Strength for Service
We have a revival in my church at Portland, Oregon. I have seen hundreds of people come to the Lord during the past six weeks. I do not feel a bit strange this morning because we are going to have a revival here today. All my concern is that I, with you, should get where the Lord can save the people, and you know where that place is that we must get in order to have Him save the people. That place is down out of sight. I getting stirred up myself will not do anything. And you stirring up The Moody Church will not do anything. But if you just go down out of sight and let the Lord work, the place will soon blaze with the glory of the Lord, and folks will not think it is thunder they hear. They will know it is the voice of God.
Text: Isaiah 40:31. “But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.”
Wait on the Lord! Well, suppose I do, what will happen? He that waiteth upon the Lord shall renew his strength; mount up like an eagle; run and not be weary; walk and not faint.
One condition: Wait on the Lord. What blessings hang on this one condition. Renew strength; fly like an eagle; run like an athlete, and walk without fainting. There is nothing in your life that is not comprehended in that four-fold blessing, and you can get all you need by obeying one condition—“Wait on the Lord.”
What does that mean? I am here to tell you. I know I am going to tell you the right thing because I got it from God. That word “WAIT” in the Hebrew Scripture stands for many things, and lends itself to many shades of interpretation. I select three of them to bring to you.
FIRST. It means to keep the soul’s mouth shut in the presence of God. That is the hard thing to do. I am always talking. I am like my mother. She was always talking. Sometimes I talk too much to God and don’t listen enough to God. Quite often I come back to my text and say, “Lord, I have said a good many things, now I am going to sit still and let You say a few things to me.”
I know a man. He had no talent, but when he got up and said the most ordinary things, everybody listened. I could not understand the secret of it. One day that man gave away his secret. He said, “I spend one hour every day in doing nothing at all but looking for God.” I knew then why he had power.
Strength for Service
You let a man spend one hour a day, seven hours a week, in silence looking to God and looking at God, and he will be one of God’s giants. Learn to listen to God!
Sometimes I think we are in danger of being like children that go to the telephone and take down the receiver, and talk and never wait to listen. The telephone is no good unless you get an answer over the wire.
God High Over All
There is another thing. You must keep your eyes in the right direction. “I will lift up my eyes unto the hills.” That does not mean mountains. That means hills of God.
I went to my church the other day and met a man. I said, “How are you?”
He replied, “Pretty well under the circumstances.”
I answered, “In the name of the Lord, why don’t you get above the circumstances?”
My God has control over all the circumstances. I hope your God has too. I believe in a God who can make solid masonry out of Red Sea water. I believe in a God who can keep you cool in Nebuchadnezzar’s furnace. I believe in a God who can make a pillow on the flank of a lion.
SECONDLY. Keep your eyes right, not by looking down at your own feet, but look up at your Saviour’s face. Do not look at the gloom. Study the glory as you wait on the Lord.
THIRDLY. Keep your hands right. The mighty men of David had their arms in their hands. Their weapons were already pointing at the enemy. The moment the commander said, “Charge!” on they went. That is the way to wait on the Lord.
You asked the Lord this morning to save somebody. Well, were your hands right? Have you got your weapon,—the Sword of the Spirit? Let us gather up what we have. You have got to wait on the Lord. That sometimes means to keep the soul’s mouth closed and listen, and it means to keep the soul’s eyes right on God, and to keep the soul’s hands ready,—prepared to do His will.
Will you wait on the Lord in that fashion? Then I will tell you from my God what you will get. First, “They shall renew their strength.” You call this The Moody Church. I hope you are not moody folks. Some of us get in a good mood once in a while, and we walk on the hilltop, but the mood does not last. You should have a high note all the time. God does not want you to walk a bit on the hill and then go down in the valley. He wants you to go up and then keep up. What in the world do you want to dip down for? You will say, “Oh I can’t keep that high mood.” I am here to tell you how to keep it. “Wait on the Lord!” Did you ever get down in the cellar while waiting on the Lord? No! You got out of the cellar and you kept out of the cellar so long as you waited on the Lord.
