Book Summary Waiting on God by Andrew Murray

Waiting on God by Andrew Murray

Waiting on God


“PREVIOUS to my leaving for England last year, I had been much impressed by the thought of how, in all our religion, personal and public, we need more of God. I had felt that we needed to train our people in their worship more to wait on God, and to make the cultivation of a deeper sense of His presence, of more direct contact with Him, of entire dependence on Him, a definite aim of our ministry.”

Murray opens this set of 31 meditations with this fact: We need more of God. John Eldredge in his book – Getting Your Life Back – tells us that we would have more of God if we gave more of ourselves to Him. These daily meditations will help you give more of yourself to God as you learn to wait on Him and Him only.

Murray gives another shot over the bow: “The great lack of our religion is, we do not know God

Oh Lord, train us to wait on You. Train us to cultivate a deeper sense of Your presence. Train us to make more direct contact with You. Train me to be entirely dependent upon You. And Lord, help me to teach others.

“whoever does them [the ways of God] and teaches others, will be called great in the kingdom of heaven.” Matthew 5:19

“Blessed is the one who does them and teaches others.”

Day 1 WAITING ON GOD: The God of Our Salvation

For God alone my soul waits in silence;
from him comes my salvation. Psalm 62:1

Summary of the Meditation

If salvation “comes from God and is entirely His work” therefore our “first and highest duty is to wait on Him.” Waiting is the only true way to know God. Every problem we have in working out our salvation comes from a “defective knowledge and practice of waiting on God.” Murray equates waiting on God with “absolute and unceasing dependence upon God.”

Murray then tells us why there is this deep need for learning and practicing waiting on God:

The Nature of Man

    • “Man was not [created] to have in himself a fountain of life, or strength, or happiness: the ever-living and only living One was each moment to be the Communicator to him of all that he needed.”
    • “Man’s glory and blessedness was not to be independent, or dependent upon himself, but dependent on a God of such infinite riches and love. Man was to have the joy of receiving every moment out of the fullness of God.”

The Nature of God

    • “God, as Creator, formed man, to be a vessel in which He could show forth His power and goodness.”
    • God began the work of salvation, God will continue it, and God will complete it.
    • “God, as Infinite Love, delights to impart His own nature to His child as fully as He can”

Why don’t Christians know the blessedness of waiting? “Christians do not know … their own absolute poverty and helplessness, that they have no sense of the need of absolute and unceasing dependence, or of the unspeakable blessedness of continual waiting on God.”

“May God teach us the blessedness of waiting on Him.”

Father – where do I not know my own absolute poverty and helplessness. Where am I not in a position of absolute and unceasing dependence? Do I actually believe that there are unspeakable blessings of waiting on You continually?

Day 2 WAITING ON GOD: The Keynote of Life

‘I have waited for Thy salvation, O Lord!’— Gen. 49: 18

Summary of the Meditation

Murray admits that we don’t know exactly what Jacob is talking about in this passage. He is prophesying over his sons’ future destiny. Clearly it is a statement of faith. He then drops this gem on us in this devotion:

God cannot part with His grace, or goodness, or strength, as an external thing that He gives us, as He gives the raindrops from heaven. No; He can only give it, and we can only enjoy it, as He works it Himself directly and unceasingly.

God’s grace comes to us – not as something dispensed from heaven – but He comes with it. This reminds me of something Paul says in Romans 8. “He who did not spare His own Son but gave Him up for us all, how will He not also, with Him, graciously give us all things.” Notice the “with Him.” God comes with all of His good gifts.

And he exhorts us, in our private and public prayers to practice waiting on God.

What holds us back? Murray says: “We hinder Him either by our indifference or by our self effort, so that He cannot do what He would. ”

Father, reveal to me my indifference. Where am I indifferent to You or Your ways? And where am I relying on my own efforts? Have thine own way O Lord.

Day 3 WAITING ON GOD: The True Place of the Creature

These all look to you,
to give them their food in due season.
28 When you give it to them, they gather it up;
when you open your hand, they are filled with good things. ESV Psalm 104:27-28

They all wait for You
To give them their food in due season.
28 You give to them, they gather it up;

Open wide

You open Your hand, they are satisfied with good. NASB Psalm 104:27-28

Summary of the Meditation

“Just as much as it was God’s work to create, it is His work to maintain. As little as the creature could create itself, is it left to provide for itself? The whole creation is ruled by the one unalterable law of— waiting upon God!”

Murray is telling us that God does not leave us to fend for ourselves. He provides. Our job is to wait on Him. That can easily be misinterpreted to say: God will bring me a job. I just need to wait for Him to do it. Clearly Murray isn’t saying that. He goes on to say that the word wait in Hebrew is used to inspect a wall. So waiting in not passive. It is actively looking. Looking for the job that God will provide. But not being anxious about it. He will provide. I will pursue – actively inspecting the walls of employment.

“And just as this is the very place and nature of God, to be unceasingly the supplier of every want in the creature, so the very place and nature of the creature is nothing but this—to wait upon God and receive from Him what He alone can give, what He delights to give.” … If once our eyes are opened to this precious truth, all Nature will become a preacher, reminding us of the relationship which, founded in creation, is now taken up in grace”

Papa, I know my place in the scheme of things. I know Your place. Yet I so often put it all on me. I put all the weight on me to get the car through inspection. I put all the weight on me to help Barbara through these difficult health issues. O Lord, help me to wait on You who desires – nay delights to give us good things. May I be like that little bird with my mouth wide open to be filled!

Day 4 WAITING ON GOD: For Supplies

The Lord upholds all who are falling
and raises up all who are bowed down.
15 The eyes of all look to you,
and you give them their food in due season. Psalm 145:14-15

Summary of the Meditation

“What the universe and the animal creation does unconsciously, God’s people are to do intelligently and voluntarily. … He is to prove that there is nothing more noble or more blessed in the exercise of our free will than to use it in waiting upon God.”

Murray starts the meditation by encouraging us to pattern our waiting after the animal kingdom and an army. For the animal kingdom, we need to see God’s faithfulness.  Then, Murray uses the analogy of the army that doesn’t move forward until it is fully supplied. In the same way we are to not move forward until we have received the grace and strength we need to move forward.

Next he addresses how our praying should be shaped by waiting. He says that even when there is much praying, there is often very little waiting:

“In praying we are often occupied with ourselves, with our own needs, and our own efforts in the presentation of them. In waiting upon God, the first thought is of the God upon whom we wait. We enter His presence, and feel we need just to be quiet, so that He, as God, can overshadow us with Himself. God longs to reveal Himself, to fill us with Himself. Waiting on God gives Him time in His own way and divine power to come to us.”

How do we do it?

“Just be still before Him, and allow His Holy Spirit to waken and stir up in your soul the childlike disposition of absolute dependence and confident expectation.”

Jesus, show me where I am relying on my own broken cistern. My own supply.

Show me where there is much praying and very little waiting and then help me to wait.

Day 5 WAITING ON GOD: For Instruction

4 Make me to know your ways, O Lord;
teach me your paths.
Lead me in your truth and teach me,
for you are the God of my salvation;
for you I wait all the day long. Psalm 25:4-5

Summary of the Meditation

“I SPOKE of an army, on the point of entering an enemy’s territories, answering the question as to the cause of delay: ‘Waiting for supplies.’ The answer might also have been: ‘Waiting for instructions,’ or, ‘Waiting for orders.’”

Murray asserts that the need for instructions is as important as supplies for the army and to us.

“The writer [of Psalm 25] knew and loved God’s law exceedingly, and meditated in that law day and night. But he knew that this was not enough. He knew that for the right spiritual apprehension of the truth, and for the right personal application of it to his own peculiar circumstances, he needed a direct divine teaching.”

