Wait On the Lord

 

(Psa 27:14 NIV)Wait for the LORD; be strong and take heart and wait for the LORD.

 

(Psa 37:7-8 NIV)Be still before the LORD and wait patiently for him; do not fret when men succeed in their ways, when they carry out their wicked schemes. {8} Refrain from anger and turn from wrath; do not fret--it leads only to evil.

 

(Psa 37:34 NIV)Wait for the LORD and keep his way. He will exalt you to inherit the land; when the wicked are cut off, you will see it.

 

(Prov 20:22 NIV)Do not say, "I'll pay you back for this wrong!" Wait for the LORD, and he will deliver you.

 

(Isa 40:31 KJV)But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.

 

(Lam 3:25-26 RSV)The LORD is good to those who wait for him, to the soul that seeks him. {26} It is good that one should wait quietly for the salvation of the LORD.

 

(Zep 3:8 NIV)Therefore wait for me," declares the LORD, "for the day I will stand up to testify. I have decided to assemble the nations, to gather the kingdoms and to pour out my wrath on them-- all my fierce anger. The whole world will be consumed by the fire of my jealous anger.

 

(Luke 12:35-36 NIV)"Be dressed ready for service and keep your lamps burning, {36} like men waiting for their master to return from a wedding banquet, so that when he comes and knocks they can immediately open the door for him.

 

Wait generally in these scriptures is taken to mean, remain, tarry, stay, rest, abide or linger. But, another meaning of ďWaitĒ is the sense used in waiter or waitress. That is, to serve or work for someone as a servant. But, in both cases there is the common idea of watching: watching for the Lord to take action or watching for an opportunity to serve the Lord.

 

Now there are problems in each understanding when we try to apply them. In one case inaction on our part is called for, but in the other case we are expected to take some sort of action.

 

All to often we take it upon ourselves to take an action when in fact it is the Lord that will properly be the one to act. The other side of the coin is when we donít act but the lord is expecting us to do something!

 

Waiting also contains hope and anticipation. Hoping and anticipating are two very powerful emotions. And because of this we sometimes grow weary of waiting, we become impatient. We either want to be served or we want to be serving and we want it right now. But then our timing is frequently not the best, but Godís timing is always perfect. So, if we are not careful we end up substituting our judgment for that of God!

Ok, I admit we want to wait upon the Lord, but how can we know when to wait and when to act? The answer is not easy, but it is important. Let me be clear, I cannot give you the answer , but I hope I can help you find the answer.

 

Letís try a little common sense first. If you want an answer from someone the first thing to do is to ask. But of course you may have to wait for the answer and so we still have a problem. Or you may simply be still and listen. You see sometimes we donít hear because we are too busy talking and donít stop to listen.

 

Another helpful thing is to not care what the answer is. This is a matter of faith. Itís knowing that God has the right answer and cares enough to let you know what that answer is. And, He will do it in an unmistakable way. As long as you care what the answer is you will be emotionally involved. And we all know emotions are strong motivators that can lead us astray. Am I saying that we are not to be passionate or zealous, no I am not saying that at all? I am simply saying we need to be ready to receive Godís answer for what it is, the best answer!

 

Donít take a lack of an answer to be an answer. That simply means you are deciding for yourself. A non-answer is just that, not an answer! What you need is a conviction. Donít leave home without it! We are not to be uncertain but certain. Not wavering but sure. Not wondering what we should do but convinced of what we are doing. I heard it said the other day that we should stop counting the days but rather make the days count. This takes a conviction.

 

If we are truly on the right track then the answers we are given are answers we can feel good about even if the outcome is not what we had hoped for or expected. This may be difficult at times but it becomes less difficult as we realize that God is in charge and is leading the way. As we have said before, God is good, all of the time.

 

By the way, disappointment can be expected from time to time because even God, I believe, is disappointed from time to time. He desires that none should perish but in fact some will perish. This has to be a big disappointment. Especially after all He has done for each and every one of us alive today or at any other time. God wants, and we want, people to make good choices. When they donít it is indeed disappointing. When it comes right down to it, it really is all about choice. (Josh 24:15 NIV)But if serving the LORD seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your forefathers served beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the LORD." That is to say, we will wait on the Lord in both senses.

 

1.      Let me finish with a few practical ideas. When waiting on the Lord, start with prayer and continue praying frequently. Take time to listen. Meditate.

2.      Study your Bible to see what God has said that might apply.

3.      Consult with a trusted and mature friend, a church Elder for instance, for their thoughts, but do not substitute their thoughts for your own.

4.      Examine yourself and be sure you are prepared for Godís answer without prejudice.

5.      Donít act without a conviction.

6.      Accept the results by faith.