Strengthened with Might
If there is nobody else in the world that can testify to the truth of this part of my sermon, I am the man that can do it. I know what it is to lie down on the bed and say, “Lord, I have to preach at seven-thirty, and it is now seven o’clock. I feel like an old wet rag. Now Lord, come and stiffen the rag.” And I tell you at seven-thirty I have gone out into the pulpit, and have said, “I have so much strength I do not know what to do with it.”
You can renew your strength in your God. You say the body gives out. But does not the Bible say, “Not I, but Christ liveth in me”? Does Christ ever give out? Let the Lord Jesus take your body, and he will enable that body to do things that will surprise you and all the folks round about you. Wait on the Lord and you shall renew your strength.
But that means something else. It means that you shall change your strength, and that is what the church in America needs to do—CHANGE ITS STRENGTH. A good man said to me some time ago, in my church, “Mr. Hinson, would you like to have a moving picture apparatus in your church?” I replied, “When you bring that thing in then I go out.”
I believe in the Holy Ghost, who can make all the movement that is required. He can move old petrified church members until they are live saints. He can move Saul of Tarsus until he becomes Paul the Apostle.
I go to some places and they say, “Well, I do not know how we are going to manage to let you preach on Tuesday night, because we have an oyster supper that night.” I say, “I will tell you what we will do. We will have the oyster supper after the preaching.” And the funny thing is this. That particular night the Lord gives me lots of wind, and I preach until about ten o’clock, and then hold on after meeting, and the oysters get spoiled. Ah, No! You don’t need that truck. The early Christians went out with two things. A story of a bloody Cross, and the Spirit. And their enemies said they turned the world upside down, and if that is ever done at oyster suppers, I have something to learn yet.
Putting on New Strength
You need to change your strength. They shall mount up like eagles. I have always wanted to fly. I never went fast enough yet. I never got high enough yet, so that “eagle’s wing business” is very attractive to me. They shall mount up. Getting above things that disquiet and worry. And they shall fly like eagles, up above the poisoned ivy and the smoke of the world. The eagle has the broadest horizon because it goes up the highest. It will broaden your horizon to wait on the Lord.
I had a minister come to me, and he said: “My brother, I have my resignation written out and I want to show it to you before I give it to the church.”
I replied: “Write it out pretty often. It is a good thing to do.”
I remember the time when I used to write my resignation on Sunday night. I would leave it on the desk until Monday morning, and on Monday morning I would say, “Lord, I am going to hand in my resignation tonight.”
And the Lord would say to me, “Did the church bring you here, or did I?”
I said, “Well.”
The Lord said, “Never mind your wells. Who brought you here?”
“Well, you did.”
“Have I told you to quit?”
“Then stay where you are.”
Then I would stay where I was, on my job. This matter of writing resignations is a fine safety valve.
I said to this friend of mine, “My boy, what are you leaving for?”
He replied, “I can’t get along with the janitor.”
I asked, “Did the janitor call you to the church?”
“Then who did?”
“Is the janitor as big as Jesus?”
“Then how does it come when Jesus calls you to a church the janitor is able to drive you out?”
I took his resignation and tore it into bits and said, “Go back and mount up on wings like an eagle, so high that you can’t see the janitor.”
You are not all eagles, but you all have a janitor. Mount up on wings like an eagle.
Running Well to Goal
“They shall run and not be weary.”
Would you like me to read your mind a bit? I am not much of a mind reader, but I can tell you where you were born. You don’t believe it! Well, I will make you believe it. Want to know where you were born? You were born in a place which I will spell for you—GALATIA. This is where you were born—lots of you.
You know why? Because Paul wrote a letter to some professor of religion in Galatia and said: You did run well for a while but you are not raising any dust by the rapidity of your movements today. As Gladstone said about some church members, “They are ‘oncers’.” They can only go to church once on Sunday. What do you need? You need to wait on the Lord, then you can run without weariness.