Cessassionists would disagree  and could just as easily say:

4 Make me to know your ways from Your written word, O Lord;
teach me your paths as I read the Scriptures.
Lead me in your truth and teach me from the Bible,

But Murray is clear that this instruction is to come directly from God.  And how does he say that it comes?

“And what is needed in us to receive this guidance? One thing: waiting for instructions,  waiting on God. ‘On Thee do I wait all the day.’  We want in our times of prayer to give clear expression to our sense of need, and our faith in His help. We want definitely to become conscious of our ignorance as to what God’s way may be, and the need of the Divine light shining within us…”

And the emphasis is on the “all the day.”

Lord, help me not just to wait on you in my quiet times. But all the day long. In all that I do. Not to become crippled in doing but empowered in my doing. And Lord, I need to hear directly from You. Be it through illumination by You from Your word or through others or through the still small voice of Your Spirit, I ask for You to speak.

Day 6 WAITING ON GOD: For all the saints

Indeed, none who wait for you shall be put to shame;
they shall be ashamed who are wantonly treacherous. Psalm 25:6 (ESV)

Summary of the Meditation

Murray asks us to turn our attention and prayers away from ourselves and towards all the saints who are waiting.  “how many there are, sick and weary and solitary, to whom it is as if their prayers are not answered, and who sometimes begin to fear that their hope will be put to shame. And then, how many servants of God, ministers or missionaries, teachers or workers, of various name, whose hopes in their work have been disappointed, and whose longing for power and blessing remains unsatisfied.” He tells us that this is a way to bear one another’s burden and so fulfill the law of Christ.

How do we do that? Murray teaches by example:

Blessed Father! we humbly beseech Thee, Let none that wait on Thee be ashamed; no, not one. Some are weary, and the time of waiting appears long. And some are feeble, and scarcely know how to wait. And some are so entangled in the effort of their prayers and their work, they think that they can find no time to wait continually. Father! teach us all how to wait. Teach us to think of each other, and pray for each other. Teach us to think of Thee, the God of all waiting ones. Father! let none that wait on Thee be ashamed. For Jesus’ sake. Amen.

Father, bring to mind those who are waiting for You. I seem to get caught up with just the few who are immediately in front of me. But I know there are many. Open my mind and my heart towards them. And may I pray for them.

Day 7 WAITING ON GOD: A Plea in Prayer

May integrity and uprightness preserve me,
for I wait for you. Psalm 25:21

Summary of the Meditation

Murray encourages us to hold to and claim this promise from Psalm 25 that we reflected on yesterday: “none who wait for you shall be put to shame.”

Then, based on this Psalm, Murray calls for something I cannot abide with:

If we draw near to God, it must be with a true heart. There must be perfect integrity, wholeheartedness, in our dealing with God. As we read in the next Psalm (26: 1, 11), ‘Judge me, O Lord, for I have walked in my integrity,’ ‘As for me, I will walk in my integrity,’ there must be perfect uprightness or single-heartedness before God. As it is written, ‘His righteousness is for the upright in heart.’ The soul must know that it allows nothing sinful, nothing doubtful; if it is indeed to meet the Holy One, and receive His full blessing, it must be with a heart wholly and singly given up to His will.

If to draw near to God requires: a true heart; perfect integrity; wholeheartedness; allow nothing sinful, nothing doubtful – we are all doomed. If God judges us by the integrity of our walk, there is no hope. He is taking David’s Old Covenant theology of works and law and proof-texting this idea. The scripture is clear – “there is none righteous, no not one” and “our righteousness is as filthy rags.” You cannot have both.

So what is going on in these Psalms? The more we draw near to God, the more we see our need to be like Him – to walk in integrity, to appropriate the imputed righteousness from Jesus’ finished work. And the more we appropriate that imputed righteousness, the more our heart longs to walk in that way.

Murray does acknowledge that our first attempts at walking in integrity may fail, but he strongly implies that it is possible. He turns these failures around  and sees them as a means of blessing that waiting brings about.

A soul cannot seek close fellowship with God, or attain the abiding consciousness of waiting on Him all the day, without a very honest and entire surrender to all His will.

So the blessing in our failures is the open door to honest and entire surrender to Him.

He encourages us to specify exactly what we are waiting for:

It is good that we sometimes count up to ourselves exactly what the things are we are waiting for, and as we say definitely of each of them, ‘On Thee do I wait,’ we shall be emboldened to claim the answer, ‘For on Thee do I wait.’

What will motivate our waiting and awaken our attention to wait on God?

It is the presence of a beloved or a dreaded master that wakens up the whole attention of the servant who waits on him. It is the presence of God, as He can in Christ by His Holy Spirit make Himself known, and keep the soul under its covering and shadow, that will awaken and strengthen the true waiting spirit.

Lord, as I spend time in Your presence, awaken my whole attention to expectant waiting.

Day 8 WAITING ON GOD: Strong and of Good Courage

13 I believe that I shall look upon the goodness of the Lord
in the land of the living!
14 Wait for the Lord;
be strong, and let your heart take courage;
wait for the Lord! Psalm 27:13-14

Summary of the Meditation

The Psalmist tells us that he would have fainted had it not been for his belief that he would see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Lord, we can grow weary (and faint) with all that is going on around us. But, do we really believe that we will see Your goodness? Do I really believe that I will see Your goodness in my family? In today’s troubles? Do I really believe that You will make a way for me in every situation I face – TODAY?

Am I waiting? Because that is the assurance of things hoped for. The evidence of things unseen. Do I believe that my quiet and confident waiting will be blessed and result in blessedness?  Do I have the courage to believe that God will hear and help? Murray tells us:

one of the deepest secrets of [waiting on God’s] blessedness and blessing, is a quiet, confident persuasion that it is not in vain; courage to believe that God will hear and help; that we are waiting on a God who never could disappoint His people. … Is waiting on God a work so difficult, that, for that too, such words are needed, ‘Be strong, and let your heart take courage’? Yes, indeed.  … The Psalmist says – Be strong and take courage. We normally think that applies to powerful and dangerous endeavors. But no! We must be strong and take courage just to wait!

Murray tells us we need to be strong and courageous to wait because we face:

    • Enemies before whom we are impotent
    • Spiritual needs which are basically unseen
    • Impossible tasks (for humans)
    • Supernatural realities totally foreign to us
    • The kind of relationship with God with which we are unaccustomed
    • A God who often appears to hide Himself

We who have to wait are often tempted to fear that we do not wait aright, that our faith is too feeble, that our desire is not as upright or as earnest as it should be, that our surrender is not complete. Our heart may well faint and fail.

Murray’s solution:

We ought to make up our minds to this, that nothing was ever so sure, as that waiting on God will bring us untold and unexpected blessing. … If you say that you are afraid of deceiving yourself with vain hope, because you do not see or feel any warrant in your present state for such special expectations, my answer is, it is God, who is the warrant for your expecting great things. … God’s love is just His delight to impart Himself and His blessedness to His children.

He gives us this analogy:

As a feeble, sickly invalid is brought out into the sunshine to let its warmth go through him, come with all that is dark and cold in you into the sunshine of God’s holy, omnipotent love, and sit and wait there, with the one thought: Here I am, in the sunshine of His love.

Lord, I need your strength and your courage to face what I am facing. You spoke to me last week that I don’t really believe that You “will make a way where there seems to be no way.” Then amazingly, you made a way in a situation where there seemed to be no way. May this time of waiting grow my faith and stamina; my strength and courage.

Day 9 WAITING ON GOD: With the Heart

Be strong, and let your heart take courage,
all you who wait for the Lord! Psalm 31:24

Summary of the Meditation

How do we wait on God? With our mind or our will? No, Murray says:

It is with the heart we must wait upon God. ‘Let your heart take courage.’ All our waiting depends upon the state of the heart.

