“If a man dies, shall he live again? All the days of my appointed time will I wait, till my change come” (Job 14:14).
Sometime I am a bit apprehensive when approached by missionaries of the door-to-door kind, probably because of the time I have spent going door-to-door to introduce strangers to the Gospel of Jesus Christ. You never know who is going to answer the door or what their disposition may be. Also, you may not feel comfortable with the doctrine the enthusiastic missionary wishes to share. I truly admire my Jehovah Witness friends who show such a great deal of courage and devotion to this type of missionary work. It brings to mind what Jesus said to His disciples before sending them out into the world; “If they do not receive you, shake the dust of your feet and leave that place.”
It is my sincere wish that anyone offering the word be well received. I was approached over the weekend by three missionaries canvassing my neighborhood, offering the word and prayer for anyone standing in need. Personally, I think that I am always in need of prayer and rarely will I refuse a request to pray for or with anyone. The interesting part to this episode was that I had overheard their presentation a few minutes earlier and several things said by one of the missionaries did not sit well with me. When we came face-to-face I had to decide if I would challenge him or accept his offer for prayer.
“For His eyes are upon the ways of man, and He sees all his goings” (Job 34:21). My mother, God bless her soul, did everything she could to teach me good social graces and I make a sincere effort to use them. When asked if I had anything that I wanted to pray for I politely said ‘No, nothing immediate, I’m in a Job state of mind.’ I received a bewildered stare from one of the missionaries as the other said “Praise God.” Then the hammer fell, ‘What are you waiting for?’ another asked. Without hesitating I replied, “I am waiting for the Lord, I believe the Lord is going to do what He said, all I have to do is wait.’
We hear a great deal about waiting on God. There is, however, another side. When we wait on God, He is waiting until we are ready; when we wait for God, we are waiting until He is ready. There are Christians who say, and many more who believe, that as soon as we meet all the conditions set by God, He will answer our prayers. They say that God lives in an eternal now; with Him there is no past nor future; and that if we could fulfill all that He requires in the way of obedience to His commandments, statues and will, immediately our needs would be supplied, our desires fulfilled, our prayers answered. “Blessed are all they that wait for him” (Isaiah 30:18).
Well, at least they have it half-right. There is much truth in this belief, and yet it expresses only one side of the truth. Certainly, God lives in an eternal now, yet He works out His purposes in present time. Any prayer presented before God is like a seed dropped in the ground. Forces above and below must work upon it, until the true intent of God’s purpose is realized. “All the while my breath is in me, and the Spirit of God is in my nostrils” (Job 27:3), I will wait on the Lord. To him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen.
Grady Norman Greene, Minister of the Gospel of Jesus Our Christ
- Is every believer a missionary? (sentcollective.org)
- mormon missionaries at the door (jude3project.org)