Recently an old acquaintance stopped by as I was working in the yard that I had not seen for many years. As I caught up on what had happened in his life over the past four decades, he told me of three different events where he had cheated death. His conclusion was he knew the Lord must have something in mind for his life but he did not know what, yet. He was certain that the Lord would let him know when He was ready. His conclusion reminded me of the following story.
“It had been raining for days and days, and a terrible flood had come over the land. The waters rose so high that one man was forced to climb onto the roof of his house.
As the waters rose higher and higher, a man in a rowboat appeared, and told him to get in. "No," replied the man on the roof. "I have faith in the Lord; the Lord will save me." So the man in the rowboat went away. The man on the roof prayed for God to save him.
The waters rose higher and higher, and suddenly a speedboat appeared. "Climb in!" shouted a man in the boat. "No," replied the man on the roof. "I have faith in the Lord; the Lord will save me." So the man in the speedboat went away. The man on the roof prayed for God to save him.
The waters continued to rise. A helicopter appeared and over the loudspeaker, the pilot announced he would lower a rope to the man on the roof. "No," replied the man on the roof. "I have faith in the Lord; the Lord will save me." So the helicopter went away. The man on the roof prayed for God to save him.
The waters rose higher and higher, and eventually they rose so high that the man on the roof was washed away, and alas, the poor man drowned.
Upon arriving in heaven, the man marched straight over to God. "Heavenly Father," he said, "I had faith in you, I prayed to you to save me, and yet you did nothing. Why?" God gave him a puzzled look, and replied "I sent you two boats and a helicopter, what more did you expect?" (Source www.coolfunnyjokes.com.)
How many are like my friend and like the man who drowned- waiting on the Lord? They are waiting on a miracle, divine intervention to save them. The rich man (of the rich man and Lazarus account) who found himself in torment had this same misconception about salvation. The rich man who had lived in the era preceding the coming of Christ concerned about his wicked brothers made this request of Abraham, “Then he said, I pray thee therefore, father, that thou wouldest send him (Lazarus) to my father's house: For I have five brethren; that he may testify unto them, lest they also come into this place of torment.” (Luke 16:27-28) “Abraham saith unto him, They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them. And he said, Nay, father Abraham: but if one went unto them from the dead, they will repent. And he said unto him, If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead.” (Luke 16:29-31)
Today, God tells us to hear His Son. Mt 17:5b … This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear ye him. Peter accurately proclaimed that Jesus has the words of life. Joh 6:68 Then Simon Peter answered him, Lord, to whom shall we go? thou hast the words of eternal life. Jesus specifically said that His Words give life and will be what we are judged by. Joh 6:63b … the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life. Joh 12:48 He that rejecteth me, and receiveth not my words, hath one that judgeth him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day.
God has already given us the power to be saved; it is the gospel. Rom. 1:16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek. God has already done His part and has done all He is going to do. If we want to be saved, we must do as the Corinthians did, hear the word, believe it and obey it. Acts 18:8b … and many of the Corinthians hearing believed, and were baptized. God has done His part; the rest is up to us. Ac 2:40 And with many other words did he (Peter) testify and exhort, saying, Save yourselves from this untoward generation. It is also our responsibility to keep ourselves saved. Php 2:12 Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my (Paul’s) presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. If you are waiting on the Lord, you are waiting on the wrong person. He’s waiting on you!