The ‘Power’ of Waiting
The other day my boss and I were going out to eat lunch. While we were on our way to the restaurant, I realized that I had forgotten my phone, and you don’t ask your boss to turn around so you can go back for your phone. When I bemoaned that I had left my phone, Pastor Jarrod made the joke that now all I would have to look at was him, we both laughed. When we had arrived & ordered our lunch, pastor excused himself to go to the restroom. At that time, I found myself at my table, alone with no phone and nothing to do. I could not surf the net, I could not check my email, I could not check my Twitter feed, I could not browse thru Facebook… the only thing I could do was sit there. It was a totally helpless feeling and I was miserable because it made me feel empty.
As I had sat there with seemingly nothing to do, I thought about praying but my mind was so distracted because I had left my phone that I could not focus on anything but the fact that I did not have it. However, I should confess that I did not focus because I would not allow myself to focus. I felt lost sitting there as I thought that my time was being wasted. As we got up to leave that restaurant, I was convicted by the Lord about my dependence on me having my iPhone as a distraction from life.
God began to take this experience and work in my heart. He laid a precept on my heart that waiting was something I needed to learn to do. You see, as believers we all want to seem busy all the time, but that is not what God wants for any of his children. God’s desire for us is obedience, and there will be times when obedience equals being still and waiting on God’s direction.
How many times do we think we must be busy ‘doing things’ to serve the Lord? So often, we find ourselves doing things just for the sake of doing things. It often turns out to be either not what God wants us to do OR it is not the time God wants us to do it. In Ps 37:7 NIV, the psalmist wrote, “Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for Him; do not fret when people succeed in THEIR ways, when they carry out wicked schemes.” Have you ever thought you had to DO something, but didn’t have a clear assignment from God?
If God has an assignment for you, He is going to provide! You need to wait on that provision & revelation. We don’t need to try to rush things… if God has an assignment for us He is going to equip us and surround us with the people we need to help us do what He desires.
One of the most famous Scriptures about waiting is found in Psalm 46:10 ESV, “Be still, and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations; I will be exalted in the earth!” In this chapter David is claiming God’s Sovereignty even when all seems lost, that He is a fortress in our times of trouble. However, how often do we seek to do things to provide peace for ourselves rather than trusting in and resting on our Heavenly Father? In v10 David reminds us to take a deep breath and know that God is in control.
The NASB translation starts v.10 like this, “Cease striving…” How often are we striving to find peace when it is actually right there in front of us? We look in every place but where we should. We strive to find something that God promises to give us when we just wait on Him. In this chapter this is referring to God’s ultimate victory, but the principle is clear and very simple. Activity on our part does not necessarily equal God’s move in our lives. We must recognize there are going to be times when all the obedience we need to accomplish is to wait on the Lord.
When we are obedient, God is faithful to bless us. The prophet Isaiah wrote in Is 40:31 ESV, “…but they who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.” This Scripture assures the believer that those who wait on God with patience will find strength, endurance and the ability to do great things.
We need to recognize that this Scripture does NOT say, “…those who know God’s word the best…” Scripture does NOT say, “…those who work the hardest…”, however, it DOES clearly state that, “…those who wait on the Lord…” This verse has a very clear implicit meaning & that is that when we patiently wait on God, He is going to equip us for great things.
Don’t misunderstand, we are called to read Scripture, we are called to pray, we are called to work to the best of our ability, but what this verse does do is remind us that ALL of our accomplishments pale up against God’s ability to deliver on His promises.
My time sitting anxiously by myself for just a few moments in the quiet of that restaurant did more to open my eyes about my focus on Christ than all the Theological Seminary training I have obtained. Not only did God reveal to me that I didn’t need my phone, but more importantly He reminded me that I don’t need the distractions of this world.
This also confirmed to me that what we DO need is to do is trust God much more than we really do. We must be willing to wait on His movement in our lives. We need to do this because His word promises us that if we are willing to do that, He is willing to complete and fulfill His promises of blessing and peace in our lives.
Where are you today? Have you been ‘busy’ trying to impress God with your accomplishments? Have you been ‘striving’ to please God? Here we learn that when it comes to God, our accomplishments don’t mean a thing, but our spirit and willingness to be obedient are paramount in our walk with Christ!
Waiting on God is a difficult thing to do. How many of you have heard God’s voice on a particular thing, but you have ignored His timetable? You have thought that if you work hard enough, or if you have enough knowledge that you can do things for God and gain His blessing. What we have to learn and understand is that God is not looking for our ability bur rather God is looking for our AVAIL-ABILITY. Are you willing to sit and wait on God?