Had another good evening with Lewis tonight. It began as most of them do, with a coffeehouse stop and several bouts of MTG; later on, though, our talk--as it often does--turned to the Christian walk and our individual experiences and opinions of late. Lewis spoke of a talk he'd had with the Lord regarding me, and said that my current feelings of being "held back" weren't off the beam . . . what he'd heard from God was that my plan of spending 9 months here in the valley before "moving on" was a good one.
Thinking this over, i think i understood a little more about a phrase that appears in the Bible at several points: "wait upon the Lord." Because God doesn't do things according to a human schedule, we often become impatient and frustrated. It's as if, as i said in one of my many poems, we feel like we have a hotline to God so we can complain about the "slow service." I've done quite a bit of that lately . . . and now i see where i've gone wrong. "Waiting upon the Lord" can be interpreted literally! God is patient, and never does anything in a rush! As addicted as we are to "convenience," we often fail to grasp this. But waiting on the Lord doesn't just mean muddling along, expecting God to intervene at some future point. There are several things that need to be done . . . particularly in my personal case. First, it means to be in a mode of prayer and watchfulness. It's too easy for me now to lapse into a sense of complacency, to view this point of my life as a sort of lull. That's the wrong way to look at it. True, the opportunity for a rest, a "fall-back," was part of what He meant for me. But now, i need to be more vigilant, and to actively pray and pursue a course of life that will honor Him. I've been encountering a lot of negativity with old habits and old modes of thought reappearing. I'm committing, here and now, to banishing those old demons again . . . rebuking them, binding them in the Spirit. And i know i'll have to struggle with it, and if i don't depend on the Spirit, i will fail. It's nothing but the Spirit that's kept me from drinking again . . . it's easy to fall back into sin, easy to give up. But i can't give up now.
Another meaning of "to wait upon" implies service. If you're "waiting on someone," it can also mean that you are acting as a faithful steward, keeping things ready, and watching hopefully for your Master's return. Most of us can easily fall prey to complacency, or laxity, especially when things are going well . . . and then we wonder what's wrong when things fall apart! They fall apart for a number of reasons: first and foremost, because as Yeats said, "things fall apart, the center does not hold." No plan or organization of human design is ever permanent or dependable. Second, things fall apart BECAUSE we become complacent, let things run pretty much as they have since the dawn of time . . . and the Enemy uses those times to lull us into a false sense of security. Third, God often allows the difficulties that come when things DO fall apart to sharpen us, to test us with fire . . . not as punishment or wrath, but as a Father would patiently train a child. I need to remain alert, to perform my daily duties but not see them as humdrum or tedious, but as part of God's plan for me at this time. I'm going to have to accomplish a lot during the upcoming months . . . and i need to be really blessed to do this. I'm going to need the full strength and support of God's Holy Spirit in every task i undertake, and to remain patient when things don't go the way i think they should (and, with my anger issues and the thought-processes that a lot of people--my family notable among them--would regard as paranoid, things seldom seem to be going the way i think they should). It really doesn't matter in the long run what the government, the establishment, the system, the bureaucracy, or whatever other phrase i use to sum up "the way of the world," does . . . because, ultimately, God will prevail, in HIS time, according to HIS schedule, and not the short-sighted expectations of man. In every sense of the word, i need to wait upon the Lord.
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