In a saturated “me” society, we have been spoiled by technology and gadgets that produce what we want at the flick of a switch or push of a button. Yet when it comes to God moments, He often asks us to wait on His timing, stirring up a realm of emotions within us especially I M P A T I E N C E.
Around 1990, I was a couple years out of high school, married and trying to make ends meet, when a secretarial position came open at a church near my home. This particular church had a good reputation and seemingly offered a great opportunity for anyone starting out in the administrative world. I eagerly applied, hoping that at any time I would get a call for an interview. I waited and waited and waited. Growing more and more impatient by the day, I began to blame God for not opening the door. I reasoned that it would be the perfect position – working around Christians and all. It wasn’t until months, possibly a year or so later I learned of some major turmoil within the church body actually causing the demise of the whole institution. The church disbanded and the building sold to a local college. God had spared me from a terribly harsh environment that likely would have destroyed my infant faith.
Believe me, I have many more stories where that came from - some with a positive outcome, but most with terrible end results all because I grew impatient and chose not to wait on God’s timing. I guess you could say that in every situation, Father really did know best. :)
While we're on the subject, as I sat down this morning to have my quiet time, what do you suppose the topic was on? You guessed it...waiting!
The author from my devotional book described four basic requirements for successful waiting, those which I would like to share with you.
1. Faith. As we wait on God, our faith is strengthened. Imagine if we received everything we pray for immediately. How would that teach us perseverance in prayer? God would quickly become a genie in a bottle, giving us nothing but a self-fed wish list. Yet, when we are forced to wait on His timing and His way, somehow our focus shifts from self to God; from our plans and purposes to His plans and purposes. Eventually, we see His timing and ways are much more productive and beneficial.
2. Humility. As we wait, we learn just how much power we have over a situation - zip. With God in total control, our eyes open to the fact that we are utterly dependent on Him. We cannot move ahead of God and maintain our full surrender.
3. Patience. Being still before the Lord takes great strength, therefore, a strong person is one who is willing to wait on the Lord's okay to move ahead. We find that type of strength in Moses and Joshua as they led the children of Israel through the wilderness and into the Promised Land. Though it took forty plus years, both men believed God and trusted Him for His promise to be fulfilled. Like these men, we too must be patient in waiting, yet never waffling in our belief that He will do what He has promised.
4. Courage. Waiting on God's timing often takes courage. With deadlines and pressures pushing us towards a quick decision, it takes courage not to act in our own strength. Step back, take a deep breath and listen for God's still, small voice to guide you as you go. In all your ways, acknowledge Him, and He will direct your path.
Waiting on God is essential in making wise decisions and following the plans of God for your life. If we can put these four things into practice, everything else will fall into place.
Indeed, none who wait for you shall be put to shame;
they shall be ashamed who are wantonly treacherous.
Make me to know your ways, O LORD;
teach me your paths.
Lead me in your truth and teach me,
for you are the God of my salvation;
for you I wait all the day long. - Psalm 25:3-5