The Lord's Visit in the Night
Walter Beuttler

Now then I have been asked a number of questions. They have to do with what to do when the Lord awakens you. When you wake up and feel you want to spend time with the Lord. What do you do?

Well, I'm going to throw some light on that this morning. I've felt this for several days. So I'm going to talk to you on the Lord's visits during the night seasons. Obviously, this is for people who know God. I'm not an evangelist. You know that by now.

Yesterday, Mrs. Beuttler and I were sitting up here in your lovely park by the Inter-Continental Hotel. We don't stay there, nor eat there. Their prices are out of this world. But we go up to that park. I was sitting there with the Bible and with the Lord. Mrs. Beuttler enjoyed the flowers and the pigeons while I cooked a little meal for you.

I do not believe I can finish that this morning, but there will be an evening. So when the time comes, I'll simply break it off. We'll continue this evening. I'll add some other things. In the Psalm, David said:

"Thou hast proved mine heart; thou hast visited me in the night; thou hast tried me, and shalt find nothing; I am purposed that my mouth shall not transgress." Psalm 17:3

Now notice again, "Thou hast visited me in the night." I could almost guarantee that you hear very, very little preaching, if any, in this particular area. There are all kinds of areas of truth that God assigns to different speakers, and to different of His prophets. The Lord has assigned to me this particular area of communion of the things of the Spirit, things pertaining to the ministry. But we're not dealing with the ministry here.

So here we have an established fact, that there is such a thing as the Lord visiting His people by night. Those of you who heard me here in other years might recall that I have related, over the years, different visits of the Lord. This is my 6th visit I think. I'm aware, of course that most of you were not there. But there is here the fact of the Lord visiting His people during the night.

First of all, we need light on this subject. Those of God's people who have moved on in God, beyond the commonplace - you see, many Christians are satisfied with the commonplace of their religion, but there are others who are moving on in God, or want to move on, beyond the commonplace. It is particularly to those that I am speaking this morning.

We are using Psalm 8 now. David was a great lover of God. Those of you that were in Tauranga, in the Faith Bible College two years ago when I was there, might remember that I was speaking on sitting before the Lord. That takes place during the night when we sit before the Lord.

"When I consider thy heavens, the work of thy fingers, the moon and the stars, which thou hast ordained; What is man, that thou art mindful of him? And the son of man, that thou visitest him?" Psalm 8:3-4

Here I put on my brief little note: The wonder of it! What a wonder that the Lord should dain to visit His people. Think of it! The Lord visits His people. I've spoken here in years back on the visits of the Lord.

David gives the reason: "When I consider thy heavens (the stars of course), the work of thy fingers, the moon and the stars, which thou hast ordained. What a wonder it is that such a great and omnipotent God should dain to visit people on earth."

When I was a young schoolboy, I believed neither in God or in the devil. I just wouldn't believe, but I loved astronomy and had studied the stars. One night I went out on a hill in very cold weather during the winter - real cold. I went out there in the wee hours. Oh, say about 2:00-3:00 o'clock. I went up on a hill outside the town and looked at the stars. It was a bright, cold night, and I don't think I had ever seen so many stars, before then or now. My, there were stars.

I looked at those stars, and remember saying out loud, "I don't know if there is a God, and I don't know if there is a devil, but one thing I know: some supernatural being must have made all these stars." That was the beginning of the Lord's dealing with me. I recognized the existence of a supernatural being by the things that are made. So when David considered the stars, he said in amazement, " What is man; What is the son of man, that thou visiteth him?" So the Lord does visit.

Notice Psalm 18:28, "For thou wilt light my candle; the Lord my God will enlighten my darkness." I'm talking here of the need for light on this subject when God gives us the experience of visiting us by night.

Now by the grace of the Lord this morning, and apparently tonight because of time, I want to light your candle, and give you a little candlelight in the dark. When the Lord visits you during the night and awakens you from your sleep by a touch of His hand, by a Presence that wakes you up, or finds some other means, some of the questions I've had here, "What am I to do?" Well, you need a candle. We're going to go to the Word to light our candle so we can see and understand the Lord's visits in the night, and particularly what to do - how to respond.