Most of us, “know not how infinitely greater the heart is than the mind.”

People imagine that if they are occupied with the truth, the spiritual life will as a matter of course be strengthened. And this is by no means the case. … My mind is utterly impotent in creating or maintaining the spiritual life within me: the heart must wait on God for Him to work it in me.

Pastor Andre taught this morning that the Hebrew understanding of the heart includes the intellect.  Here are some quotes from  Pursue God :

    • In biblical Hebrew, the heart is where we feel feelings and think thoughts. In fact, ancient Israelites didn’t even have a word for “brain” that we know of. Jeremiah 15:16Proverbs 14:33
    • The heart is also where we make choices. So the concept of the “heart” is best understood as the “inner person” – the seat of our mind (thoughts), emotions (feelings), and will (intentions). Psalm 37:4Proverbs 4:23James 1:14-15

And another from Torah Apologetics:

So the heart is the seat of the mind, it deals with thoughts and intentions. Just as it is used the very first time in Gen. 6, describing the “intent of the heart” of man. It is not the seat of emotions.

So, with this understanding we need to better understand where Murray is going with this. Murray goes on to say that we cultivate the religion of the mind rather than the religion of the heart. He quotes Proverbs 3:5-6 about trusting with our heart and not leaning on our own understanding. He makes an analogy to the physical world. Our mind plans the food it needs to eat but it is the body’s other organs that obtain the nutrients. In the same way, our minds obtain the information about God’s ways and tell me what God’s word says. But it is with the heart that we believe.  In the same way:

And so the Christian needs ever, when he has studied or heard God’s word, to cease from his thoughts, to put no trust in them, and to awaken his heart to open itself before God, and seek the living fellowship with Him.

Here is how he says we are to do this:

I confess the impotence of all my thoughts and efforts, and set myself still to bow my heart before Him in holy silence, and to trust Him to renew and strengthen His own work in me.

Lord, I am not sure that I can discern the difference between waiting with my mind and my heart. Or my will and my heart. Based on the Hebrew meaning of heart, I am even more unsure. Teach me O Lord.

 Day 10 WAITING ON GOD: In Fear and Hope

18 Behold, the eye of the Lord is on those who fear him,
on those who hope in his steadfast love,
19 that he may deliver their soul from death
and keep them alive in famine.

20 Our soul waits for the Lord;
he is our help and our shield.
21 For our heart is glad in him,
because we trust in his holy name.
22 Let your steadfast love, O Lord, be upon us,
even as we hope in you. Psalm 33:18-22

Summary of the Meditation

Where is our focus? What captures our attention? Murray tells us where God’s attention is pointed and where ours should be:

GOD’S eye is upon His people: their eye is upon Him. In waiting upon God, our eye, looking up to Him, meets His looking down upon us. This is the blessedness of waiting upon God, that it takes our eyes and thoughts away from ourselves, even our needs and desires, and occupies us with our God.

Next Murray points out the apparent contradiction in the Psalm in the Hebrew parallelism – Verse 18 is saying the same thing twice. Fearing God and Hoping in God are two things cut from the same cloth. Murray address this by showing us how many apparent contradictions there are in our understanding of God:

Fear and hope (vs 18) are generally thought to be in conflict with each other; in the presence and worship of God they are found side by side in perfect and beautiful harmony. And this because in God Himself all apparent contradictions are reconciled. Righteousness and peace, judgment and mercy, holiness and love, infinite power and infinite gentleness, a majesty that is exalted above all heaven, and a condescension that bows very low, meet and kiss each other.

Another way to say this is that all parallel lines that never meet in our world come together at  infinity. All apparent contradictions come together in the infinite heart of God.

How then, do we get to that point of waiting for Him in hope and fearing Him? It certainly helps to define what we mean by fearing God. Murray doesn’t give us a  definition. I have attempted it in my blog about The Fear of the Lord .  There I attempt to describe exactly how the Fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. Learning to work with electrical power requires a healthy fear and respect for its dangerous power. That is how it is the beginning of wisdom.  In that definition, Fear and Hope are not even apparent contradictions. Fear leads us to know the one we fear. And knowing God more, will give us more hope than we could ever imagine.

But I digress. Murray sees fear in the more traditional sense and he ties fear and hope together this way:

The lower we bow [because of our fear of Him], the deeper we feel we have nothing to hope in but His mercy. The lower we bow, the nearer God will come, and make our hearts bold to trust Him.

The Psalmist is realistic about the dangers in life:

19 that he may deliver their soul from death
and keep them alive in famine.”

But Murray and the Psalmist are clear:

Not to prevent the danger of death and famine— this is often needed to stir up to wait on Him— but to deliver and to keep alive.

The danger of death and famine are to stir up our need to wait on You Lord. Finally, Murray’s plea:

Children of God! will you not learn to sink down in entire helplessness and impotence, and in stillness to wait and see the salvation of God?

Father, continue to cultivate a healthy fear of You in me. You are an untamed lion.  And may that fear lead me to pursue You and in pursuing You, learn more about waiting on You.

Day 11 WAITING ON GOD: Patiently

Be still [Rest] before the Lord and wait patiently for him;
fret not yourself over the one who prospers in his way,
over the man who carries out evil devices!

Refrain from anger, and forsake wrath!
Fret not yourself; it tends only to evil.
For the evildoers shall be cut off,
but those who wait for the Lord shall inherit the land. Psalm 37:7-9

Summary of the Meditation

Do you want to cultivate a Christ-like character? Here are Murray’s thoughts:

And nowhere is there a better place for cultivating or displaying it than in waiting on God. There we discover how impatient we are, and what our impatience means.

We think we are impatient with circumstances and other people, but ultimately he says, we are impatient with Him. Waiting on God opens our eyes to His wise and sovereign will

And to [helps us to] see that the sooner and the more completely we yield absolutely to it, the more surely His blessing can come to us.

All the spiritual disciplines have great value. But they can go no farther than this, that they point the way and prepare us in humility to look to and to depend alone upon God Himself, and in patience to await His good time and mercy. The waiting is to teach us our absolute dependence upon God’s mighty working, and to make us in perfect patience place ourselves at His disposal.

How do we develop this patience?

It is resting in the Lord, in His will, His promise, His faithfulness, and His love, that makes patience easy. And the resting in Him is nothing but being silent unto Him, still before Him.

Finally, in our patiently waiting:

Seek not only the help, the gift, you need; seek Himself; wait for Him.

Papa, help me to see that all of my impatience is ultimately directed at You. Show me where I am impatient.  Help me to rest in You; in Your will and Your promises. Finally Lord, may I not seek you as a means to an end but as the end itself.

Day 12 WAITING ON GOD: Keeping His Way

Wait for the Lord and keep his way,
and he will exalt you to inherit the land;
you will look on when the wicked are cut off. Psalm 37:34

Summary of the Meditation

Murray shoots right over the bow right out of the gate: If we are not walking in His ways, we cannot expect to find Him. I fear that Murray is building too much from the Old Testament Psalms’ works ethic. How can we find Him when we are not born again – yet we do. Or as Paul says: He finds us. Then he states it in a different way: “We may be sure that God is never and nowhere to be found but in His ways.” Ah! I find God in the way He wants to reveal Himself.

He notes that the Psalm speaks of both the inner-life (“waiting”) and the outer-life (“keeping His ways”). Both are needed. And they need to be in “harmony.” The “inner [waiting] must be the inspiration and the strength for the outer.”

Here is a statement about God’s economy: “Do what God asks you to do; God will do more than you can ask Him to do.”

