Dwayne Wedderburn | Waiting in the presence of the Lord
Youth Camp 1991 in the hilly interior of Green Castle, St Ann had come to an end. Over 100 Christian youths from different churches islandwide were isolated for one week, fellowshipping, worshipping God, studying His word, and receiving training in becoming effective Christian witnesses. There were mixed emotions across the campsite - persons were crying, relationships they forged would be disrupted by distance. We had no cellular phones, and only a few had home phones. Keeping the bond between friends would be challenging, but it was paramount in our minds. On our return home, we stocked writing pads and envelopes, penning several letters weekly to friends across the different parishes. We would walk to the post office to mail our letters and wait anxiously, for a minimum of two weeks, to get a response. Waiting was normal. If we went to the post office and got no mail, going back the next day was routine. Waiting was not a burden, it was a way of life.
With modern technology driving our fast-paced lives, waiting is now abnormal and intolerable. As a result, many Christians have extreme difficulty waiting on the Lord to our detriment and the detriment of our generation.
Isaiah 40 explains that the benefits of waiting on the Lord are the renewal of lost physical and spiritual strength and elevation to very high spiritual dimensions. It is God's desire to take us into the undisturbed spiritual realm of constant and distinct communication with Him, empowering us to wrestle victoriously against principalities and powers and spiritual wickedness in high places. It was declared by Jesus that we will do greater works than He did, we shall tread upon serpents and scorpions, drink deadly poison without harm, heal the sick, and raise the dead. But greater works is the result of greater waiting upon the Lord. When we wait upon the Lord to experience His life-changing presence so we can be empowered to do greater works in our lives and ministries, the nature of our wait must be periods of isolation and separation in earnest prayer until the tangible presence of the Holy Spirit comes and gives us a fresh empowerment, igniting our spirits. The Holy Spirit then takes us into the presence of the Lord, where He refreshes, renews, elevates our spirit, and speaks to us. These sessions may take days, there is no time specification; waiting in the presence of the Lord ends at his adjournment, not ours. Moses stayed two periods of 40 days in isolation to allow God to write the constitution of an emerging nation.
Jesus, our example, did not inherit the sinful nature of Adam, yet He waited in isolation for 40 days in prayer and fasting, after which His body was at the very lowest, but His spirit was at the very strongest. From this, we understand that in order to overcome temptation, our spirits must be significantly stronger than our flesh. Such spiritual strength can only be imparted by waiting upon the Lord. It is after His wait in fasting and prayer that Jesus started His ministry by declaring that the Spirit of the Lord is upon me and He has anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor. One sure way of receiving the anointing is waiting upon the Lord. Waiting in His presence for empowerment is a prerequisite to knowing and fulfilling our life's purpose. On many occasions before and after Jesus did His greatest miracles, He went apart in isolation for hours to pray. He is our example.
Practise to wait on the Lord
Waiting begins by clearing our agendas, our only item being to wait on the Lord in an environment free from all disturbances. Waiting on the Lord has a start time, but ends only after we have worshipped, prayed, been quickened by the Holy Spirit, and lead into the direct presence of Almighty God. We will feel the very physical atmosphere change when our natural environment is saturated with His presence. He then speaks to us clearly and precisely, His words of direction, assurance, edification, and comfort causing our spirits to soar as the eagles and giving our bodies healing and renewed energy.