How I Used Truth - Lesson 11 - Annotation 7
What does it mean to "wait" on God (text, page 108)?
7. To "wait" on God is to enter consciously into prayer in all its phases. We quietly meditate upon Truth, upon God, and upon our relationship to Him. We talk to God as naturally as to a loved one. (Often we are even more at ease when we talk to God.) Then we "wait." Webster's dictionary offers many definitions of the word wait. including these: "to observe; to be alert or watchful] to stay or rest in expectation; to rest in patience; to be or remain ready to serve or execute orders; to seek after." Any of these definitions describes exactly what we do when we "wait" on God. There is first the definite turning of the consciousness Godward so that we may be alert to His guidance. Then there is patience that allows us to be expectant, remaining peaceful yet ready to obey the guidance thus received with no feeling of hurry or anxiety.
The result of our "waiting" upon God will be revelation, inspiration, and guidance in the silence. As we "wait" on God we are in a listening attitude; we are not listening with the physical ear but with our inner ear to the inner voice of the Spirit of truth.
God chooses many mediums for His "speaking." Sometimes He may use the audible words of other people; sometimes the written word. Sometimes He speaks to us through a deep desire for justice, or perhaps sometimes through the feeling engendered by beautiful scenery. He may even use the compassion that wells up in us to correct some condition or circumstance. Whatever medium is used, it has been the "inner voice" speaking to focus our attention on that which is good and beautiful. Through the simple words of a hymn, men and women have been stirred to change their way of life. Seeing the needs of their fellow men has caused others to give their lives in service for humanity. Many times the leading comes simply as inspiring thoughts in mind. However, when we wait" on God, the answer will be unmistakable -- the Truth will be revealed to us in whatever way we need at the moment.
In Lessons in Truth 9:20 we read:
"In our eagerness we have waited upon every source we could reach for the light that we want. Because we have not known how to wait upon Spirit within us for the desired revelation, we have run to and fro. ... We must each learn how to wait renewedly upon God for the infilling."
The importance of "waiting" on God is emphasized by the suggestion that students of Truth need to be encouraged to stand alone and not be bound to teachers or healers, good as they and their work may be (How I Used Truth 111) . As we "wait" on God in the silence of our own soul, we are standing alone with God, for we have given Him our full attention. The necessity for this in our individual life is brought out in these words from Lessons in Truth 1:9:
As we come to know our relationship to God, we accept the truth that "God . . . has chosen you and me through whom to manifest Himself" (How I Used Truth 109). We then realize that our mission is to release or use the ideas that make up our divine inheritance. This is done through disciplined thinking, feeling, speaking, acting, and reacting. Only as we "wait" on God and listen to the "inner voice" of the Spirit of truth are we able to use the divine ideas in the right way, thus fulfilling our true mission in life.
"You can never be what the Father wants you to be until you recognize that you stand alone, with Him as your sole and original guide, just as much alone as if you were the first and only man" (The Twelve Powers of Man 115).
The text (page 112) states: "Each individual has his own salvation to work out -- that is, his own true self to bring into visibility." (The subject of salvation and how we work out our salvation was dealt with at length in the Annotations for Lesson Nine of Lessons in Truth.) Our salvation is not only the act of being saved, delivered, preserved from danger; it is also that which does the saving, delivering, preserving -- the God-presence in us which we call the I AM or the Christ. Paul speaks of it in this way: "Christ in you, the hope of glory" (Col. 1:27). Salvation is God's free gift to each of us; it is our own divine nature, and thus cannot be earned or worked for. However, we must do the necessary work in our own consciousness that makes it possible for us to accept this free gift. This is the work of "waiting upon God," receiving the guidance that the Spirit of truth reveals, then acting upon it in faith.
Preceding Entry: What is the "Spirit of truth"? What is its purpose?
Following Entry: What is meant by the Biblical statement, "Have this mind in you, which was also in Christ Jesus" (Phil. 2:5)?