Murray also further refines his understanding of keeping His ways: “Give up your whole being to God without reserve and without doubt; He will prove Himself God to you, and work in you that which is pleasing in His sight through Jesus Christ.”

Here are ways he suggests that we can keep His ways:

    • As you know them in the Word
    • As you have learned them from nature
    • As they are providentially pointed out
    • As directed by the Holy Spirit

Unlike a works mentality, Murray concludes by saying that as we are content to receive all that God has in store for us: “’Wait on the Lord, and keep His ways’ will be command and promise in one.”

Papa, I know that I fall short in many ways – not just outwardly but inwardly in my waiting. Yet You remain faithful.  Thank You for teaching me Your ways.  I am so grateful that You allow me to find You even after I have strayed. Your mercy never fails.

Day 13 WAITING ON GOD: For more than we know

“And now, O Lord, for what do I wait?
My hope is in you.
Deliver me from all my transgressions.
Do not make me the scorn of the fool! Psalm 39:7-8

Summary of the Meditation

Do you ever reach the point in your waiting on God that you think: “What do I really want Him to do? What exactly am I waiting on Him for?” Although this may feel disorienting, Murray actually thinks it is a good place to be in our waiting.

God is able to do for us exceeding abundantly above what we ask or think, and we are in danger of limiting Him, when we confine our desires and prayers to our own thoughts of them.

When the Israelites were in the wilderness, they doubted that God could set a table in the wilderness.

Yes. God had done it: He could do it again. But when the thought came of God doing something new, they limited Him; their expectation could not rise beyond their past experience, or their own thoughts of what was possible.

Are we only waiting on a repeat performance or are we waiting for a world premier?

Let us believe that every promise of God we plead has a divine meaning, infinitely beyond our thoughts of them. … let us therefore cultivate the habit of waiting on God, not only for what we think we need, but for all His grace and power are ready to do for us. In every true prayer there are two hearts in exercise. The one is your heart, with its little, dark, human thoughts of what you need and God can do. The other is God’s great heart, with its infinite, its divine purpose of blessing.

Murray believes that seeing the feebleness of our requests and the little dark heart we have and God’s gigantic heart “is what waiting on God is meant to teach you. …Wait on God to do for you more than you can ask or think.”

May it not be that you have had your own thoughts about the way or the extent of God’s doing it, and have never waited on the God of glory, according to the riches of His glory, to do for you what has not entered the heart of man to conceive? … you hardly know what you have to expect. I pray you, be of good courage— this ignorance is often one of the best signs.

In “The Weight of Glory,” C.S. Lewis said:

“It would seem that Our Lord finds our desires not too strong, but too weak. We are half-hearted creatures, fooling about with drink and sex and ambition when infinite joy is offered us, like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in a slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at the sea. We are far too easily pleased.”

Papa, show me the littleness of my expectations. Show me where my desires are too weak. I see that in me. Show me where my waiting is not the expectant waiting that You deserve. Show me how I am content with trifles and You want to give me Yourself. Where am I limiting You and what You can do in my waiting?

Day 14 WAITING ON GOD:  The Way to the New Song

I waited patiently for the Lord;
he inclined to me and heard my cry.
He drew me up from the pit of destruction,
out of the miry bog,
and set my feet upon a rock,
making my steps secure.
He put a new song in my mouth,
a song of praise to our God.
Many will see and fear,
and put their trust in the Lord. Psalm 40:1-3

Summary of the Meditation

This meditation has more to do with Patience than a new song. Murray sees patience as:

    • foreign to our self-confident nature
    • indispensable in our waiting upon God
    • an essential element of true faith

What is patience. In the English:

The word patience is derived from the Latin word for suffering. It suggests the thought of being under the constraint of some power from which we want to be free.

In waiting on God it is of infinite consequence that we not only submit, because we are compelled to, but because we lovingly and joyfully consent to be in the hands of our blessed Father.

Here are some more of Murray’s insights on Patience.  It:

    • Is our highest blessedness
    • Is our highest grace
    • Honors God
    • Gives Him time to have His way with us
    • Is the highest expression of our faith in His goodness and faithfulness.
    • Brings the soul perfect rest in the assurance that God is carrying on His work.
    • Is the token of our full consent that God should deal with us in such a way and time as He thinks best.
    • Is our losing our self-will

Again, more about patience. It is:

    • The great stillness of soul before God that sinks into its own helplessness and waits for Him to reveal Himself;
    • The deep humility that is afraid to let its own will or its own strength work aught except as God works to will and to do;
    • The meekness that is content to be and to know nothing except as God gives His light;
    • The entire resignation of the will that only wants to be a vessel in which His holy will can move and mold
    • A grace

All these elements of perfect patience are not found at once.

if we are to wait on God in all patience: we need to be strengthened with all God’s might, and that according to the measure of His glorious power. … it is in the course of our feeble and very imperfect waiting that God Himself by His hidden power strengthens us and works out in us the patience of the saints, the patience of Christ Himself. …Patient waiting upon God brings a rich reward; the deliverance is sure; God Himself will put a new song into your mouth. … [If] you sometimes feel as if patience is not your gift, then remember it is God’s gift, and take that prayer (2 Thess. 3: 5 R.V.): ‘The Lord direct your hearts into the patience of Christ.’

Lord, You were patient in Your waiting for Your mission to be carried out. But You waited – when Your time was not yet at hand. Help me to learn to wait patiently. And then put a new song in my heart whereby I may sing Your praises.

Day 15 WAITING ON GOD: For His Counsel

But they soon forgot his works;
they did not wait for his counsel. Psalm 106 :13

Summary of the Meditation

Murray opens this meditation by remembering the three times the Israelites failed in Canaan during the time of Joshua: Going up against AI; making a covenant with the Gibeonites; and settling rather than taking the whole inheritance. All three were because they did not wait for his counsel. We are all in danger of this. Hearing God’s word, but then doing it our own way without waiting for God’s counsel.

Our whole relation to God is rooted in this, that His will is to be done in us and by us as it is in heaven. He has promised to make known His will to us by His Spirit, the Guide into all truth. And our position is to be that of waiting for His counsel, as the only guide of our thoughts and actions. In our church worship, in our prayer-meetings, in our conventions, in all our gatherings as managers, or directors, or committees, or helpers in any part of the work for God, our first object ought ever to be to ascertain the mind of God.

Ah! But how to do that? So little is written on learning to listen to God together.

I will let Andrew pour his heart to us on this issue of our need to learn to hear God together:

The great danger in all such assemblies is that in our consciousness of having our Bible, and our past experience of God’s leading, and our sound creed, and our honest wish to do God’s will, we trust in these, and do not realize that with every step we need and may have a heavenly guidance. There may be elements of God’s will, applications of God’s word, experiences of the close presence and leading of God, manifestations of the power of His Spirit, of which we know nothing as yet. God may be willing,

God is willing to open up these to the souls who are intently set upon allowing Him to have His way entirely, and who are willing in patience to wait for His making it known. When we come together praising God for all He has done and taught and given, we may at the same time be limiting Him by not expecting greater things.

A minister has no more solemn duty than teaching people to wait upon God.

More stillness of soul to realize God’s presence; more consciousness of ignorance of what God’s great plans may be; more faith in the certainty that God has greater things to show us; more longing that He Himself may be revealed in new glory: these must be the marks of the assemblies of God’s saints, if they would avoid the reproach, ‘They waited not for His counsel.’

Father, I don’t understand why this is not more well understood. Give me insight and help me to lead where You are leading on this issue.

Day 16 WAITING ON GOD: For His Light in the Heart.

