God Cannot Wait
by Tom Stewart
October 15, 2001
God cannot wait until we get to Heaven, for us to begin consistently
walking obediently, being always focused on the LORD Jesus Christ, living continually
without sin, and depending solely on the power of the Holy Spirit working in us for
In these troublous times, what Christian wouldn't rather be Home in Heaven? But, is it possible that our Heavenly Father has just as intense a desire toward us down here before He invites us Home to Heaven? To show you the record of how intensely Jehovah may feel towards us, listen to our God vent His emotions about the people of His Old Covenant. "8 How shall I give thee up, Ephraim? how shall I deliver thee, Israel? how shall I make thee as Admah? how shall I set thee as Zeboim? Mine heart is turned within Me, My repentings are kindled together. 9 I will not execute the fierceness of Mine anger, I will not return to destroy Ephraim: for I am God, and not man; the Holy One in the midst of thee: and I will not enter into the city" (Hosea 11:8-9). God must feel with great intensity, or else it would be difficult for us to imagine any great yearning in His Heart for us, when He sent His Only Begotten Son to die for us. "For God so loved the world, that He gave His Only Begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have Everlasting Life" (John 3:16). [For more on the emotions of God, read "Affections and Emotions of God" ---New Window by Charles G. Finney ---New Window.]
Walking Obediently. What True Saint would debate the necessity of obedience to Christ, if he claims to be a Christian? "3 And hereby we do know that we know Him, IF we keep His Commandments. 4 He that saith, I know Him, and keepeth not His Commandments, is a liar, and the Truth is not in him" (1John 2:3-4). But, walking obediently all the time, seems to be "more than we are capable, too much to be expected, and unachievable until we get to Heaven." Absurd! "God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?" (Romans 6:2). Obviously, we measure differently than the Living God. "For My Thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways My Ways, saith the LORD" (Isaiah 55:8). When we claim that we have a sinful nature that necessitates our sinning, then we are, in effect, telling God that, as Loving as He is, He is demanding too much that we would walk obediently all the time. "Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in Heaven is perfect" (Matthew 5:48). This verse only means that we can and are to give 100% of our heart to Him as He has given 100% of His Heart to us. "We love Him, because He first loved us" (1John 4:19). We need to settle it in our heart that if our Loving Heavenly Father commanded it, then that is the Highest Possible Evidence that we are able to do it. "I can do ALL things through Christ which strengtheneth me" (Philippians 4:13). Our continual obedience to Christ is The Way that God has provided to demonstrate that we love Him. "For this is the Love of God, that we keep His Commandments: and His Commandments are NOT grievous [burdensome, unbearable, impossible]" (1John 5:3). [See our editorial, "Is It Possible to Guarantee Our Obedience?" ---New Window, for encouragement on this pivotal Promise of the New Covenant, i.e., "And I will put My Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in My Statutes, and ye shall keep My Judgments, and do them" (Ezekiel 36:27).]
Focused on the LORD Jesus Christ. If we would constantly remind ourselves that the LORD Jesus Christ is the Focus of our religion, then we would not find ourselves wandering from the "straight paths" (Hebrew 12:13). It is not a novel thought that Jesus is the "Author and Finisher of Our Faith" (12:2). So then, why should it be thought strange that our life, ministry, and usefulness should be consumed with how we relate to Christ, Who "is made unto us Wisdom, and Righteousness, and Sanctification, and Redemption" (1Corinthians 1:30). Exploring, Discovering, and Understanding better the LORD Jesus Christ is the Key to the present time, and it will be the Source of unending joy throughout Eternity. "For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God" (Colossians 3:3). Our focus on the LORD Jesus Christ must be demonstrated by a complete trust in Him that engages all of our agency in our Salvation; but at the same time, it will be in union with His Divine Agency working in us, causing us "to walk in [His] Statutes" (Ezekiel 36:27). That is the secret of our obedience. "12 Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own Salvation with fear and trembling. 13 For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of His good pleasure" (Philippians 2:12-13).[Read "The Relations of Christ to the Believer" ---New Window by C. G. Finney for help in "looking unto Jesus" (Hebrews 12:2).]
Without Sin. What is more harmful to the Kingdom of God, a Lost Sinner, who denies any necessity of being without the sin he loves, or a Professed Christian, who cannot see how he can be completely holy in conduct all the time? "Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the LORD" (Hebrews 12:14). If we could conveniently define holiness as something that we are given in spite of our unwillingness to obey and abide in Christ, i.e., "He that saith he abideth in Him ought himself also so to walk, even as He walked" (1John 2:6), then all such talk of being without sin could be disposed of as unbalanced ramblings. But, if sin can be correctly demonstrated to be only a willful rebellion and transgression of the Law of Love, that "sin by the Commandment might become exceeding sinful" (Romans 7:13), then any defense that Christians are still sinners, would evaporate. "Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the Law: for sin is the transgression of the Law" (1John 3:4). [See our article, "Must We Then Sin?" ---New Window, to Scripturally think through this question.] Since the Law of Love, the Statutes, and Judgments are from God, then why would He not provide the children of Adam a remedy for their continual pattern of disobedience? HE HAS! He sent His Only Begotten Son to seal with His Own Blood the New Covenant, i.e., the "God of Peace, that brought again from the dead our LORD Jesus, that Great Shepherd of the Sheep, through the Blood of the Everlasting Covenant" (Hebrews 13:20), that guarantees obedience to those who receive the Promise of the New Covenant in faith. "And I will put My Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in My Statutes, and ye shall keep My Judgments, and do them" (Ezekiel 36:27).
By the Power of the Spirit. When will we cease to elevate ourselves to the level of trusting in ourselves as our own deliverer? "Cease ye from man, whose breath is in his nostrils: for wherein is he to be accounted of?" (Isaiah 2:22). Only when the Living God delivers us from destruction, Hell, the world, sin, the flesh, the Devil, and even ourselves, then are we truly delivered. "Through God we shall do valiantly: for He it is that shall tread down our enemies" (Psalm 108:13). God is not interested in teaching us how to be saved, sanctified, delivered, or glorified, without showing us our utter necessity of Himself as the Author of it all! "Not by might, nor by power, but by My Spirit, saith the LORD of Hosts" (Zechariah 4:6). When we comprehend that the perfection that God demands of us is to totally and continually give Him our whole heart, i.e., "My son, give me thine heart" (Proverbs 23:26), then He finally has the opportunity to give us the influence of His Spirit of Promise. "13 In Whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the Word of Truth, the Gospel of your Salvation: in Whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that Holy Spirit of Promise, 14 Which is the Earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of His glory. 15 Wherefore I also, after I heard of your faith in the LORD Jesus, and love unto all the Saints, 16 cease not to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers; 17 that the God of our LORD Jesus Christ, the Father of Glory, may give unto you the Spirit of Wisdom and Revelation in the Knowledge of Him: 18 the eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the Hope of His calling, and what the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the Saints, 19 and what is the exceeding greatness of His Power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of His Mighty Power" (Ephesians 1:13-19).
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