For the proclamation of the Gospel and the edification of the Body of Christ
Waiting on grace
Grace is the extended hand of God towards man, supplying him in his poverty and necessity. Grace is a gift from God; unfortunately, man is not always willing to accept this gift, because it hurts his ego. In his pride, he prefers to buy, pay, and receive rewards for his work.
The grace of God requires that man not work, but wait and receive, but this "waiting" is difficult for man. When Abraham should have waited, instead of waiting, he worked and Ishmael was born. He did not know, yet, the power of grace. He had been justified by faith, but he still needed to know that the fruit of faith would come by grace. Not only is righteousness by faith, but the promise is obtained by faith, with patience.
It seems to us that waiting on God's grace is idleness, and therefore we reject it. We prefer to have something on hand to help God's grace. God had to wait for Abraham to fail before offering the fruit of grace. In this Abraham is also our father, not only regarding faith. Impatience and willfulness also characterize us.
It also appears to us that God's grace is infertile and that the objectives will never be reached by it. But what does the scripture tell us? "His grace toward me was not in vain; but I labored more abundantly than they all" (1st Cor. 15:10). "And God is able to make all grace abound toward you, that you, always having all sufficiency in all things, may have an abundance for every good work" (2nd Cor. 9:8). "And it brings forth fruit, as it is also among you("the true word of the Gospel"), since the day you heard and knew the grace of God in truth" (Col. 1:6). The reception of grace on behalf of the believer unleashes the power of God to work all fruit of righteousness.
Grace, in scripture, appears associated with man's weakness: "And He said to me (the Lord), "My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness" (2nd Cor. 12:9). And with God's power "...the gift of grace of God given to me by the effective working of His power" (Ef. 3:7). Grace requires humility, so that God's power may be manifested.
Living in weakness is extremely uncomfortable for man, as well as to be surrounded by "insults, necessities, persecutions and anguishes." Yet, in this atmosphere and under these conditions, God's power is perfected. Much of the baggage that is within Christianity, which is used to pretend to do God's work, is nothing more than the impossibility to wait on the resources of grace.
We need to constantly decide in our service to God, if we wait on God or if we rush to do what we can and know how to do. The time that we wait upon God is always too long, and the feeling of impotence is so acute that we may even become ill. Yet, whosoever waits in God with faith, having been strengthened in the inner man to grow in "hope against hope" will receive that which is believed. Abraham, "having patiently endured, he obtained the promise" (Heb. 6:15). It is after Ishmael that we learn to wait with patience until reaching the promise.