Waiting is not a high value in our busy, fast-paced Western culture. It’s usually considered a waste of time. Ironically, the more fast-paced our environment, the more we wait (I waited a LOT when I lived in Chicago!) We don’t like empty spaces in our life. At least now we have smart phones to keep that from happening!
I never liked waiting. I prefer to use the self-check-out aisle in stores and I’m incensed whenever I have to wait in line there. I mean, why can’t these people shop at another time!
It’s amazing how I can become transformed into “another man” when I get behind the wheel of my car. But it’s not my fault! I’m continually victimized by drivers who aren’t behaving like I think they should…and who I know for a fact are purposely trying to make me late for wherever I need to go!
Why are all these people against me?
Okay, I digress. My point in all of this is that we don’t like to wait on the Lord either. It’s not a high value component of our life in Christ. We like to think it is…we talk about it like I am now, we sing about it…but we usually don’t like it in reality. After all, who wants stay stuck in uncertainty and mystery? Doesn’t God know this about us?
My question is simply one that God asks me whenever I find myself in this quandary:
“What are you waiting for?”
I shared the song, “Take Courage” and talked about waiting in my post, “He’s in the waiting.” I would like to launch out from there and share a few things I’ve learned on those times when God didn’t seem the least bit interested in answering my prayer (or so it seemed).
First, a message from our sponsor:
“Wait on the Lord;
Be of good courage,
And He shall strengthen your heart;
Wait, I say, on the Lord!” (Psalm 27:14 NKJV)
To answer, “what am I waiting for,” I’ve learned to stop what I’m doing and consider these three questions:
First, what is God wanting me to discover while I’m in this holding pattern? God seems to like to begin every breakthrough with a season of holy frustration and discontentment. Why? Because breakthrough, by its very nature, is about discovery, and discovery is about realizing something you had no mental grid for before.
And you won’t look for something you don’t know you’re missing.
Second, what needs to be strengthened in me before my “triumph unfolds?” God knows we’re going to need new strength for our upgrade. For instance, David needed to learn something about finding his strength in God at Ziklag before he became king of Israel (see 1 Sam 30:1-19).
Think about this for a moment. What would’ve happened if David hadn’t “strengthened himself in the Lord” (1 Sam.30:6) when everything seemed to be going in the opposite direction of his prophetic destiny?
Third, am I waiting for the same thing that God is waiting for? For too many years it never dawned on me that God might actually be waiting for something! When I discover what He’s been waiting for, I usually begin to feel forward momentum again. What I’ve found is that this period of waiting is the place where my heart gets recalibrated and locked in on His heart.
Beloved, when we can’t see what’s in front of us, it’s time to look to the One who’s inside of us. As the saying goes, God doesn’t hide from us, He hides for us. And He will never design a life for us that doesn’t require faith.
“It is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure” (Phil.2:13). But do we believe it’s for our good pleasure? We usually do find that this is true…that is, after the season is over. This is why faith always comes before experience.
Why can’t God just give us the answer so we can move on with our life? I’ve come to understand that He would rather move us on into deeper relationship with Him. And, the trouble is, relationship takes time. It takes vulnerability and cooperation. And we usually don’t make time unless we have no other choice.
But we will always make time for what we treasure, so I suppose God’s dealing with our treasure. Waiting on the Lord helps us to find the true treasure hidden for us!
“Again, the kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which a man found and hid; and for joy over it he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field. (Matt.13:44 NKJV)
One last point: When God wants to do something in us, it isn’t just for us. This is what David learned in his waiting:
1-3 I waited and waited and waited for God.
At last he looked; finally he listened.
He lifted me out of the ditch,
pulled me from deep mud.
He stood me up on a solid rock
to make sure I wouldn’t slip.
He taught me how to sing the latest God-song,
a praise-song to our God.
More and more people are seeing this:
they enter the mystery,
abandoning themselves to God. (Psalm 40:1-3 MSG)
Because David faithfully waited on God, not only did God give him a new song (personal upgrade), but also now “More and more people are seeing this: they enter the mystery, abandoning themselves to God.”
While we have to be taught to wait, God is perfectly willing to help us learn just that.
After all, He’s got all the time in the world!