[b]The Ready And Waiting Disciple[/b]
[i]by W. C. Moore[/i]
The waiting disciple, the ready disciple will be a busy disciple. "Occupy till I come" (Luke 19:13) is the Lords command. And he is not only to be occupied, busy, but to be busy about the very thing the Lord has given each one to do. He says, "To every man his work" (Mark 13:34). We must each one give an account to God for the deeds done in the body that each one may receive his reward according as his work shall be.
This reward is only payable, of course, to those who first have been saved, born again. We are saved by grace through faith. After that, we are rewarded according to our works. Gods plan is that we keep busy in His will and in His glorious service till Jesus comes again.
This by no means shuts out prayer. Without Christ we can do nothing. So very important is prayer and waiting upon the Lord that Jesus says emphatically, "Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man" (Luke 21:36).
First Things First
It is far more important and necessary to our spiritual and eternal well-being that we know Gods will for our lives and are busied therein than that we even make provision for temporal needs. Jesus says, "Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you" (Matthew 6:33). "Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is" (Ephesians 5:17).
How embarrassed you or I would be if in that great day of accounting (Romans 14:10,12), we should have to tell the Lord that we never took the time or stirred up ourselves enough to even find out what His will was for our lives--let alone being concerned or busied about it unto the end. "And now, little children, abide in Him; that when He shall appear, we may have confidence, and not be ashamed before Him at His coming" (1 John 2:28). Now is the time to take heed to ourselves and see to it that we are READY for the coming of the Lord, OCCUPYING till He comes.
Christians On The Shelf
One reason that some Christians once used of God are now "on the shelf" so to speak, is because their tender first love has leaked out. "Let all things be done by you in love" (1 Corinthians 16:14, margin.) Since Gods Word tells us to do all things in love, if we are not filled with the tender love of God for other Christians and for sinners, it is no wonder that God cannot use us, for we would be doing nothing in real holy love and God cannot be a partaker in our sins by helping us to carry on our loveless works.
Deep and sincere repentance is the only way to have Gods favor restored to us in such a case. "Thou hast left thy first love. Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent" (Revelation 2:4-5). "And, behold, I come quickly." Friends, it is going to seem very sudden when we discover that the end has come. Oh, for you and I to be aroused now, while we have every opportunity to do the blessed will of God! "I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be" (Revelation 22:12).
After a person has been saved, and has the peace of God in his heart, he needs to be endued with power from on high. He needs to receive the baptism with the Holy Spirit. Immediately after verse 17 in Ephesians 5 we read, "Be filled with the Spirit." We need the Spirit of God to give us power to do His will. "Have ye received the Holy Ghost since ye believed?" (Acts 19:2). "After that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise" (Ephesians 1:13). As Finney brings out, there is a difference between having the peace of God in our hearts and having the power of God operating through us. The converts to Christ under the evangelistic ministry of Philip, believed and were baptized in water. When Peter and John came down to Samaria they prayed for these happy young converts, not that they might get saved, but that they might receive the Holy Ghost. See Acts 8:4-17.
The Holy Spirit baptism is given for two very important reasons: first, that we might live an overcoming life, walk in the Spirit and not fulfill the lust of the flesh (Galatians 5:16)--through the Spirit mortifying the deeds of the body (Romans 8:13); and secondly, that we each one may have power, the very power of God through the indwelling Spirit of God, to do that particular work which each one is called of God to do. See Acts 1:8; 1 Corinthians 12:7.
Each one is not to think more highly of himself than he ought to think, but we are to walk humbly with God and see His work made manifest through our lives. A tree is known by his fruit. What is the fruit of my life? What is the fruit of your life? What results follow my example and my teaching? The 12th chapter of Romans should be read just in this connection.
If anyone who reads these lines has never yet been filled with the Spirit, I beseech you to present your body a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, and that you ask God in faith to give you the fullness of the Holy Spirit, not that you may feel happy or have some thrill, but that you may have the power of God dwelling within your life, in order that always you may live a victorious, shining, overcoming life, and that you may have the power to do the very work that the Lord assigns for you to do -- OCCUPYING till He comes!
Friends, NOW is the accepted time. I beseech you to attend to the matter of doing Gods will NOW. Oh, the awful and fearful awakening which will overtake those who trifle with the eternal things of God! Walk while you have the light lest darkness come upon you. Honor God that He may honor you in that great day that so soon is coming. Care not so much what people may think, say or do. But I beseech you DO be concerned about what Gods Word says!
"Be filled with the Spirit." "Occupy till I come."
"They that were READY went in with Him to the marriage: and the door was shut" (Matthew 25:10). These words of encouragement and of warning are from the lips of Him whose hands were pierced with cruel nails for you!
SI Moderator - Greg Gordon