“Tell him, Let not the one who puts on his armor boast like the one who takes it off” [1 Kings 20:11]
I remember hearing the story of the young pastor, full of youthful zeal he entered the pulpit, pumped up and primed for victory in Christ, but as he struggled to communicate, the message he gave humbled his heart and he soberly left the pulpit. A wise but kindly old parishioner tapped him on the shoulder and said, “Young man if you had gone into the pulpit the way you came out of the pulpit you would have come out the way you went in.” Isn’t that the meaning behind today’s word?
It’s easier to start a battle than to finish one. Do not boast before you’ve won the battle. In today’s vernacular we would say – don’t count your chickens before they’re hatched.
There’s wisdom behind the word this morning that although we know the battle is already won, wisdom – keeps her counsel – wait and victory shall be self evident – wait and “…let patience have her perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.” [James 1:4]
There is tension in the Christian’s life; a tension that knows the outcome yet holds her peace in patient endurance – watching, waiting and working toward the moment of God’s manifestation. There’s always purpose in waiting. For ten days the disciples had to wait. God did not send the Holy Spirit immediately. The upper room must have held some tension as they waited and kept the secret of the glorious ascension. Then how ardent were their prayers, how deep the bonding between the brethren and how wise these men of God became.
When perfect timing breaks through, victory abounds and humble adoration fills the heart of the disciple!
Related Readings: 1 Kings 20; James 1