In this day and age, many people, especially young people, do not like to wait. They want things to happen now. They want to get things now. They want DSL access so their computers will run faster. But Isaiah 40:31 says: "But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint."
Only those who wait upon the Lord shall renew their spiritual strength to be able to surmount obstacles and crises in their lives. The spiritual giants in our midst are those who have learned to wait upon the Lord. But how do you wait upon the Lord? you ask. We wait upon the Lord by giving Him our time and undivided attention and being still--so very still--to be able to hear Him speak to us through the pages of His Words.
Waiting upon the Lord means allowing the Holy Spirit to be our Teacher, pausing to listen to counsels, admonitions, and instructions in righteousness, and deciphering divine impressions left upon our minds by the Divine Teacher. It involves meditating and contemplating upon God's Words, using the imagination to see His beauty, His love, His character, His nature, His thoughts, His expressions, His Law. When we wait upon the Lord, our strength will be renewed, our spiritual life invigorated.
The following counsels are appropriate:
"When we study the Word of God, and we have a heartfelt desire to know our duty, the angels will strengthen our imagination." --This Day With God, Page 174.
"Through meditation we gain spiritual eyesight to discern the inner courts of the celestial temple. We shall catch the themes of the songs and thanksgiving of the heavenly choir round about the great white throne." --That I Might Know Him, Page 273.
"Parents are instructed to cultivate their children's imaginative powers by having them picture the splendor of the new earth and the city of God; and when they are charmed with the prospect, tell them it will be more glorious than their brightest imagination can portray." --That I Might Know Him, Page 142.
Meditation quickens the affection. It causes our love to God to burn intensely. What happens when our love to God burn intensely? We obey Him. We keep His commandments. "If you love me, keep my commandments." John 14:15. In John 15:9-10, we read: "As the Father hath loved me, so have I loved you: continue ye in my love. If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father's commandments, and abide in his love."
Understanding the Word of God requires educating the mind to think. It requires exercising the mind, using it, stretching it, and taxing it to the utmost to find out what is truth. This reminds me of a survey that was done where it shows that only 5% of the population think, 10% think they think, and 85% would rather die than think. Now, if this survey is true, then the majority of people are in deep trouble, aren't they?
Which percentile did you fall in the above survey? When you don't understand something, do you tax your mind to the utmost comparing scripture with scripture, spiritual things with spiritual things, reading texts from different translations in order to understand truths? Or do you just do the easy way out--call the minister or the Bible worker; they have the answers. They are paid to do this for you.
"The truths of the Bible are as pearls hidden. They must be searched, dug out by painstaking effort--it requires patience, thought, and prayer to trace out the precious golden thread."--Faith I Live By, Page 11. Click here for Digging for Heavenly Treasures.
When we meditate upon the Word of God, we appreciate the costliest gift Heaven could bestow--the sacrifice of His dear Son Jesus. We get a deeper and clearer understanding of redemption. It is very important to have a clear view and a deeper understanding of the atonement for it helps us grow in our Christian experience. We would not willfully sin against God. We would not willfully transgress the Commandments of God. In fact, there would not be enough money in the world to pay us to commit one act of disobedience. We would rather die than commit sin and crucify the Son of God afresh. This is the experience that we need to obtain now.
When we contemplate and meditate upon the great sacrifice of God by sending His only Begotten Son into the world to die for sinners, our soul is subdued and our minds are brought into captivity to the will of God. When the mind is brought into captivity to the will of God, we experience the fruit of submission and surrender to God--the chief element in the new-birth experience.
The soul dwelling in the pure atmosphere of holy thought is transformed by intercourse with God through the study of His word. This was what happened to Enoch. He walked and talked with God until he was no more for God took him. We need to be dwelling in the pure atmosphere of holy thought in order to retain character perfection.
"Abstract meditation is not enough; busy action is not enough--both are essential to the formation of Christian character." --Mind, Character, and Personality, Page 546.