I wait for the Lord, my soul waits,
and in his word I hope;
my soul waits for the Lord
more than watchmen for the morning,
more than watchmen for the morning. Psalm 130:5-6

 Summary of the Meditation

Who is it that waits for the morning light? Those in darkness. The watchman protecting the city waiting for a clearer view of the enemy. The shipwrecked sailor.  Murray tells us:

Our waiting on God can have no higher object than simply having His light shine on us, and in us, and through us, all the day.

What is that light? Murray answers:

‘The light of the glory of God, in the face of Jesus Christ.’ … Our heart is meant to have that light filling and gladdening it all the day. …But can we indeed enjoy it all the day? We can.

And how do we enjoy the light of God’s glory all day? Murray says that it is analogous to the flora and fauna. What do they do to enjoy the light of the sun?

They do nothing; they simply bask in the sunshine… The only difference between nature and grace is this, that what the trees and the flowers do unconsciously, as they drink in the blessing of the light, is to be with us a voluntary and a loving acceptance. Faith, simple faith in God’s word and love, is to be the opening of the eyes, the opening of the heart, to receive and enjoy the unspeakable glory of His grace.

Sometimes, the light reveals the pain of sin within. He continues:

The first beginnings of light may be just enough to discover the darkness, and painfully to humble you on account of sin. Can you not trust the light to expel the darkness? Do believe it will. Just bow, even now, in stillness before God, and wait on Him to shine into you. Say, in humble faith; God is light, infinitely brighter and more beautiful than that of the sun. God is light. The Father, the eternal, inaccessible, and incomprehensible light.

And this light is something we can trust.

What would I think of a sun that could not shine? what shall I think of a God that does not shine? No, God shines!

Shine your light upon me this day. May I walk in the light of Your love and grace all the day long.

Day 17 WAITING ON GO: In Times of Darkness

Isaiah 8:17 17 I will wait for the Lord, who is hiding his face from the house of Jacob, and I will hope in him.

Summary of the Meditation

The questions that this meditation begs is: Does God really hide his face? When we have the 24/7 Holy Spirit, is it possible to hide His face? What does it mean when we say “God is hiding his face.” Is His face the same as His presence? In human relations we can be present but not looking at each other face to face. Is that what is going on? Jesus had the Holy Spirit and yet the face of God was hidden. But isn’t that a different situation when the sin of the whole world is laid upon Jesus?

Murray seems to take a different approach and doesn’t directly answer the question. . He picks up from the Scripture that the Prophet is waiting on God who is hiding His face from Israel. And from the context, the people of Israel were in rebellion during Isaiah’s day. He says that we should use our access to God to intercede for “our less favored brethren.” Those who are less favored according to Murray:

    • Have little joy or spiritual life in the preaching and fellowship
    • Are in much error and worldliness
    • Seek after human wisdom and counsel
    • Trust in ordinances and observances
    • Have little power for conversion or edification
    • Have little of the Spirit working in their midst
    • Trust too much in men and money
    • Have too much formality and self-indulgence
    • Have too little faith and prayer
    • Have too little love and humility
    • Have too little of the spirit of the crucified Jesus
    • Have nominal profession

These are those with whom God is hiding His face. So Murray doesn’t really answer the question except by saying the ones from whom God is hiding His face are those who are hiding their face from Him. And his call to us is to intercede and wait on God for these less favored brethren.

There is a strong emphasis in this meditation, for us to be waiting on God for those who are in all kinds of error or who are lukewarm.  Clearly the people of Israel during Isaiah’s time were in great darkness.

Papa, who is walking in darkness right now that I need to be waiting on You for? With whom and for whom, can I be waiting on You?

Day 18 WAITING ON GOD: To Reveal Himself

It will be said on that day,
“Behold, this is our God; we have waited for him, that he might save us.
This is the Lord; we have waited for him;
let us be glad and rejoice in his salvation.” Isaiah 25:9

Summary of the Meditation

Murray identifies two precious thoughts in the words of the prophet Isaiah:

    • Revealing language from God’s people who are united in their waiting on Him
    • The blessing of united waiting on God is that God reveals Himself

He identifies (again) the things that are hindering our united waiting:

    • There are evils in the church to which no human wisdom is equal
    • Ritualism, rationalism, formalism, and worldliness are robbing the church of its power
    • Culture, money and pleasure are threatening our spiritual life
    • Infidelity, iniquity, and wretchedness appear more powerful than we can cope with.

But he tells us that promises of God and the power of the Holy Spirit are more than enough to meet these challenges if we will but wait on Him for them. What does united waiting on God look like for God’s people? The same as it does with an individual. It would mean developing and having:

    • A deeper conviction that God must and will do all
    • A more humble and abiding entrance into our deep helplessness
    • Entire and unceasing dependence upon Him.
    • A more living consciousness that the essential thing is, giving God His place of honor and of power;
    • A confident expectation that God will, by His Spirit, give the secret of His acceptance and presence and at the right time, a revelation of His saving power

What would be the aim of this united waiting on Him

    • It would bring everyone there under a deep sense of God’s presence
    • It would mean that everyone would leave with a sure knowledge that they have met with God Himself
    • They would leave knowing that they have left everything in His hands and that now is a time of waiting

What can leadership do to usher us into God’s presence:

“The godly minister has no more difficult, no more solemn, no more blessed task, than to lead his people out to meet God, and, before ever he preaches, to bring each one into contact with Him.”

Waiting before God, and  waiting on God, are the one condition of God showing His presence.

He pictures it working as follows:

A company of believers gathered with the one purpose, helping each other by little intervals of silence, to wait on God alone, opening the heart for whatever God may have of new discoveries of evil, of His will, of new openings in work or methods of work, would soon have reason to say, ‘ Lo, this is our God; we have waited for Him, He shall save us: this is the Lord ; we have waited for Him, we will be glad and rejoice in His salvation.’ ‘My soul, wait thou only upon God!’

Make us at our church such a people who wait on You in a united fashion.

Day 19 WAITING ON GOD: As a God of Judgement

‘Yea, in the way of Thy judgments, O Lord, have we waited for Thee: . . . for when Thy judgments are on the earth, the inhabitants of the world learn righteousness.’—Isa. 26:8,9.

‘The Lord is a God of judgment: blessed are all they that wait for Him.’—Isa. 30:18.

Summary of the Meditation

Andrew begins by showing how God is a God of both mercy and judgment – exhibited by the Exodus; the flood; the expelling of the Canaanites and others. Judgement punishes sin; mercy saves the sinner. His point is that as we wait on God, His holy presence will stir up and discover hidden sin, bring us very low as we see the sinful nature within, our heart’s true opposition to God’s ways and our inability to walk in them.  He tells us not to be surprised as we begin to wait on Him because we will only discover more of our otherness from God.  “Wait on God, in the faith that His tender mercy is working out in you His redemption in the midst of judgment: wait for Him, He will be gracious to thee.”

There is a second and more solemn thought he brings up. As we experience the judgements of God, we are to realize that there are thousands of our brethren who will face this judgment. Are we not to warn them?

He doesn’t explicitly pick up on how we learn righteousness when God’s judgments are on the earth.

Finally, the meditation would read in a very different way if we took the Hebrew definition for the word judgments מִשְׁפָט mishpat as “the act of deciding a case” or the “process, procedure, and litigation before judges.”  We should be waiting on the completion of the trial when the case is decided – justice poured out. Murray takes the traditional approach to God’s judgements – his revealing of and punishment for our sins. But “waiting for His judgements” is more accurately seen as Isaiah waiting for God to bring justice. That casts a different light on the text for this morning.

Lord, I am waiting on You to set all things right. For bringing justice to this world. I long for justice in the wrongs done to me by my friends. I know that I wait with others for justice – especially in the persecuted church. May this waiting open my eyes to You and Your ways.