So we have this remarkable assurance, "Thou wilt light my candle; the Lord my God will enlighten my darkness." This now is a candle-lighting service. I hope you brought your candle, an open heart, an uncritical spirit, a desire that reaches out after God, a desire for light on the subject. The desire is your candle. The Word will be the light. May the Lord lighten our candle by His visit in the dark.

Briefly in Psalm 119:105: This has to do with the source of that light. I've already mentioned it, but I like to give you scripture for we're basing these things on the Word, not on personal experience. Personal experience sees how it works, how it can be applied, that it is real, but the Word ever has to remain the basis and not the experience. "Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path."

We're going to light this candle from the light of the Word of God. The Word is God's candle. We'll take our candle and touch His candle and take a little light from His Word so we can see and know what it is all about in the seasons of the night when the Lord visits His people.

Now to the question, "What am I supposed to do?"

Somebody said, " Brother Beuttler, I know the Lord awakened me, but I didn't know what to do." Well now, let's see. King David said:

"When I remember thee upon my bed, and meditate on thee in the night watches, because thou hast been my help, therefore in the shadow of thy wings will I rejoice." Psalm 63:6-7

One activity here is meditation. You know as well as I do that we're living in a very - in the age of electronics. People are losing the art of meditation. This is a universal thing, especially in the western world. Somehow people don't seem to like to think anymore. That's true. People want to have their thoughts thought by others. People like others to do their thinking for them. You find that throughout the world, especially the western. People are losing the art of meditation, contemplation.

We have our television. Now you are lucky in one respect. Unless I'm mistaken, you get television only from one channel. Is that correct? Well, in the States in our metropolitan centers, you have a dozen or more stations from which you can select anything. You can get almost any kind of program you want. If you don't like one, you turn to the other. If you don't like that, you turn again. Like New York City, you get a basket full of stations. The result is that people, instead of thinking and meditating, and reading the Word, and contemplating God; they'll turn to television.

In many churches our Sunday night services are all but abandoned. Why? People are at home watching television. You take a trans-Pacific flight: I go on a 10-11 hour non-stop flight. All right, you have your meals and after awhile it's movie time. Pull down the shades, now comes the movies. And people sit there by the hour watching a lot of junk. They want to be entertained.

What a God-given opportunity to read and think, to review your life, to contemplate things. That's where I use my time for meditation, for waiting on the Lord, for reading the Word or even magazine, for sitting there and doing some thinking. People don't want to think. They want to be entertained. So you are lucky. You have only one station. In the States, you can turn to a dozen stations. Here if you don't like one program, you have to turn the thing off. The best part of a television set is the switch to turn it off, especially in light of the junk you get - at least we at home.

Now then in the night watches: "When I remember thee upon my bed:" contemplating the Lord, meditating on Him. Look what he says, " Because thou hast been my help," reviewing for instance, what God has done for us. Reviewing His great works on our behalf, David meditated on the Lord in the night watches.

He didn't get up at 1:00 o'clock and say, "Well now, I'm awake. What shall I do? I'll go to the television set and watch the late show." I don't know what you have, but we have the evening show; we have the late show; we have the late, late show; we have the late, late, late show. And now halfway through the morning, programs are still going on. Well, David did some meditating. Notice Psalm 1:1-3:

"Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. But his delight is in the law of the Lord; and in his law doth he meditate day and night. And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper." Psalm 1:1-3

Do you notice in passing, how people deteriorate in their relationship with God? First, you have walking, then you have standing, then you have sitting. First we walk with the sinners. Then we stand with them, and finally we sit with them. We're one of them.

"And in his law doth he meditate day and night." What better thing to do at night than to contemplate the Lord and to meditate in His Word? David used the night season to meditate on the Lord and His Word. Psalm 119:55 gives us another activity related to this: "I have remembered thy name, O Lord, in the night, and have kept thy law."

