It seems as though we spend most of our life waiting.
We wait to get big enough so we can go to school only to wait long enough to finished with school.
We wait in lines, we wait for someone to arrive; we wait in hospitals, government offices, airports, train stations, lunchrooms and bathrooms.
Waiting is just something we do.
But to wait on God for his promises, is another matter entirely.
Abraham waited twenty-five years before he received his promise from the Lord to have the child of promise.
Isaac was 60 years old before he received his promise to have children.
Moses knew when he was forty years old that the Lord wanted him to lead the children of Israel out of Egypt, but he did not get to do that until he was eighty. Then he had to wait another forty years before he could see them enter into the land.
David waited twenty years before he was able to sat on the thrown he was anointed to rule over; and he had to wait for his son to be born that would succeed him and build the Temple.
Even Jesus had to wait from the time he was a boy until he was thirty before he could start doing what he knew he came to earth to do.
Waiting brings importance and meaning to our lives.
Everyone has to wait before we can walk in the promises God gives us. This is why King David was inspired to write the words in Psalm 27, "Wait upon the Lord".
Psalm 27:13-14 I would have lost heart, unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the LORD In the land of the living. Wait on the LORD; Be of good courage, And He shall strengthen your heart; Wait, I say, on the LORD!
Knowing the person who wrote these words helps to understand why he could say them.
David would have lost heart and given up had he not believed that he would see the goodness of God in his life. Look at the things David endured:
Father did not believe in him enough to place him in front of Samuel but left him in the field with the sheep (1Samuel 16:1-13).
King Saul wanted to kill him because he knew David was God's choice (1Samuel 15:23; 18:1-9).
His wife did not understand his faith (2Samuel 6:16-23).
David commits murder to cover up his adultery (2Samuel Chapter 11).
First born child dies because of his sins (2Samuel 12:15-23).
A son rapes his daughter (2Samuel 13:1-22).
David does nothing about it the rape so his oldest son murders brother for rapping his sister (2Samuel 13:23-39).
Oldest son rebels against him and leads nation to not follow him (2Samuel 15:1-12).
He has to flee from Jerusalem to stay alive and not fight against his son (2Samuel 15:13-37).
His son that should have followed him as king is killed (2Samuel Chapter 18).
Once he retains the Kingdom he is rejected by God to build the temple in Jerusalem, but gave it to his son Solomon (1Chronicles 17:1-12).
He had to witness seventy thousand of his people die because he angered God by calling for a census of the people when it was not ordered of the Lord (2Samuel 24:1-15).
What David could not see with his eyes he saw with his heart. . . a heart that was for God (Acts 13:23). In all of his experiences David would have lost heart, but he knew God was bring out goodness in his life. Romans 8:28 is our promise that God is going to do the same in us:
"And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose." [NKJV]
Waiting upon God to fulfill his promises helps us to find out what we are here for and what God wants us to do. This causes us to have responsibility in waiting. We become responsible to find out who we are and what we are. The more you learn about yourself through the revelations we receive from God, the more we have to wait before the Lord will allow us to actually fulfill the things God is showing us.
The Quality of your waiting.
We would all like to think we wait on the Lord in the manner he would want us to. But too often the wait causes us anxiety and frustration. This is because we have not yet learned how to wait.
In what way are you waiting? Is it with hope and anticipation for the good God is showing you or do you feel you are in a struggle, always frustrated that the wait never seems to end?
Before we learn how to wait we have feelings of emptiness due to distractions that keep us from learning how to wait. This causes us to wait in bitterness, believing the lies of the evil one that my Father is holding out on me. Then you start feeling you have waited in self-sabotage, again believing lies that you are not and will never be “enough” to merit such a gift that God has promised you. These feelings block you from receiving the revelations God is trying to show you in the process of waiting.
Your quality of waiting starts to change when you begin to wait in grace, to “wait with eager longing” (Rom 8:19), and though painful, you start understanding to wait in the grace of God is the only satisfying disposition found in the wait. This is what Paul is speaking of, expecting that which we long for, in anticipation for the promises of God.
This was Mary's experienced while she was waiting to see her promises that her son Jesus was the promised one. Mary waited for Jesus with such anticipation she made a place in her heart for God. The Bible says she "Kept these things in her heart" (Luke 2:19,33,51). She started waiting on the Lord (Luke Chapter 1) and longed for Jesus to be all that God had said he would be. Mary waited thirty-three years before she saw this promise come to pass.
Waiting is Delay.
Waiting is delay, and delay is a profound fundamental part of being alive.
So in the times of delay we must take time to reflect on the obvious: what is going on in my life and how do I do anything about it so I can receive the promises of God?
