Waiting for Christ

 •  5 min. read  •  grade level: 5
That which should characterize the saints is, not merely holding the doctrine of the Lord's coming as that which they believe, but their souls should be in the, daily attitude of waiting, expecting, and desiring His coming. But why? That they may see Himself, and be with Him and like Him forever! Not because the world which has been so hostile to them is going to be judged, though God will smite the wicked. It is true there will be mercy to those who are spared. But we have obtained mercy now, and are therefore waiting for Himself—for what He is in Himself to us, and not because of judgment. That would not be joy to me, though it will be to some on the earth; for " in every place where the grounded staff shall pass, which Jehovah shall lay upon him, it shall be with tabrets and harps," etc. (Isa. 30:3232And in every place where the grounded staff shall pass, which the Lord shall lay upon him, it shall be with tabrets and harps: and in battles of shaking will he fight with it. (Isaiah 30:32)). This is not our hope, but simply waiting for Himself. The whole walk and character of a saint depends upon this—on his waiting for the Lord. Every one should he able to read us by this, as having nothing to do in this world but to get through it, and not as having any portion in it—" Turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God; and to wait for His Son from heaven." 1 Thess. 1:9,109For they themselves show of us what manner of entering in we had unto you, and how ye turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God; 10And to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, even Jesus, which delivered us from the wrath to come. (1 Thessalonians 1:9‑10).
What I desire to press upon you all, and myself too, is the individual waiting for the Lord; not as a doctrine merely, but as a daily waiting for Him-self. Whatever the Lord's will may be, I should like Him to find me doing it when He comes. But that is not the question; but, Am I waiting for Himself day by day? In 1 Thess. 2 the hope is connected with ministry: " What is our hope or joy, or crown of rejoicing? Are not even ye in the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ at His coming? " Then Paul would get the reward of his service to the saints. Then in the third chapter the hope is connected with our walk, as a motive for holiness: " Unblameable in holiness before God, even our Father, at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ with all His saints." Then in the fourth chapter the doctrine of the hope is unfolded, the manner of it comes out: " The Lord Himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voce of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first; then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air; and so shall we ever be with the Lord." Thus we see what a present expectation the coming of the Lord was; therefore Paul says, " WE which are alive and remain." But why does he say " WE"? Because he expected it then. This was Paul's character then, that of waiting for the Lord. And does he lose that character because he died before He came? No, not at all. Though Peter had a revelation that he should put off the tabernacle of his body, yet did he daily wait for the Lord's coming then. And this will be Peter's character when the Lord does come; he will lose nothing by his death. " Be ye like unto, men that wait for their Lord."
The character of their waiting was to be like servants at the hall-door, that, when the Master knocked, they were ready to open to Him immediately. It is a figure, of course, here; but it is the present power of the expectation that is alluded to. And the ruin of the church has come in by practically saying: " My Lord delayeth His coming." " Blessed are those servants whom the Lord when He cometh shall find watching."
" Let your loins be girded about, and your lights burning "—" your loins girt about with truth " for service. You must not let your garments flow loose; that is, you must not let your thoughts and affections spread abroad, but be ready with your garments well girt up, and your lights burning. This is not rest, for it is an exceedingly tiring thing to have to sit up and watch through a long dark night. But in the spirit of service the heart, affections, thoughts, feelings and desires must all he girt up. And this requires real painstaking not to let the flesh go its own way; for it is a great comfort sometimes to do this, if but for a moment; but if we do we shall surely fall asleep like the virgins. For as the virgins went to sleep with their oil in their lamps, so we may go to sleep with the Holy Ghost in our hearts. But blessed are those servants who are found watching. The Lord says this is the time for you to be girded, to take your turn in love to serve and watch; but when I come again, and have things my own way, then I will take my turn in love; ungird you and gird myself, and come forth and serve you. You must be well girt up and watchful in the midst of evil; but when the evil is done with, then you may take your rest. When in the Father's house you may lie down and be at ease; and then your robes may flow down without any fear of their being soiled. In that blessed place of holiness and purity, you may let your affections, thoughts and desires flow out without the fear of their being defiled.
Jesus, we wait for Thee,
With Thee to have our part;
What can full joy and blessing be
But being where Thou art?