David remembered His name during the night. Now to think upon the name of the Lord is to think upon what God is. His name is what He is. His name is His character. In other words, if we could invent (which is impossible) one word, which in one word would embody the sum total of all that God is. If all that God is could be put into one word, that's His name. In the Bible, the Lord has many names. The reason the Lord has many names in the Bible is that the Lord is so much that there is not one name that could possibly be a descriptive name of what He is. When we call upon His name, we call upon the characteristics and attributes of God. I'd like to turn to Isaiah 50:10:

"Who is among you that feareth the Lord, that obeyeth the voice of his servant, that walketh in darkness, and hath no light? Let him trust in the name of the Lord, and stay upon his God." Isaiah 50:10

Look here: There is such a thing in our Christian experience as going through a period of darkness when misfortune has befallen us, sorrow has touched us, trouble has come our way, and we are unable to account for or find our way through it. I have heard it preached, "Folks, if you are obeying the Lord and walk with God, you'll never be in the dark."

Folkses (that's a Beuttlerism you know), that just is not so. Job was a choice saint of God, and God said so. He was a man that feared God, stayed away from evil, was an outstanding and righteous man, and he was in thick darkness for over a year with the things that had befallen him.

But look here, look at who these scriptures address, "Who is among you (you), that feareth the Lord, that obeyeth the voice of his servant, that walketh in darkness, and hath no light?" Here you have a situation, a believer in God, who fears God, obeys God, and yet has trouble. In fact, it is true (though I cannot develop this), that there are people who are going through severe trouble, not because they failed God, but because they had walked with God. Job is an example.

The devil gets their eyes on them. Now what is such a person to do? Let him trust in the name of the Lord, in what God is. And when we go, as it were, through deep waters and the Lord visits us in the night, awakes us in the night in one way or another, what are we going to do? Oh let him contemplate the name of the Lord - what He is: He's good, He's faithful, He's righteous, He is a thousand and one things. The night season is a good time for thinking upon His name.

In Psalm 16:7, the night is also for instruction. We learn things in the night that we don't learn, or are likely to learn, at any other time.

"I will bless the Lord, who hath given me counsel; my reins also instruct me in the night seasons." Psalm 16:7

Now this word reins is a difficult word in the Hebrew. It really means my kidneys, but in those earlier years, the kidneys were regarded as the seat of our personality. We know better now. What David is saying is that during the night, God gives me instruction, and I learn things from my own contemplation, from my own spirit. My own spirit will teach me during the night. I've received from the Lord many instructions during the night. So did Jesus.

Remember last Sunday? "The Lord God hath given me the tongue of the learned. He wakeneth morning by morning, he wakeneth my ear as things that are taught." The Lord instructs us during the night. We learn from our own spirit. We see things more clearly often during the night when we can concentrate on one thing or another.

I'm moving rapidly trying to cover as much as I can. I'll see what I can do. In Psalm 42:8 we read, "Yet the Lord will command his lovingkindness in the daytime, and in the night his song shall be with me, and my prayer unto the God of my life." "His song shall be with me." Now we'll turn to Job for a minute.

"But none saith, Where is God my maker, who giveth songs in the night." Job 35:10

Folkses, there are times when during the night God gives us a song. Have you ever experienced this? "Who giveth songs in the night." I had one the other night. I can't go into detail, I suppose, but I got a song from the Lord during the night that changed my attitude toward the person. I told Wife in the morning, "I have to take a different attitude toward that person. The Lord gave me a song." It was a strange song for the occasion and I wondered what to make of it. Then I made the connection.

I had an attitude toward a person, though not totally wrong, was nevertheless, tarnished by wrong. I would say, at least contrary to Him. That song taught me to modify my attitude, and consequently, my action.

During the night He gives us songs of worship, songs of David. I was up with the Lord one night while we were here, and I was sitting there and happened to think about my itinerary. I had a question. Should I, or should I not stop in a certain place. At once, a song rose up, "Publish glad tidings, tidings of peace," and I knew right away I was to stop. The Lord will guide you many times with a song. He gives songs in the night.