In this search you will find out more who you are.
Delay results in you finding out who you are, if you use the delay for your own good.
Learning how to deal with delay is a central part of learning to live. By learning to deal with delay we obtain a wonderful tool to bring calmness and spiritual energy into all situations, whether difficult or enjoyable.
You may feel you are always running against the clock; that time is never slowing down enough to give you a break. By learning to cope with delay, you can actually use the delay to not only slow the clock down, but in some cases stop the clock that is so eager to swallow you up. For one to make wise decisions it requires you to reflect, and for you to take time and reflect, you must stop, pause, and gain understanding. This is why the Palmist always used the word, "Selah" many times. Selah is a Hebrew word used in music that meant to stop and think on this; reflect on the what is being said in this song. As we stop and reflect on what God is saying to us we will begin to understand our purpose in the wait we are experiencing.
Quietness and Faith
Lamentations 3:26: It is good that a man should both hope and quietly wait for the salvation of the LORD.
Isaiah 7:4 Take heed, and be quiet; fear not, neither be fainthearted.
Isaiah 30:15 In quietness and in confidence shall be your strength.
There is a very close connection between quietness and faith. We as people have a deep need for quietness in order to help us find revelation, which helps us to grow in faith; which is an important element of waiting upon God. Quietness gives us time to turn our hearts to God and away from all things life shoves in the way. Only by getting quiet and fellowshipping with God in the spirit will a person ever receive revelation from God enough to gain understanding about delay and waiting. It is not important to understand why there are delays as much is it important to use the waiting to grow closer to God and learn more who you are. Your faith waiting can only come by obtaining this time of quietness with God. Here we learn patience and here we learn how to move from frustration and fear into happiness and calmness. This is where we take heed and grow in our confidence as we become stronger in faith and ability to wait.
As you share your needs in prayer and supplication with the Lord God, his presence and glory moves you to a place of humility where your souls begins to cry out in worship and fellowship. As the quietness encroaches you, His Spirit begins showing you that all fears and anxiety are only thoughts of doubt; for in Him, all things are being done to bring goodness and happiness to life. Our time of fellowship with him rewards us with peace and understanding that He is going to help us as we live in our time of waiting.
Waiting Patiently Builds a Quiet Spirit.
Psalm 37:7,9. Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for Him. . .but those who wait on the Lord, they shall inherit the earth (the land).
There is no better place to cultivate patience than during a time of waiting. It is here, in the waiting, we discover how little patience we actually have outside of the strength of God. But then as we grow in his grace, receiving the things of the Lord, we learn the more we are patient to wait, the less we have need. James wrote in the first chapter of his epistle, verse 4,
"But let patience have her perfect work, that you may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing."
What we find is we are impatient with God because he does not do what we would like or wish for in our timing. What we see as important to be done now is not important to the timing of God. So our anxiety builds against God, not the lack of or the timing itself.
To become patient or willing in the midst of anticipation requires one to have a clam spirit. This comes from willingly giving yourself to God and trusting what He is doing in that thing you have anticipation for. We all want to live in the will of God once we have accepted who God is and especially once we have received Jesus as our savor. To do this you must be willing. Being patient in waiting is the same: you being willing, desirous toward what is God's will in the situation. When we think of the word patient or patience we think of being able to wait with calmness until something has taken place. As you give your will up to God, he instills a quiet waiting ability in you through His Spirit. That quiet spirit becomes your spirit as it changes your thoughts to be more like God. You come to realize what caused your anxiety has no purpose and the desire for what you are waiting for becomes excitement with joy instead of anguish and frustration.
All of our growth in spiritual life, our reading and studying and praying, our wiliness to go and do is not as valuable to God as a quiet spirit. 1Peter 3:4 "But let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price." It is in the quiet spirit that sits and waits upon the Lord with patience, that God will accomplish his will and will bring all things together for that good (Romans 8:28).
Seek God in the Thing You are Waiting for.
In the wait God is wanting us to seek Him, more than the thing we are waiting on.
Hebrews 11:6 But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that comes to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.
Without faith it is impossible to please God, without waiting it is impossible to grow faith for that which you are desiring.
You want something. You start praying and asking God for it. God testifies to you that this is something that would give him great pleasure. The desire for this becomes a passion because you are learning how this is something that gives God great pleasure. It will help others beyond yourself, and you are becoming more like God in it. All these deep seated qualities grew because you waited for what you were wanting. If you received it before these things grew in you, you would have missed out on this revelation. God is a giver of good things and he rewards with good things, when we are diligently seeking him in it.