WAITING ON GOD:
'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 ii. 25, 38.
HEBE we have the mark of a waiting believer. Just, righteous in all his conduct; devout, devoted to God, ever walking as in His presence; waiting for the consolation oj Israel, looking for the fulfilment of God's promises: and the Holy Ghost was on him. In the devout waiting he had been prepared for the blessing. And Simeon was not the only one. Anna spake to all that looked for redemption in Jerusalem. This was the one mark, amid surrounding formalism and worldliness, of a godly band of men and women in Jerusalem. They were waiting on God; looking for His promised redemption.
And now that the Consolation of Israel has come, and the redemption has been accomplished, do we still need to wait J We do indeed. But will not our waiting, who look back to it as come, differ greatly from those who looked forward to it as coming t It will, specially in two aspects. We now wait on God in the full power of the redemption: and we wait for its full revelation.
Our waiting is now in the full power of the redemption. Christ spake, 'In that day ye shall know that ye are in Me. Abide in Me.' The Epistles teach us to present ourselves to God ' as indeed dead to sin, and alive to God in Christ Jesus,' 'blessed with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ Jesus.' 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. The old saints took their stand on the Word of God, and waiting, hoping on that Word, we rest on the Word too—but, oh! under what exceeding greater privileges, as one with Christ Jesus. In our waiting on God, let this be our confidence: in Christ we have access to the Father; how sure, therefore, may we be that our waiting cannot be vain.
Our waiting differs too in this, that while they waited for a redemption to come, we see it accomplished, and now wait for its revelation in us. Christ not only said, Abide in Me, but also I in you. The Epistles not only speak of us in Christ, but of Christ in us, as the highest mystery of redeeming love. 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.'
My life in Christ up there in heaven and Christ's life in me down here on earth—these two are the complement of each other. And the more my waiting on God is marked by the living faith / 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 fax as our personal life is concerned, on this one thing, Lord, reveal Thy redemption fully in me; let Christ live in me.
Our waiting differs from that of the old saints In the place we take, and the expectations «• entertain. But at root it is the same: waiting on God, from whom alone is our expectation.
Learn from Simeon and Anna one lesson. How utterly impossible it was for thcin to do anything towards the great redemption—towards the birth of Christ of His death. It was God's work. They could do nothing but wait. Are we as absolutely helpless as regards the revelation of Christ in us? We are indeed. God did not work out the great redemption in Christ as a whole, and leave its application in detail to us.
The secret thought that it is so lies at the root of all our feebleness. The revelation of Christ in every individual believer, and in each one the daily revelation, step by step and moment by moment, is as much the work of God's omnipotence as the birth or resurrection of Christ. Until this truth enters and fills us, and we feel that we are just as dependent upon God for each moment of our life in the enjoyment of redemption as they were in their waiting for it, our waiting upon God will not bring its full blessing. The sense of utter and absolute helplessness, the confidence that God can and will do all,—these must be the marks of our waiting as of theirs. As gloriously as God proved Himself to them the faithful and wonder-working God, He will to us too.