I was up also while I was here for a little while with the Lord, and I had questions in my mind about visiting a certain place. It was another one. In regards to that place, I wanted to know whether I had made a mistake. That's more accurate. As I wondered, a song came up, "It is well with my soul." Do you have that here? "It is well with my soul." Then I knew everything was all right. Leave it alone. He giveth songs in the night. If you only note that, you will discover many times the song is not simply there for a song, but to give us instructions by means of a song.

One night I was awakened out of a deep sleep in the States, and I'm a poor sleeper, but I was in deep sleep that time. I was awakened by a song that sang so, shall I say, loud. I heard it sing in my spirit, and there it was. The song woke me and the song was, "Up from the grave He arose." I knew what it meant: It's time to get up. That's the school of the Spirit. "Who giveth songs in the night." You watch that thing. Many times I get these songs - by day too. I get one very often. Oh can I think of it? I'm trying to hurry, and I'm not made for hurry.

I can't think of it. It will probably come to me. It's a chorus the Lord often uses with me to alert me that's He's going to call on me with something later on. Very often, it's prayer or intercession. The Lord uses songs by day. He gives songs by night. If it comes to me, I'll weave it in.

Turn to Ephesians 5:18-19 because the songs are not always a special message or for guidance. Here is another purpose:

"And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit; Speaking to yourselves in Psalm and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord." Ephesians 5:18-19

The Lord, by His Spirit, puts into our hearts a melody by day or by night, and when you get it by night: Well, what will you do with this melody? It doesn't seem to be for guidance or anything. What do you do with it? Oh, (I'm trying to make up a word) melody it unto the Lord. It doesn't have to be loud, just let this thing sing aloud, and let it sing unto the Lord like, "How Great Thou Art," or whatever it is. Just let this thing go around and around, and around and around, and around and around, "making melody in your heart to the Lord."

You don't have to wake the family up and shout all over the place. It doesn't say make melody with your voice, although there's a place for that, but "make melody in your heart to the Lord." So the Lord gives those songs. Job knew it, "Who giveth songs in the night."

"With my soul have I desired thee in the night; yea, with my spirit within me will I seek thee early." Isaiah 26:9

Now in the night, we let our desire go out toward the Lord, and you can sit that way. Sitting is better than lying because with lying you're very likely to go to sleep. I have been up and knew I had to be up, and was so sleepy that I got out of my chair and stood against the wall keeping my head against the wall. Even standing up like this, I fell asleep and fell forward and just caught myself at the last fraction of a second, but that was unusual. The Lord kept me all night. I went to bed at 11:00. He awakened me at 11:45, and I had to stay up with Him all night. During the night I said, "Lord, I'm so sleepy. Why do I have to stay up?"

And He gave me an answer, "Because this is more necessary for you just now than your ordinary sleep." Now God had a reason for that. There is a connection with it, I cannot take time with, but you might just sit there and let your desire go out after Him, directing the desire of your heart toward Him. Believe you me, God responds to that desire. He may not do it immediately, but you just sit there desiring Him, seeking Him. It speaks here of seeking Him, letting the heart go out after Him in the expectation of some kind of a response from the Lord at some time.

These are some of the activities I want to continue this evening. I'm breaking it off because I would ruin the next point for lack of time.

So as far as we are concerned this morning, we just go back to Psalm 17:3: "Thou hast proved mine heart; thou hast visited me in the night." What is that proving? The night proves how much we want Him.

If we say, "Oh brother, 1:45, nix, not me," and go back to sleep. He's proving us. Proving what? Proving whether He means more to us than our sleep, or whether our sleep means more to us than He, whether we are so interested in Him that we would not miss Him for anything. That's right. "Thou hast proved mine heart; thou hast visited me in the night. "

Now I have tried hard to go as far as I could to light your candle. I don't know how many candles I have lit, but there is another opportunity this evening to light your candle, and light it again in case it goes out during the day.

In the meantime, "What is man that thou art mindful of him; and the son of man that thou visiteth him.