next to mine. Genevieve would meet the widow outside, help get her four young children into the Sunday school and then bring the widow into the service. The young widow’s sister and someone else would possibly be there also. A couple of the children were apt to insist on remaining with their mother and so five seats were held.
I continued to hold those seats in the crowded sanctuary, even though several ushers who were helping parishioners and visitors kept asking me about those five empty chairs. A lady in the row in front of me whispered questions to the man next to her: “Who is in those seats? Why isn’t anybody in them?” She gestured toward the seats next to me. He shrugged in response.
Some time passed and the seats were still vacant. I glanced around and noticed that there were a few seats still open at the far end of the sanctuary, so I wasn’t too concerned, even though there were a couple of glares in my direction for hoarding those chairs. I continued to hold them all through the service as it turned out because the young widow and her family never appeared and finally my wife entered alone, just as the last song was being sung. The music was beautiful and Genevieve sat next to me during the rendition of “The Wondrous Cross.” She mentioned to me after that she had been watching the rest of the service on the television set outside while waiting for the widow.
I confess that my ability to wait is limited, even though I have often been encouraged by His words in today’s Scripture: “Wait on the Lord, be of good courage, and He shall strengthen your heart; wait, I say, on the Lord” (Psalm 27:14). And you should be encouraged, too, for even though your ability to wait may be somewhat limited like mine, nevertheless our Lord is unlimited in His ability to wait for you and me. There are “seats” being held for us in eternity, and the One who holds them is infinitely able to save them for us. I kept those seats until the end of the service. He is holding a place for us all of our lives. Our places in eternity are carefully marked with something better than a purse and bulletins. Our names are written on them in the blood of Jesus Christ.
The Lord only asks that you have faith in Him and who He is. He spoke the truth when He told His disciples, “In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself, that where I am, there you may be also” (John 14:2-3). Peter later said in his first public sermon, “the promise is to you and to your children, and to all who are afar off, as many as the Lord our God will call” (Acts 2:39). There is a place reserved for you.
He is calling out to you. Decades ago when the Lord placed it on my heart to buy a Bible, I never dreamed that the Lord would speak to me personally through the written Word of God. I thought it was just another book like the ones I had read previously, including the so-called “scriptures” of a number of religions. I wasn’t changed by them, but the Bible changed everything. I learned that “faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God” (Romans 10:17). I found that “the Word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart” (Hebrews 4:12). I have no idea where the “division of soul and spirit” might be but I do know that His Word is blessing me in the center of my being.
It is a great and wonderful circle of events. The Bible brought me to Jesus Christ, who filled me with His Spirit, who helped me to understand the Bible, and His Word taught me more-and-more about Jesus Christ. Go to the Lord. As He said, “Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you” (Matthew 6:33).
David, who was the author of Psalm 27, had less information about the Lord than you and I do. He was born, lived and died hundreds of years before the advent of Jesus Christ, and yet he “got it.” He understood. Deep inside, he had become wonderfully CONNECTED to the Lord. He made many mistakes. He was a warrior, responsible for many deaths. He had many wives and even with that, he committed adultery and was responsible for the death of the woman’s husband. He was flawed like all of us but what he had going for him was the grace of God operative through faith in the Lord. Give yourself to the Lord and He does the rest.
In the 27th Psalm, David said, “The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The Lord is the strength of my life, of whom shall I be afraid?... Though an army should encamp against me, my heart shall not fear… One thing I have desired of the Lord, that will I seek; that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the Lord, and to inquire in His temple… In the day of trouble He shall hide me… I will offer sacrifices of joy…” And there is much more for us in that Psalm. David failed often and like many human leaders, he failed BIG, but he also TRUSTED in the Lord. And just like it is for you, faith is enough, for David found the forgiveness of God. God has a place for him and when you look to the Lord, you’ll see, you'll find that He has a place for you also.
I did make a key mistake on Sunday morning. I focused too much on holding the seats and because of it missed portions of the sermon. The pastor of the church we attended is always well prepared and inevitably has much to say that we all need to hear, yet I lost the thread in some places. We’re not to worry so much about what is around us. “Wait on the Lord” we learn in Psalm 27:14. He is in charge of those circumstances in your life that worry you right now. Whether or not those seats were filled was His problem, not mine, and when I think about it, we might worry less and pray more when things aren’t like we expect them to be.
What are you worried about today? What mistakes have you made? How many times have you failed to pray? Were you charged with “holding the seats” in some situation but failed to do it? We aren’t perfect and God does demand perfection, which is why the blood of Jesus was needed for David’s sins, backward in time, and for yours and mine, forward in time. Paul the Apostle had more information than David did, but both had faith in the Lord and it was enough. Paul said, “All have sinned and come short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). He also said, “The wages of sin is death” and then blessedly he continued, “but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 6:23).
Come and fill the “seat,” the place that the Lord has reserved for You.
Dear Lord, we are late in coming to You and almost missed what You have prepared for us. We're sorry, Lord that so much of our attention has been on this world instead of on you. We place our faith in You now. Thank You. In Jesus Name. Amen.
Ron Beckham, Pastor - Ron@Friday Study.org
Friday Study Ministries - www.FridayStudy.org
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