"The silence of the soul makes more distinct the voice of God." --In Heavenly Places, Page 269.
"Be still and know that I am God." --Ps 46:10.
In the Amplified version, Isaiah 30:15 reads: "For thus said the Lord God, the Holy One of Israel, In returning to Me and resting in Me you shall be saved; in quietness and in (trusting) confidence shall be your strength..."
Did you know that there are physical benefits to be gained by meditation?
A study was made not too long ago on the physical benefits of meditation. It was found that meditation naturally leads to a relaxation response which brings about changes in the body that are deeply restorative and which quicken healing. When we are relaxed, the blood flows freely to all parts of the body bringing needed nourishment to the cells.
One study found that women with PMS reduce their symptoms by 58 percent. Another study found that women going through menopause could significantly reduce the intensity of hot flashes through meditation.
Meditation has a beneficial effect on the heart. It significantly reduces blood pressure in people with hypertension.
Angioplasty patients who used meditation had significantly less anxiety, pain and need for medication during and after the procedure.
In another study people having open-heart surgery were able to reduce their incidence of abnormally high heart rate.
Meditation has a positive effect on the immune system. Nursing-home residents trained in meditation had increased activity of 'natural-killer cells,' which kill bacteria and cancer cells. They also had reductions in the activity of viruses and of emotional distress.
Imagery is considered an alternative medicine. A group of children with various stages of malignant cancer were asked to draw on paper what they know and feel about the cancer they have. The majority of the children drew a picture of themselves and a huge, horrible-looking cancer monster attacking them, choking them, kicking and stomping them to the ground. A few of the children, however, drew themselves as the ones aggressively attacking this cancer monster. One child in particular drew a picture not only of himself, but his mommy, his daddy, his brother, his sister, and his pastor all throwing rocks, darts, arrows, you name it, at this horrible monster. The conclusion of this study is very interesting. It was found out that the children in the second group, those who depicted themselves as aggressively attacking the cancer monster, fared better than the ones who viewed themselves merely as victims. Practically all in the first group died. Nearly all in the second group went into complete remission.
Imagery, is it important? For as a man 'thinketh in his heart, so is he.' --Prov 23:7. If we nurture our minds with the thought that we are sick, we will be sick. The mind is a very powerful thing that the Lord created us with. We can use it to His glory enhancing our health and developing Christian character OR we can use it to dishonor God by bringing upon ourselves a train of sickness and disease.
When we are accustomed to hearing God speak to us through the pages of the Bible, it means that we know Him in a most remarkable and intimate kind of way--the same way that Abraham knew God, and he was a friend of God. Jesus said 'My sheep know me and they hear my voice.' Our relationship with God--with Jesus--is deepened and sweetened when we spend quality time with Him. We trust Him, and we have faith in Him. We know that we can depend on Him no matter what. When we have a living faith and an abiding trust in God, we are sustained and encouraged even if we find ourselves in the most perplexing and forbidding circumstances.
We have but a short time in which to prepare for Heaven. Let's make the most of this time and not waste it by engaging the mind in a thousand topics that invite attention and arouse inquiry but end in nothing. Oh, that our experiences be that we could hardly wait to wake up at 4:00 or 5:00 in the morning to read the Bible and meditate upon the King in His beauty. "Mine eyes prevent the night watches, that I might meditate in thy word." Oh, let's educate our mind to enjoy the hour that we spend communing with our Heavenly Father.
"None but those who have fortified the mind with the truths of the Bible will stand through the last great conflict." --Great Controversy, Page 625.
"Only those who have been diligent students of the Scriptures and who have received the love of the truth will be shielded from the powerful delusion that takes the world captive."
What a precious promise we have in Isaiah 40:31 when we meditate and WAIT upon the Lord--we shall renew our strength; we shall mount up with wings as eagles; we shall run, and not be weary; and we shall walk, and not faint.