Day 20 WAITING ON GOD: Who waits on us

‘And therefore will the Lord wait, that He may be gracious unto you; and therefore will He be exalted, that He may have mercy upon you: for the Lord is a God of judgment: blessed are all they that wait for Him.’—Isa. 30:18

Summary of the Meditation

God waits for us more than we wait for Him. Let that sink down into our very marrow. Andrew claims that:

The vision of Him waiting on us, will give new impulse and inspiration to our waiting upon Him. It will give an unspeakable confidence that our waiting cannot be in vain. If He waits for us, then we may be sure that we are more than welcome; that He rejoices to find those He has been seeking for.

And what does God’s waiting look like? Murray says the best comparison is that of a Father waiting for his child to come to him; to come back home. “He waits with all of the longings of a father’s heart.” And how does that help us? Murray tells us:

“Yes, connect every exercise, every breath of the life of waiting, with faith’s vision of your God waiting for you.”

But wait! How can He be waiting for me when I have been waiting so long for Him? Murray tells us:

“you ask, how is it, if He waits to be gracious, that even after I come and wait upon Him, He does not give the help I seek, but waits on longer and longer?”

Two answers:

    • God is a wise husbandman, ‘who waits for the precious fruit of the earth, and has long patience for it.’ He cannot gather the fruit until it is ripe. He knows when we are ready. … God waited four thousand years, until the fullness of time, before He sent His Son: our times are in His hands: He will avenge His elect speedily: He will make haste for our help, and not delay one hour too long.
    • God is more than the blessing; and our being kept waiting on Him is the only way for us to learn to find our life and joy in Himself.

Murray describes us as ladies-in-waiting for the Queen. What a privilege! What joy in serving the sovereign!

Finally, how blessed it is when the waiting God meets with His waiting servant!

So brothers and sisters: “let waiting be our work, as it is His.”

Papa, I need to recognize that You have been waiting on me for a long time. In what ways are you  waiting on me today?

Day 21 WAITING ON GOD: The Almighty One

They that wait on the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with eagle wings; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.’—Isa. 40: 31.

Summary of the Meditation

Murray starts with a great insight.

Waiting always partakes of the character of our thoughts of the one on whom we wait.

In other words, what we think about God will shape the way we wait. Is God a cruel taskmaster? We will wait for the other shoe to drop? Do we think of Him as capricious? Then we will wait not knowing what to expect this time. And so on. But oh what a God we wait on. Faithful, true and merciful.

This is the fertile ground out of which springs this much quoted verse from Isaiah.  God is the Almighty and Everlasting one. And because Isaiah saw God in this way, he saw how waiting on Him will produce strength and endurance.

Where does the eagle soar? In the highest heavens. We are meant to live in As the eagle stirs up its nest...the heavenlies. Seated with God. “You are born of God. You have the eagles’ wings. You may not have known it: you may not have used them; but God can and will teach you to use them.”

We are taught to use our eagle wings in the same way an eaglet learns.

He stirs up your nest. He disappoints your hopes. He brings down your confidence. He makes you fear and tremble, as all your strength fails, and you feel utterly weary and helpless. And all the while He is spreading His strong wings for you to rest your weakness on, and offering His everlasting Creator-strength to work in you. And all He asks is that you should sink down in your weariness and wait on Him; and allow Him in His Jehovah-strength to carry you as you ride upon the wings of His Omnipotence.

Papa, Everlasting and Almighty one. Stir up my nest until I learn to wait on You. Reveal my disappointed hopes. Where am I confident in myself? Lord, what would it look like today for me to ride upon Your wings?

Day 22 WAITING ON GOD: It’s Certainty of Blessing

‘Thou shalt know that I am the Lord; for they shall not be ashamed that wait for Me.’ —Isa. 49:23.

‘Blessed are all they that wait for Him.’ —Isa. 30:18.

Summary of the Meditation

Murray chides and challenges us with the fact that we are so slow of learning “that this blessed waiting must and can be as the very breath of our life, a continuous resting in God’s presence and His love, an unceasing yielding of ourselves for Him to perfect His work in us.” And with that slowness is also fear – fear that it may not be true.  “Let us listen to God’s answer, until every fear is banished, and we send back to heaven the words God speaks, Yes, Lord, we believe what You say: ‘All they that wait for Me shall not be ashamed.’ ‘Blessed are all they that wait for Him.’”

Both of these passages in Isaiah point to a time in history when God’s people were in dire straits and there was no possible way out. Do we believe God’s word to them for our situation. No disappointment is possible!  If all we had was a vague sense that God was going to deliver us, we would despair. But we have God’s promises. And we need to “wait before Him, until He Himself reveals to us what His promises mean, and in the promises reveals Himself in His hidden glory!” Let’s not let the depth of the meaning of these promises pass us by. And God Himself comes with all of these promises. In the midst of our deepest trouble, a simple word directly from God can calm the storm. “Peace! Be still my son [or daughter].” That is enough to stop the raging sea within.

What place does waiting have in our personal life? The measure of its faith or power is not because we have beautiful visions of what God can do or even that we speak eloquently of it. “No; it is what we really know of God in our personal experience, conquering the enemies within, reigning and ruling, revealing Himself in His Holiness and Power in our inmost being.”  And the blessing is present even while we wait. Because what we have is Him even while we wait for the fulfillment of what we are waiting for.

“the Everlasting God meets, in the greatness and the tenderness of His love, each waiting child, to shine in his heart ‘the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.’ Read these words again, until your heart learns to know what God waits to do”

Father, help me to reflect upon our history together. You have conquered enemies within and have ruled and reigned in my life. You have revealed Yourself in my inmost being. Thank you that You come with all of Your promises.

Day 23 WAITING ON GOD: For Unlooked for Things

‘For since the beginning of the world men have not heard, nor perceived by the ear, neither hath the eye seen, O God, beside Thee, what He hath prepared for him that waiteth for Him.’—Isa. 64:4.

From of old no one has heard
or perceived by the ear,
no eye has seen a God besides you,
who acts for those who wait for him. ESV

“What no eye has seen, nor ear heard,
nor the heart of man imagined,
what God has prepared for those who love him”— 1 Corinthians 2:9

From of old we have not heard, neither have our eyes seen a God beside thee, and thy works which thou wilt perform to them that wait for mercy. Brenton’s LXX

Summary of the Meditation

Murray highlights the difference between the RV and AV translations. The RV (and ESV)  – no one has seen a God that works; The AV (and Paul in 1st Corinthians) – no one has seen the work God will do. Although he chooses the AV to concentrate on, he tells us that they both tell us that if we wait, things (God – RV/ESV or God’s hand – AV) will be revealed to us that we cannot conceive. (Notice that the LXX has both!).

My bigger question (since I think the work of God and God Himself are pretty inseparable and so the difference makes no difference) why does Paul use love Him vs waits for Him? This amazing revelation comes to those who wait – or those who love Him. Andrew doesn’t address this at all. I think it might be saying – to wait on Him is to love Him.

Murray concentrates this meditation on that God alone knows what He can do for His waiting people.  He points us to the preceding verses in Isaiah as to how desperate the situation was. And God knows we need this kind of revelation in the church. Murray says – look at the church. We do His work using our wisdom; we demonstrate little of the Spirit’s power in what we do; we don’t manifest the unity that will draw people to Himself; how little we demonstrate the holiness God calls for; and how little the world sees of men and women in Christ and Christ in them.

How can we reverse this sad state in the church and in our hearts. You guessed it. Waiting on God. And what should we wait for?  “We must desire and believe, we must ask and expect, that God will do unlooked-for things. We must set our faith on a God of whom men do not know what He has prepared for them that wait for Him. The wonder-doing God, who can surpass all our expectations, must be the God of our confidence.” And if we take Paul’s version of this quote, these things have been revealed by the Spirit.

