How to wait for the Lord?
Luke 12:35:40; BCBC/IOUC; 6/13/2021; Rev. Paul Wang
The bible says that God is coming back and will be back soon! This is the core of our faith, and is uncompromising. Therefore, waiting for the Lord becomes Christians’ hope of life, do you agree? Then, how should we wait for the Lord? Maybe you will ask, Does “waiting” mean just sit there and wait? Of course not! Unless you want to be the servant with one talent of gold， otherwise, you really need to brace yourself up ! Let’s see the first point:
Be dressed and keep the lamps burning
”Waiting” includes proactively waiting and passive waiting. What kind of waiting is yours? In particular, when you are waiting for the Lord, how would you wait for Him? First, let the loins be girded about. In what kind of situation, a person will let his loins be girded about? During the time of war? While working? Or the time of training? Different answers represent different experiences, right? Being girded about means getting ready anytime. The focal point is not getting ready to do what, the key is to be prepared! The bible says, no one knows when the owner of the house will come back. The belt on the loin must be girded about by oneself, and no one else can replace him. Of course, you still need to sleep during the sleeping time, just be prepared to go out for an emergency, to welcome the owner of the house to come back. If the owner of the house comes back, but you are still sleeping, what do you think will happen?
Second, keep your lamps burning. Usually people will keep a “night light” before going to bed, in order for the convenience to get up at nighttime. Two thousand years ago, night light was usually put in the corridor of the room or lamp counter in the aisle. This tradition was carried forward by Catholic churches, usually at the left front, there is a red altar lamp which burns day and night. Everyday when the church closes the door, other lamps or candles are turned off, but the altar lamp burns day and night. Lamps don’t turn off, and light does not go out, representing God’s presence in people’s hearts. People will be weak, lethargy in spirit, but God’s presence never changes. God is here, what are you afraid of? Are you afraid of not being admitted to university? not able to find a job? unable to find a spouse? scared of being lonely till old age? You have God’s light to shine on you, are you really scared of these?
Lastly, be prepared to serve at any time. let the loins be girded about， means you dressed up, and can be the best man. The lamp is filled with oil and lit up means you can join the Lord’s banquet. At the wedding banquet, it is necessary to serve. Jesus’ mother helped manage the banquet, and Jesus turned water into wine. How about you? When you come to the church to listen to the sermon, don’t you plan to participate to serve? To help moving chairs? To greet people? To help translating? Or arrive at the church earlier to help with the cleaning work, to open and close the doors? To serve diligently, to offer at any time, is the life model of God’s disciple. The kingdom of heaven is with contentment by serving people, and with grace by being served. The contentment and grace is the balancing point of the pendulum effect in heaven. Either to serve people, or to be served by others, which one is you? Let’s see the second point:
Be ready as the gatekeeper
The dress has been put on, the loins be girded about, and the altar lamp has been lit. Then, where should we sleep? you said, I simply don’t sleep anymore, can you? That is not being watchful, it is worrying. If it is possible, can you sleep at the place closer to the gate? First, hearing the sound of knocking. Do you know? Human beings have another pair of ears, and can hear the sound that ordinary people cannot hear. The father heard the footsteps of the youngest son far away. Therefore, he went to welcome him. Do you hear that God’s is knocking your door? If you hear it, you and He, He and you will sit together. A hunter stays overnight in the forest, and he can hear the beast approaching. One time I went to a conference in New Mexico, around 3am midnight, while I was sleeping, I felt someone come into my room. A shadow slided into my room, I slapped my bed and jumped up, I turned on the light and asked loudly, then I found out that he went into the wrong room. Being able to hear the sound of knocking at any time is the meaning of today’s verse.
Second, like a gatekeeper. In ancient times, the rich family had servants who lived by the gate, and were called the gatekeeper. The purpose of life for the gatekeeper was to wait for the master. Luke says, like servants waiting for their master to return from a wedding banquet, so that when he comes and knocks they can immediately open the door for him. When we wait for the Lord to come back, we should have the feeling as the gatekeeper. Regardless of wind and rain, the purpose of our life is to wait for the Lord. The gatekeeper may help to do some house chores during the day， however,waiting for the master to come home is his life mission. Our problem today is to put the cart before the horse! We put our work in the world as our main job， and treat waiting for the Lord as a dispensable item. If you did all the good things in your eyes, but at the end you are not waiting for the Lord. Once you open the door, it is Satan, then what good is it for you?
Lastly, being watchful is a blessing. Being watchful by itself is waiting for the Lord, right? Luke says, “ It will be good for those servants whose master finds them watching when he comes. Truly I tell you, he will dress himself to serve, will have them recline at the table and will come and wait on them. ” The reward of being watchful is to sit together with the master, and have the opportunity to serve. On the contrary, Obviously knowing the origin of the Three-Self church is from Satan, but still having the dumpling meal, false fellowship, and betraying the Lord! Let’s see the third point:
Be ready at any time
Be ready at any time is the highest state to wait for God, agree? The easy part of “waiting” is to set up a time, a location, and not to leave without seeing each other! But waiting for the Lord needs to be ready at any time. Everything is uncertain. First, the uncertainty of time. Since 911, everything including time has become uncertain. The things originally we thought were certain, now all become uncertain. We call this philosophical stage or the phenomenon of stage “postmodern of the last days”, or “super postmodern”. Within the presidential tenure of Trump and Biden, the certain model of an uncertain philosophical stage will be fulfilled. To make the long story short, what I want to say is: the uncertainty of the super postmodern in the last days coincides with today’s topic that God is coming back. Luke says, “It will be good for those servants whose master finds them ready, even if he comes in the middle of the night or toward daybreak. ” The time is uncertain, but waiting for the Lord has to be ready at any time!
Second, the uncertainty of the way. The bible says, when God comes back, He will come like a thief. That means no one knows when the thief will arrive. It is okay! No matter when you come, I am prepared! I am watchful! I use reinforced concrete to pour the slab, to build the wall. ”But understand this: he would not have let his house be broken into by the thief.” Building a chain link fence to prevent the wild dog’s invasion. To preach clearly of God’s truth, and not to give the heresy any room. Preaching God’s words faithfully, teaching clearly in Sunday school, equipping people in discipleship training, ！persist in God’s truth in the prayer meeting.
Lastly, the uncertainty of expectation. Is it all right now? Luke says, “You also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him.” The greatest uncertainty is not knowing what is uncertain! From God’s viewpoint, He was tired, and wanted to sleep a little bit in the cabin, unexpectedly it became windy. The disciples who followed Jesus for more than three years including Peter, no one prayed on the deck. When Jesus came down the mountain after He transfigured there， the disciples didn’t even know how to pray! The financial co-worker Judas whom Jesus trusted， even betrayed Jesus， how could it be! Three times Peter denied the Lord! What about you, dear brothers and sisters, with the pandemic, is your love to the Lord still the same? Are you scared to death and dare not to attend the worship? Do you think the church is closed? Did God disappear? What is your expectation? What are your uncertainties?
Dear brothers and sisters, to wait for the Lord does not mean to sleep late, but to buckle around your waist with the belt of truth, and be God’s light and salt. Be God’s disciple, willing to be the gatekeeper, and be watchful to serve! In this empty rebellious, and everything is uncertain post modern stage, be God’s definite disciple.
Let us pray……