How to Spend Every Day with God, Matthew Henry (book review) part 2

(continuing from our last article)

It is to wait upon God with delight as a lover waiting on his beloved.

We must believe that God alone is enough for us. He is sufficient to satisfy and comfort our soul. I am His and he is mine. Let us consider the fact that we do have a God who created us, who provides for us, who has revealed himself to such miserable sinners like us. He has ordained a covenant with us. When we take all these into account, we have a motive and a desire to wait upon the Lord. It becomes a pleasure for us when God has proven, without faith, that He has always provided for us and protected us even when we were His enemies. When we stop pleasing ourselves, then we become open to hear the promises of God. When we get rid of our own pride, the doors of our hearts are open to wait upon God with meek heart. Henry wrote : ‘The gracious soul dwells in God, is at home in him, and there dwells at ease, is I him perpetually pleased; and whatever he meets with in the world to make himself uneasy, he find enough in God to balance it.” (p.46).

Waiting upon God is to expect always good from Him.

That is, we must not look that anything outside the loving will of God will be good. God alone is the one whom we need to look for good and none other. How can we know what to expect? From the word of God. Henry wrote: “our expectation from God, as far as they are guided by, and grounded upon, the word which he has spoken, ought to be humbly confident, and with a full assurance of faith. We must know and be sure that no word of God shall fall to the ground, that the expectation of the poor shall not perish” (p,46).

Waiting upon God is to live a life of devotedness to God.

As a slave is committed to wait upon His Master, so must we also, be ready to keep God’s will and do His works with delight and interest. When a servant waits his master to return, obviously he will not wait in his own way. He will not follow his own wisdom. He will follow the guidance and wisdom of his Master. It is expected from God’s redeemed people to follow their Lord and Shepherd everywhere He leads them by faith and obedience. But let us be aware on how we do this. Henry clarifies: “The servant waits on his master, not only to do him service, but to do him honour; and thus must we wait on God” (p.47).  This must become our ultimate purpose. To honour God with our bodies and our devotional life to be all about God! That is, we are to make His word and commandments are resolution every day. If we are disciples of the Lord, then we must be expecting Him to teach us with an open heart. This is done with humility and obedience. It is to resolve that His divine will and providential rule, is the number one rule of our patience, in order, that we may bear the trials that we face while we wait. Henry gives us an example of what this means:

To wait on the Lord is to say, it is the Lord, let him do to me as seemeth good to him, because nothing seemeth good to him but what is really good; and so we shall see when God’s work appears in a full light”. (p.48)

It is to say like Christ did to the Father ‘not as I will, but as thou will’. When we keep in our minds, stamped in our hearts, that God is good and all wise, then whatever we may think of the working of His providence in our life, it will make us calm and easy to bear. Because we know He will keep His promises. Thus we become patient and willing to wait upon our Lord and King who knows best. Once we recognize that our test and trials are from His will, then we can also be certain that He has made them for good. And by accepting this truth, we must be not only silent, without complaining, but we must also be rejoicing and satisfied that it is from HIM and not the enemy. For He means us no harm and no wrong. The Psalmist, when God disciplined him, we read the Psalmist saying: that yet God is good and thus, though He hurt me, I will trust Him and wait for Him. God is working all the time for His glory and for our good.

From showing us what it is to wait on God, Henry now turns our attention to another point: that this must be done every day.

We must wait on God every day.

Which days? Well, both on the Sabbath and the week days. On our busy days and idle days. In our prosperous days but also in our days of trials and hardship. We must wait upon the Lord. Both in old age and young, we are called to wait upon the Lord. Allow me to touch upon of them: we wait on God every day, both on idle days and busy days. For I sense that most of us struggle with this particular point. We usually find excuses not to make time for God. Henry wrote “Even when our hands are working about the world our hearts may be waiting on our God, by an habitual regard of him; to his providence as our guide, and his glory as our end, in our worldly business; and this we must abide with him in them”. (p,52)

At times, we put aside our business and have break from work. It is good to have one indeed. But when that opportunity comes, some of us either take a holiday and go to another country or we do something else to entertain us. But what about God dear reader? I ask and challenge myself asking this question: but what about God? Let our plan be that when we do get a break and lay aside business of the world, that we have our time spend with our Lord and Saviour and God. Every day the Christian needs a time with God in order to gain strength for the next day or the whole day if it begins in the morning. He brings light into our work in the world and sustains us for the rest of the day.

This book is indeed worth reading and worth having it in your private library. I have been blessed by it and I am sure many others have been also. Some have applied the practical helps it offers, but some have not. Nevertheless, this book is full of the biblical aroma of godliness, which is much needed in times like these we are living in where the idea of devotion to prayer and holy living for the glory of God has been buried in the pulpits.





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