Lord, I know my vision of what you can do and what you will do and what you have done is very limited. Reveal to me your heart.

Day 24 WAITING ON GOD: To Know His Goodness.

‘The Lord is good unto them that wait for Him.’ — Lam. 3: 25

Summary of the Meditation

Murray tells us that our first entry into waiting on God is usually waiting for him to bless us with some answer to prayer. But, he says:

God graciously uses our need and desire for help to educate us for something higher than we were thinking of. We were seeking gifts; He, the Giver, longs to give Himself and to satisfy the soul with His goodness. It is just for this reason that He often withholds the gifts, and that the time of waiting is made so long. He is all the time seeking to win the heart of His child for Himself. He wishes that we should not only say, when He bestows the gift, How good is God! but that long ere it comes, and even if it never comes, we should all the time be experiencing: ‘It is good that a man should quietly wait’: ‘The Lord is good to them that wait for Him.’

He encourages us to make waiting on God a habit, a disposition, second-nature, the very breath of our soul, the very root of our life with God.  Our knowledge, understanding and experience of God’s goodness will grow as we grow in our waiting on God.

Lord, it is hard for me to imagine me growing in knowledge and understanding of Your goodness. You by very definition are good. But I can see growing in my experience of Your goodness and growing in my waiting on You. I will watch to see how the others grow beyond what I imagine as I pursue growth in waiting on You.

Day 25 WAITING ON GOD: Quietly.

‘It is good that a man should both hope and quietly wait for the salvation of the Lord.’— Lam 3:26

Summary of the Meditation

‘TAKE heed, and be quiet: fear not, neither be faint-hearted.’  (Isaiah 7:4)

‘In quietness and in confidence shall be your strength.’ (Isaiah 30:15)

‘The Lord is in His holy temple; let all the earth keep silence before Him’ (Hab. 2: 20).

‘Hold thy peace at the presence of the Lord God.’ (Zeph. 1: 7).

‘Be silent, O all flesh, before the Lord; for He is raised up out of His holy habitation’ (Zech. 2: 13).

Murray tells us that these scriptures show us the “deep connection between quietness and faith, and show us what a deep need there is of quietness, as an element of true waiting upon God.”

Why the deep need and deep connection? Murray says that our nature is so estranged from this infinite being, “that it needs our whole heart and desires set upon Him, even in some little measure to know and receive Him.”

Murray tells us what can keep us from this quiet waiting:

As long as the waiting on God is chiefly regarded as an end towards more effectual prayer, and the obtaining of our petitions, this spirit of perfect quietness will not be obtained. But when it is seen that the waiting on God is itself an unspeakable blessedness, one of the highest forms of fellowship with the Holy One, the adoration of Him in His glory will of necessity humble the soul into a holy stillness, making way for God to speak and reveal Himself.

Let everyone who would learn the art of waiting on God remember the lesson:  ‘Take heed, and be quiet;’ ‘It is good that a man quietly wait.’ Take time to be separate from all friends and all duties, all cares and all joys; time to be still and quiet before God. Take time not only to secure stillness from man and the world, but from self and its energy.  Let the Word and prayer be very precious; but remember, even these may hinder the quiet waiting.

How can we be quiet in the midst of the cacophony of sound around us?  Habit and discipline: “Though at first it may appear difficult to know how thus quietly to wait, with the activities of mind and heart for a time subdued, every effort after it will be rewarded; we shall find that it grows upon us, and the little season of silent worship will bring a peace and a rest that give a blessing not only in prayer, but all the day.”

Lord, the promise seems too great. Just do it and the blessing will flow. Humble my soul into silence before You. Show me today what is keeping me from waiting in silence before you.

Day 26 WAITING ON GOD: In Holy Expectancy.

‘Therefore will I look to the Lord; I will wait for the God of my salvation; my God will hear me.’— Micah 7: 7.

Summary of the Meditation

The essence of this meditation is that we must wait with holy expectancy. My God will hear me. Murray says that: “A holy, joyful expectancy is of the very essence of true waiting.” He starts by summarizing a little book called “Expectation Corner.” That book illustrates the truth from James’ letter: We have not because we ask not – and when we ask, we are not continuously looking for the answer to arrive.

When we have been given a promise of God, we must wait with “confident assurance” that my God will hear me. He digresses from this a bit when he tells us of the great promise that should be central to all prayer petitions: “the one great petition which ought to be the chief thing every heart seeks for itself — that The Life of God in the soul may have full sway; that Christ may be fully formed within; and that we may be filled to all the fullness of God.” This Murray says is what we ought “to seek and dare to expect.”

He closes with a thought about stillness in our waiting. As we unite ourselves in the death of Jesus, we become still – because “there is no stillness like that of the grave.” “As we cease from self, and our soul becomes still to God, God will arise and show Himself.”

Lord, I often wonder how dead to self I really am. How united with You, Jesus I am? Is it really “not I who live but Christ who lives in me?” Father have your way in my heart and soul that I may rest expectantly waiting for the fulfillment of your promises to me.  Especially the promise to be fully formed in me and to be filled to all the fullness of God. Amen.

Day 27 WAITING ON GOD: For Redemption.

‘Simeon was just and devout, waiting for the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Ghost was upon him. Anna, a prophetess, . . . spake of Him to all them that looked for redemption in Jerusalem.’— Luke 2: 25, 38.

Summary of the Meditation

Murray concentrates this devotion on the waiting on God that was done by believers in the Old Testament. They were waiting for consolation and redemption – what has already been accomplished in Jesus. So he asks – do we still need to wait? Yes he says – for two reasons: “But will not our waiting, who look back to it as come, differ greatly from those who looked forward to it as coming? It will, especially in two aspects. We now wait on God in the full power of the redemption: and we wait for its full revelation.”

    1. Waiting in the full power of redemption. We know that the redemption was accomplished and our position secured. We are in Christ and Christ is in us. “Our waiting on God may now be in the wonderful consciousness, wrought and maintained by the Holy Spirit within us, that we are accepted in the Beloved, that the love that rests on Him rests on us, that we are living in that love, in the very nearness and presence and sight of God.”
    2. We are waiting for the full revelation of this redemption. “As we maintain our place in Christ day by day, God waits to reveal Christ in us, in such a way that He is formed in us, that His mind and disposition and likeness acquire form and substance in us, so that by each it can in truth be said, ‘Christ liveth in me.’”

He makes a distinction that I have never considered: Our life “in Christ” is in heaven and Christ in us is on earth. I had never thought of it that way. And they are meant to complement each other. He puts it this way:

the more my waiting on God is marked by the living faith that I am in Christ, the more the heart thirsts for and claims the CHRIST IN ME. … And the waiting on God, which began with special needs and prayer, will increasingly be concentrated, as far as our personal life is concerned, on this one thing, Lord, reveal Your redemption fully in me; let Christ live in me.

He lists two other differences between Old Testament waiting and the New:

    • The place we take (seated in the heavenlies)
    • The expectations we entertain

One last point he makes:

Learn from Simeon and Anna one lesson. How utterly impossible it was for them to do anything towards the great redemption — towards the birth of Christ or His death. It was God’s work. They could do nothing but wait.

And so it is impossible for us to make the revelation of Jesus in us a reality. We are helpless and feeble in making the revelation happen. But, he concludes this meditation:

As gloriously as God proved Himself to them the faithful and wonder-working God, He will to us also.

Jesus, teach me more about the distinction between You in me (on earth) and me in You (in heaven). Reveal more to me the distinction between the waiting Anna and Simeon did and my waiting which has the full power of the redemption present here and now. I hear what he says about how our waiting for answers and deliverance becomes transformed into waiting for You – work that in me O Lord.

