Tag: Waiting

Waiting in Worship

A.W. Tozerby A.W. Tozer

Be still before the LORD and wait patiently for him. Psalm 37:7a

The popular notion that the first obligation of the church is to spread the gospel to the uttermost parts of the earth is false. Her first obligation is to be spiritually worthy to spread it. Our Lord said “Go,” but He also said “Wait,” and the waiting had to come before the going. Had the disciples gone forth as missionaries before the day of Pentecost, it would have been an overwhelming spiritual disaster, for they could have done no more than make converts after their own likeness, and this would have altered for the worse the whole history of the Western world and had consequences throughout the ages to come.

To spread an effete, degenerate brand of Christianity to pagan lands is not to fulfill the commandment of Christ or to discharge our obligation to the heathen. These terrible words of Jesus haunt my soul: “You travel over land and sea to win a single convert, and when he becomes one, you make him twice as much a son of hell as you are” (Matthew 23:15).

To win men of Judaism from among the Gentile nations was altogether a good and right thing to do. Thousands of happy converts were won to the religion of Moses during the years of Israel’s spiritual ascendancy; but at the time of Christ Judaism had sunk so low that her missionary effort wrought actual harm instead of good.

by A.W. Tozer

Waiting Rather than Fretting

A.W. Tozerby A.W. Tozer

Be still before the LORD and wait patiently for him; do not fret when men succeed in their ways, when they carry out their wicked schemes. Psalm 37:7

Of one thing we may be sure; we can never escape the external stimuli that cause vexation. The world is full of them and though we were to retreat to a cave and live the remainder of our days alone, we still could not lose them. The rough floor of our cave would chafe us, the weather would irritate us and the very silence would cause us to fret.

Deliverance from a fretting spirit may be by blood and fire, by humility, self-abnegation and a patient carrying of the cross. There will always be “evildoers” and “workers of iniquity,” and for the most part they will appear to succeed while the forces of righteousness will seem to fail. The wicked will always have the money and the talent and the publicity and the numbers, while the righteous will be few and poor and unknown. The prayerless Christian will surely misread the signs and fret against the circumstances. That is what the Spirit warns us against.

Let us look out calmly upon the world; or better yet, let us look down upon it from above where Christ is seated and we are seated in Him. Though the wicked spread himself like “a green tree in its native soil” (Psalm 37:35), it is only for a moment. Soon he passes away and is not. But “the salvation of the righteous comes from the LORD; he is their stronghold in time of trouble” (verse 39). This knowledge should cure the fretting spirit.

by A.W. Tozer