“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.” Isaiah 40:31
“Let us confess at once that these blessings are not usual in the lives of
Christians. As a matter of fact we run and are weary, we walk and do faint.
The wings of our soul do not habitually beat the upper air.
If there is one condition thus performed, the resultant blessings are sure…
What does the Scripture mean by “waiting on the Lord?” It is the sole
condition. First of all, waiting upon God is not praying. Praying is
petitioning God for something. Praying is:
“supplication with thanksgiving,” Philippians 4:6
It has its own great and unique place in the Christian life, but it is
not waiting upon the Lord.
“Truly my soul waiteth upon God.” Psalms 62:1
It is the soul, in utter hush and quietness, casting itself upon God.
“These wait all upon thee; that thou mayest give them their meat in
due season.” Psalms 104:27
[This] implies both dependence and expectation – a faith that silently
reaches out to take hold upon God, and which has its expectation from God.
“Blessed is the man that heareth me, watching daily at my gates, waiting at
the posts of my doors.” Proverbs 8:34
The thought there is of a servant and his master. He has no service just at that
moment but he “waits” at the door…It is the attitude of readiness, of obedience.
To wait upon God is to be silent that He may speak, expecting all things from
Him, and girded for instant, unquestioning obedience to the slightest movement
of His will. It is not the waiting of an idler, it is not the waiting of a dreamer.
It is the quiet waiting of one…ready, one who looks upon life as a battle-field
and sphere for service…This is waiting upon God according to the Scriptures.
The four blessings of the text must follow, because God says they shall….
‘They that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength.’
The word “renew” rendered literally is “change”—they shall change their strength.
It is a word used to denote a change of garments. They shall lay aside their strength
and put on, as a garment, strength from God. This whole 40th chapter of Isaiah
is a series of contrasts between the frailty and feebleness of man and the strength
and greatness of God. The problem is to rid ourselves of self-strength (which breaks
down) that God may clothe us with His own strength; and this is the first blessing
promised to those who “wait upon the LORD.”
How does God effect this? I do not know, but I know that somehow when we are
waiting upon Him, our strength, which after all is perfect weakness, is laid aside,
and divine hands clothe us with the strength of God. We do change our strength.
“They shall mount up with wings as eagles.” Isaiah 40:31
What does that mean? Why as eagles? [The] eagle is the only bird that goes
so high ….he is the most solitary of birds. The eagle has to do with great things,
mountains and heights and depths. He can be quiet when it is time to be quiet.
No Christian ever comes into God’s best things who does not, upon the Godward
side of his life, learn to walk alone with God. Lot may dwell in Sodom and vex
his righteous soul ….but God will have Abraham up in Hebron upon the heights.
It is Abraham whom He visits and to whom He tells His secrets. Moses, learned
in all the wisdom of the Egyptians, must go forty years into the desert to
be alone with God. Paul, who knew the Greek learning, must go into Arabia and
learn the desert life with God.
Before God uses a man greatly, He isolates him. He gives him a separating
experience; and when it is over, those about him, who are no less loved
than before, are no longer depended upon. He realizes that he separated
unto God, that the wings of his soul have learned to beat the upper air,
and that God has shown him unspeakable things.
Christ will never be satisfied until He has each one of us separated unto Himself.
“If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above.” Colossians 3:1
How far above?
“Where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God.” Colossians 3:1