Day 28 WAITING ON GOD: For the Coming of His Son

‘Be ye yourselves like unto men that wait for their Lord.’— Luke 12: 36.130

‘Until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ, which, in His own time, He shall shew, who is the blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings, and Lord of lords.’— 1 Tim. 6: 14,15( R.V.).

‘Turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God, and to wait for His Son from heaven.’— 1 Thess. 1: 9, 10.

 Summary of the Meditation

The opening Scripture is from Jesus’ brief exchange about the Master of the house who is coming back from a wedding. So, for Murray [and Jesus], we are to be like those waiting for their Master to return from a celebration and be alert and watch carefully for his return. Murray says that waiting on God in heaven is joined by God with waiting for the return of His Son. “The present life and the coming  glory are inseparably connected.” Learning to wait on God for His power and promise is a preparation for waiting for Jesus’ return. He warns us against the danger of separating them.

It is always easier to be engaged with the religion of the past or the future than to be faithful in the religion of today. As we look to what God has done in the past, or will do in time to come, the personal claim of present duty and present submission to His working may be escaped. … There is such a danger of our being so occupied with the things that are coming more than with Him who is to come; there is such scope in the study of coming events for imagination and reason and human ingenuity, that nothing but deeply humble waiting on God can save us from mistaking the interest and pleasure of intellectual study for the true love of Him and His appearing.

Waiting for Christ Himself is, oh, so different from waiting for things that may come to pass! The latter any Christian can do; the former, God must work in you every day by His Holy Spirit.

He warns against concentrating on one “waiting” for the other. Those that are waiting on God should not neglect waiting for Jesus’ return and those waiting for Jesus’ return should also be waiting on God.

Waiting on God must ever lead to waiting for Christ as the glorious consummation of His work; and waiting for Christ must ever remind us of the duty of waiting upon God, … The hope of that glorious appearing will strengthen you in waiting upon God for what He is to do in you now.

And as I quoted earlier, waiting in the now will prepare you for waiting for His coming. He ends the meditation on a separate topic – the bridal spirit.

Tender love to Him and tender love to each other is the true and only bridal spirit. … It is not when we are most occupied with prophetic subjects, but when in humility and love we are clinging close to our Lord and His brethren, that we are in the bride’s place. Jesus refuses to accept our love except as it is love to His disciples. … Those who love most are the most ready for His coming.

Jesus, this is a new concept: tying waiting on God and waiting for You to return. Reveal more to me about this over the next week. Also, I am challenged by the call to the bridal spirit – where I love Your disciples as much as I love You. Show me how I can do that.

Day 29 WAITING ON GOD: For the Promise of the Father.

‘He charged them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the promise of the Father.’— Acts 1: 4.

Summary of the Meditation

Murray is telling us that just as the first disciples had to wait in Jerusalem until they were endued with power, so we need to wait continually. He shows us how this waiting and subsequent infilling happened several times to the same disciples. So we need to wait for this continual infilling of the Spirit.

In one sense, the fulfillment can never come again as it came at Pentecost. In another sense, and that in as deep reality as with the first disciples, we daily need to wait for the Father to fulfil His promise in us.

He also provides us some of his pneumatology – his doctrine of the Holy Spirit:

    • The Holy Spirit is not a person distinct from the Father in the way two persons on earth are distinct.
    • The Father and the Spirit are never without or separate from each other: the Father is always in the Spirit;
    • The Spirit works nothing but as the Father works in Him.
    • Each moment the same Spirit that is in us, is in God too
    • The Spirit in us is not a power at our disposal.
    • Nor is the Spirit an independent power, acting apart from the Father and the Son.
    • The Spirit is the real living presence and the power of the Father working in us
    • The Spirit given at Pentecost was not a something that God parted with in heaven, and sent away out of heaven to earth. God does not, cannot, give away anything in that way.

Finally, he ties this back to waiting: “he who is most full of the Spirit will be the first to wait on God most earnestly, further to fulfil His promise, and still strengthen him mightily by His Spirit in the inner man.”

Father, Jesus, Holy Spirit! Any attempt to define one member of the trinity apart from the other creates confusion in my mind. Open my mind and my heart to the incredible beauty of the Trinity.

Day 30 WAITING ON GOD: Continually

‘Therefore turn thou to thy God: keep mercy and judgment, and wait on thy God continually.’— Hos. 12: 6.

Summary of the Meditation

Just as continuity is critical to life, continuity in our waiting on God is critical to life in the Spirit. We are to learn to wait on Him continually. Murray recognizes that there are special times of waiting, but “the maintenance of the spirit of entire dependence must be continuous.” And thus, for all who want everything there is from God, we must learn to wait continually.

Murray encourages us by saying that this is possible. Whatever your heart is full of will occupy it. “When the heart has learned how entirely powerless it is for one moment to keep itself or bring forth any good, when it has understood how surely and truly God will keep it, when it has, in despair of itself, accepted God’s promise to do for it the impossible, it learns to rest in God, and in the midst of occupations and temptations it can wait continually.”

He encourages us to not worry about starting imperfectly. There will be frequent intermissions and failures. But he encourages us to believe that God is superintending the process. Waiting is not fruitless. Even while we wait in darkness. God is working behind the scenes in them. “Waiting continually will be met and rewarded by God Himself working continually.” And no quid pro quo. Not: “If I wait continually, God will work continually.” No! Since God is working continually in my life, I will wait continually upon Him. “Take time until the vision of your God working continually, without one moment’s intermission, fill your being. Your waiting continually will then come of itself.”

Father, work in me this “waiting as a life style.” Lord, what is the first step I can take to grow in this?


‘My soul, wait thou only upon God;  For my expectation is from Him. He only

is my rock and my salvation.’— Isa. 62: 5,6.

 Summary of the Meditation

How fitting to end this series of meditations with the one word: only. How often we have other preoccupations and distractions? I certainly do. Murray tells us that we won’t find many companions with us on this journey.

On a side note, Murray brings up the topic of the bronze serpent. It is an odd enough story from the book of Numbers where this statue on a pole is erected under God’s instruction for all to look at and be healed from a plague God sent upon His people  (Numbers 21:4-9). Then this statue becomes an idol that the children of Israel are burning incense to and Hezekiah destroys it (2 Kings 18:4). It is here that it is given a name: Nehushtan. All of this is to say that when we are waiting on anything but God alone, we succumb to the temptation to become distracted by good and holy things: the arc; the temple; church and doctrine; means of grace and divine appointments.

Murray’s remedy: Recognize that we are an immortal spirit destined for the privilege of  eternity and union with God. Religious thoughts and reflections; spiritual disciplines and works of service “very often take the place of waiting on God.” Our two great enemies (not sure why the devil is not included as a third) are the world and self. “Beware lest any earthly satisfaction or enjoyment, however innocent it appears, keep you back from saying, ‘I will go to God, my exceeding joy.’”

Father, I feel this even now. I am not waiting on You only!  Murray wants us to beware of “Pleasing self in little things may be strengthening it to assert itself in greater things.” He calls us back to two foundational truths to keep us on track: “They are: your absolute helplessness; and, the absolute sufficiency of thy God.”

He closes this meditation and this book with the following:

No words can tell, no heart conceive, the riches of the glory of this mystery of the Father and of Christ. Our God, in the infinite tenderness and omnipotence of His love, waits to be our Life and Joy. Oh, my soul! let it be no longer needed that I repeat the words, ‘Wait upon God,’ but let all that is in me rise and sing: ‘Truly my soul waits upon God. On Thee do I wait all the day.’

Father, I long to put this into practice. Work these truths deep in me so that all that is in me will rise and sing: “I wait only on You all day long. ” Amen.