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Experiencing God 4: Waiting on God

“On Thee do I wait all the day.”  Psalm 25: 5

[A Compilation]

R. M. M’Cheyne

 “The real secret of his (R. M M’Cheyne) soul’s prosperity lay in the daily enlargement of his heart in fellowship with his God....  His morning hours were set apart for the nourishment of his own soul; not, however, with the view of laying up a stock of grace for the rest of the day—for manna will corrupt if laid by,—but upward all the day, and drawing down gleams from the reconciled countenance....  Often he sang a psalm of praise, as soon as he arose to stir up his soul. Three chapters of the word was his usual morning portion.”—Andrew Bonar, Memoirs & Remains of R. M. M’Cheyne, pp. 54, 55.

 “The way to be saved is to know God’s heart and the heart of Jesus.  To be awakened, you need to know your own heart.  Look in at your own heart, if you wish to know your lost condition.  See the pollution that is there—forgetfulness of God, deadness, insensibility to His love.  To be saved, you need to know the heart of God and of Christ.  The four gospels are a narrative of the heart of Christ.  They show His compassion to sinners, and His glorious work in their stead.  If you only knew His heart as it is, you would lay your weary head with John on His bosom.  Do not take up your time so much with studying your own heart as with studying Christ’s heart.  ‘For one look at yourself, take ten looks at Christ!’”—R. M. M’Cheyne, quoted in Andrew Bonar Memoirs & Remains of R. M. M’Cheyne, pp 279

F B Meyer

 “Our best work for God cannot be done unless we have learned to be quiet; still, that God may mold us; tranquil, that the tremor of our nerves may not interfere with the thrill of his energy; calm that we may drop the silt and mud, which make our hearts so dull and so inapt to mirror the deep blue of the heavens above....  The restful heart lives above the storm and strife, with Christ; sensitive to human sorrow and to its own, but able to discern the purposes of divine wisdom; to await the unfolding of the divine plan; and to trust the love of the divine heart.  It keeps silence for his word.  Its daily task is holy.  It is not disturbed by emotional change.  Such is its acquiescence in the divine will that it is content with whatever comes.  Its winters are always going, its springs always coming; the turtles call softly within its woods, the flowers deck its soil.  ‘I felt,’ said Fletcher,  ‘the will of my God like unto a soft pillow, upon which I could lie down and find rest and safety in all circumstances....’  There is not unnatural quietism in this life—rather the most intense earnestness and activity.  When the nature is yielded up completely to the Holy Ghost, it attains to a speed of movement and a strength of endeavor, which can only be accounted for by remembering that when once a man has surrendered himself to the current of the divine nature, he will acquire something of its velocity and force.  But in the midst of the most rapid and vehement movement there is rest—deep, sweet rest.”—F B Meyer, Joshua, p. 145.

Andrew Murray  

 “The Divine Life within us comes from God, and is entirely dependent upon Him.  As I need every moment afresh the air to breathe, as the sun every moment afresh sends down its light, so it is only in direct living communication with God that my soul can be strong....  To this end, let your first act in your devotion be a setting yourself still before God.  In prayer, or worship, everything depends upon God taking the chief place.  I must bow quietly before Him in humble faith and adoration, speaking thus within my heart; ‘God is.  God is near.  God is love.  He is longing to communicate Himself to me.  God the Almighty One, Who worketh all in all, is even now waiting to work in me, and make Himself known.’  Take time, till you know God is very near.”—Andrew Murray, The Deeper Life

 “And how to come to this faith?  Turn away from the visible if you would see and possess the invisible.  Take more time with Jesus, gazing on Him as the heavenly Vine, living in the love of the Father, wanting you to live in His love.  Turn away from yourself and your efforts and your faith, if you would have the heart filled with Him and the certainty of His love.  Abiding means going out from everything else, to occupy one place and stay there.  Come away from all else, and set your heart on Jesus, and His love; that love will waken your faith and strengthen it.  Occupy yourself with that love; worship it, wait for it.  You may be sure it will reach out to you, and by its power take you up into itself as your abode and your home.”—Andrew Murray, The Vine

 “What is the chief thing, the greatest and most glorious, that man can see or find upon earth?  Nothing less than God Himself....  Have you learned what is the first and the greatest thing you have to do every day?  Nothing less and nothing greater than to seek this God, to meet Him, to worship Him, to live for Him and for His glory.  It is a great step forward in the life of a Christian when he truly sees this and yields himself to consider fellowship with God every day as the chief end of his life.”—Andrew Murray, The Secret of Adoration, p. 18.

 “You have heard of Brother Lawrence.  He had a great longing to know God, and for this purpose went into a monastery.  His spiritual advisers gave him prayer books to use, but he put them aside.  ‘It helps little to pray,’ he said, ‘if I do not know the God to whom I pray.’  And he believed that God would reveal Himself.  He remained a long time in silent adoration, in order to come under the full impression of the presence of this great and holy Being.  He continued in this practice, until later he lived consciously and constantly in God’s presence and experienced His blessed nearness and keeping power.”—Andrew Murray, The Secret of Adoration, p. 31.

