Brief Notes

God Gives
the Growth (6):
Ruth’s Waiting
for Boaz

6 April 2024

Sometimes, when we offer
ourselves to the Lord,
He does…nothing.
Or at least, it seems
that way

I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the growth.
— 1 Corinthians 3:6

In Ruth Chapter 3, Ruth had done all that Naomi had told her to do: she had washed and anointed herself, changed into her best clothes, and then taken the great risk of going to the threshing floor at night to meet Boaz on her own, while he slept. All of this is a picture of how we can prepare ourselves and then present ourselves to the Lord, based upon how He has cleansed us and given us His Spirit. (See “God Gives the Growth” • 5.)

So, what did Boaz do at this point?

Nothing; he was still sleeping.

In the same way, when we truly consecrate ourselves to the Lord, it may seem for a time that He does not notice us or respond at all; rather, He is, so to speak, “asleep,” at least as far as we are concerned.

This will surely be a time of testing for us; we may even try to get the Lord to “wake up” and take notice of our consecration, before He desires to do so. Yet, while it may seem the Lord is doing nothing during this time of “night” for us, He is actually doing something quite crucial: He is waiting for us to mature. In particular, He wants to make sure our consecration is genuine, that it is a consecration unto Himself alone.

Oftentimes it may seem we have given ourselves to the Lord, and we may even believe we have done so, when in fact, we have merely determined to do some work on His behalf. If that is the case, we will not be able to stand the test of having to wait for Him, but will instead leave the Lord, before He arises, to go off to begin that work.

In contrast, if our consecration is genuine, our sole desire will be to please Him (2 Cor. 5:9). We will then be at peace and allow the Lord to use us, or even not use us, as He sees fit, because our pleasure is not in doing a work on His behalf (though it is wonderful if and when He calls us to such a service), but in His satisfaction.

The title of this series is “God Gives the Growth.” Ruth is such a good picture of this, because she knew she could do nothing except present herself to Boaz, and then wait for him to arise. As Titus Chu states,

She realized that at that point, it was in Boaz’s hands. At a certain point, after we have prepared and done what we should do, the Lord must take over. We are responsible to offer ourselves and focus upon Him. He is responsible to accomplish what He desires upon us.
Ruth, Growth Unto Maturity, page 63

So, although we must take the initiative to give ourselves to Christ, we still must have a deep realization that only He can give us the genuine spiritual growth. Thus, we will wait for Him to arise and bring us into a further experience of Himself, and perhaps even allow us to serve Him, if and when He so desires.

In the next Note in this series we will consider some examples of this, and their result, from fairly recent church history.

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— 6 April 2024 —