Reading #15 – What does Waiting for God Imply?

Excerpted from The Desire of the Soul in Spiritual Darkness:


And waiting for God always implies being ready. Says a man, “I am waiting for God.” But he is not ready for God at all: he still keeps on his drunkenness, the house is still unswept; he is as worldly as ever. He is waiting. Yes, but waiting implies being ready; and nobody is waiting that is not ready, You are not waiting for the coach until you have your coat and hat on ready to start, and are looking out at the door for it; and you are not waiting for God, until you are ready to go with God. No man ought to say, I am waiting for God. No, beloved, it is God who is waiting for us generally, rather than any of us waiting for him. No sinner can be beforehand with him. But the prophet waited “in the way of God’s judgments:” that is, waited in the right place—waited in the house of God—waited under the sound of the gospel. And then this desire led him to seek. “With my spirit within me will I seek thee.” It led him to seek after God. Oh! the poor pitiful desires of some of you are very little good. An old writer says, “Hell is paved with good intentions.” I was not aware that there was any pavement at all—because it has no bottom, but at the same time I believe that the sides of the pit are hung round with good intentions; and men will feel themselves pricked and goaded from side to side with good designs that they once formed but never carried out—children that were strangled at the birth—desires that never were brought into living acts—desires that sprang up like the mushroom in the night, and like the fungus were swept away—like smoke from the chimney, that stopped as soon as the fire had gone out. Oh! brethren, if these are your desires, they are not practical, they do not come of God. But if your desires have made you give up your drunkenness—have compelled you to renounce your theatre-going—have constrained you to seek God with full purpose of heart—have brought you to give up one lust and another—take comfort, you are in the right road, if your desires are practical desires.

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