 “Waiting upon God.  Just think—that He may reveal Himself in us; that He may teach us all His will; that He may do to us what He has promised; that in all things He may be the Infinite God....  This is the attitude of soul with which each day should begin.  On awaking in the morning, in the inner chamber, in quiet meditation, in the expression in prayer of our ardent longings and desires, in the course of our daily work, in all our striving after obedience and holiness, in all our struggles against sin and self-will—in everything there should be a waiting upon God to receive what He will bestow, to see what He will do, to allow Him to be the Almighty God.”—Andrew Murray, The Secret of Adoration, p. 70.

Gerhard Tersteegen

“The secret of God’s presence is actually believed by very few, but are you aware, that if each one truly believed it, the whole world would at once be filled with the saints, and the earth would be truly Paradise? If men really believed it as they should, they would need nothing more to induce them to give themselves up, heart and soul, to this loving god. But now it is hid from their eyes. Let us pray, my beloved, that God may be made known and manifested to many hearts, and thus in the light of His divine presence, the darkness of mere human life may be dispelled, and all things cast away, both without and within the heart, which hinder the growth and life of the soul, and which this light alone discovers and unveils. In all Christian practice there is nothing more universally needful, nothing simpler, sweeter, and more useful, nothing which so sums up in itself all Christian duties in one blessed act, as the realization of the loving presence of God.”

“When the Spirit enters into the heart, He fills it entirely, so that the world finds no more room or place in it, because this Guest makes Himself sole Lord and Master of it. The first disciples and believers were so entirely taken possession of by this blissful dominion of the Pentecostal Spirit that they were no longer masters of their own tongues or any other member. They were compelled, as it were, to speak, even as the Spirit gave them utterance. They could not long speak according to their own judgment, knowledge, and learning. No! They were constrained to do and speak as the Holy Spirit would have them. Thus it is with every one with whom the Holy Spirit takes up His residence. He then experiences the blissful dominion of our Lord Jesus Christ in his heart. The Holy Spirit is then the scepter which is sent forth out of Zion into our hearts. He takes possession of all our will and desire, all our actions and deportment, all our inclinations and affections and makes us entirely subject to Him. He dwells in our hearts like a king in the realm of his palace. He ordains and accomplishes in us that which is pleasing and acceptable to Him. He creates in us another principle and beginning of life. He becomes to the soul, as it were, the life of her life. He renews her daily more and more in the image of Him that created her, and forms her into a temple of truth and righteousness—yea, to a living temple of God in Jesus Christ. All the glory of earthly kings and princes are only vain shadows and child’s-play compared with the single Pentecostal heart which is deemed worthy of receiving the Sprit of Jesus Christ in such plenitude.” 

Ellen White

“All who are under the training of God need the quiet hour for communion with their own hearts, with nature, and with God. . . . We must individually hear Him speaking to the heart. When every other voice is hushed, and in quietness we wait before Him, the silence of the soul makes more distinct the voice of God.  He bids us, ‘Be still, and know that I am God.’ Ps. 46:10.  This is the effectual preparation for all labor for God.  Amidst the hurrying throng, and the strain of life’s intense activities, he who is thus refreshed will be surrounded with an atmosphere of light and peace.  He will receive a new endowment of both physical and mental strength. His life will breathe out a fragrance, and will reveal a divine power that will reach men’s hearts.....  Many, even in their seasons of devotion, fail of receiving the blessing of real communion with God.  They are in too great haste.  With hurried steps they press through the circle of Christ’s loving presence, pausing perhaps a moment within the sacred precincts, but not waiting for counsel.  They have no time to remain with the divine Teacher.  With their burdens they return to their work....  These workers can never attain the highest success until they learn the secret of strength.  They must give themselves time to think, to pray, to wait upon God for a renewal of physical, mental, and spiritual power.  They need the uplifting influence of His Spirit.  Receiving this, they will be quickened by fresh life.”—Ellen White, Maranatha, p. 125.

 “From the time when the parents of Jesus found Him in the temple, His course of action was a mystery to them.  He would not enter into controversy, yet His example was a constant lesson.  He seemed as one who was set apart.  His hours of happiness were found when alone with nature and with God.  Whenever it was His privilege, He turned aside from the scene of His labor, to go into the fields, to meditate in the green valleys, to hold communion with God on the mountainside or amid the trees of the forest.  The early morning often found Him in some secluded place, meditating, searching the Scriptures, or in prayer.  From these quiet hours He would return to His home to take up His duties again.”—Ellen White, Desire of Ages, pp. 89, 90.

“How many burdens we might lay off if we would do as the disciples did,—take all our troubles, large and small, to Jesus.  He has invited us to do this.  Let us encourage the habit of intimate communion with Jesus.  Thus we shall learn to know Him better, and His divine presence will bring us relief and assurance.  We shall be drawn to Him as to a loving friend.  As we tell Him our sorrows and perplexities, our mistakes and errors, He will speak peace and comfort to our hearts.  He says: ‘Let him take hold of My strength, that he may make peace with Me; and he shall make peace with Me.’  ‘Come unto Me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.  Take My yoke upon you, and learn of Me; for I am meek and lowly in heart; and ye shall find rest unto your souls.’"—Ellen White, Signs of the Times, August 1, 1900.