I had a man in my church once who was a poor, unfortunate sort of fellow. His besetting sin was drink. About four times a year he would get on a drunk, and I always met him four times a year, because he would come to prayer meeting after he had been on a spree. He not only came to the meeting, but he took the meeting. He would stand up and go for me. The first time I heard him I did not know what to make of it. After I got accustomed to him, I rather enjoyed it. He said, “That man Hinson is no good as a preacher, and he doesn’t know how to run a meeting, and he can’t raise money, and he isn’t any good.”
Then I always had a fine time because he landed on the deacons, and would say: “Here is a board of deacons. Well named a board, because they are a wooden lot. Here are the trustees. Look at that leak in the roof. A fine bunch of trustees. There is the Sunday School Superintendent. He isn’t fit to be janitor of the church.”
This fellow was about the bravest man I ever knew for he landed on the Women’s Society. They are the only crowd that scare me. I can tackle a board of deacons, and the trustees, and say a few words in the open to the whole church, but when you ask me to speak to the Women’s Society, I reply: “I think I am going to have a cold.” This fellow would bring up the Women’s Society and land on them. Then you would never see him again for three months. He stopped coming to prayer meeting again for three months, until he got over another drunk.
That is not the way to do it. You shall run and keep on running and never get short of breath, but keep on running without weariness. The trouble with us is this. Not that we can’t run. Everybody in this Tabernacle can run. You say you can’t run. Well, I can make you run. You let an old California snake spring his rattles under your seat and you will run some. Where is the difference? We can all run, but we don’t all run unweariedly. Where is the secret? Wait on the Lord and you shall run without weariness.
God’s Way of Progressing
“They shall walk and not faint.”
Once in a while I meet some people that know so much I wonder their heads don’t split. They know more than God. They know God made a mistake when He wrote my text. They say it should not read that way. They say it should read, “They shall walk and run and mount up,” and that God has it in the wrong order. He has it, mount, fly, run, walk—and that is an anti-climax. I have had enough dealings with God to know He is always right, and you will never catch me putting out my hand to steady His ark.
I learned that by a bitter experience. When I was a young man, student preacher, a great infidel came to our town. When I read the placard about his coming, I said to the Lord, “Don’t you get worried, because I am here. I will take care of your Bible for you, and I will meet this infidel and I will fix him.”
Well, the days went by and Saturday night came, and the infidel was going to talk on Sunday. I was burning up. I had to change my collar two or three times on Saturday, I was so hot with scare. I finally went to the Lord and said, “Lord, I have been your shepherd for about two-weeks. It has pretty nearly killed me. Lord, you will now be my shepherd. I am through.”
It is a fine thing to have the Lord shepherd you. Praise His Holy Name! I will stand by Him if all the world goes away. A man in the right with God is in the majority always, for God is multitudinous above all the things of the world.
It is a fine thing to fly. It is a fine thing to run, but there are people in this building who know it is a harder thing when you are in an experience where you can’t fly, just to walk before the Lord in the land of the living. These people who, on Saturday night, are just where I left them on the preceding Sunday—I call them well-balanced people. They walk without fainting, and they are fine people. “They shall walk and not faint.” All you want in your life is changed strength. Mounting up experience. Running experience. Walking experience. Everything you need is in there somewhere. You can get all that if you will wait on the Lord.
I used to be a fine fisherman. I could catch more fish than anybody I went fishing with. A man one day asked me, “Why are you catching so many fish? I have fished as you have, and I can’t catch them.” I said to him, “You don’t pull up your hook often enough.”
When I became a preacher I remember that Jesus said, “I will make you fishers of men.” Some preachers put their lines out on the first Sunday in January and keep them down until the last Sunday in December, and never pull their lines up to see if they have any fish. I pull up the hook always as I preach. My church is prepared for anything. I always like to pull up my net and see what I have. I will leave you tonight, possibly never to see you any more. The great thing is that we glorify Jesus Christ in this morning service.
I told you from God’s Word, if you get your soul’s mouth right, and your soul’s hand right, and wait on the Lord you will fly like an eagle, walk like an athlete, and run without becoming weary. Any man or woman in this building who will solemnly say to God, I want that change of strength, that praying, that running, that walking experience, may here begin right now and keep it up.
“They that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run and not be weary; and they shall walk and not faint.” Will you go out from here today and wait upon the Lord?