Learning to “Wait on the Lord”
Have you ever been in a situation that forced you to wait? No, redlights and department store lines don’t count! I remember waiting to receive my acceptance letter from College. Maybe you have had loved ones in surgery and had to wait with other family members in hopes of success. I’m sure each of you can bring to rememberance many areas and times in life where you were stuck waiting. Were we really stuck?
Many times in life I find myself pursuing my own way, sometimes foolishly forgetting to consult God before I make a decision. Historically speaking this ALWAYS ends up being one more lesson session from my Loving God.
Below is an article that I recently read from Dr. Charles Stanley that shares many valuable benefits from learning to wait on the Lord. I would love to get some feedback on what God has taught you in the waiting periods of your life.
Waiting on the Lord does not mean doing nothing. Oftentimes, a period of waiting means spending time actively seeking God’s will in prayer.
We wait where we are, doing what God says to do, until He intervenes or tells us to do something different. For instance, we usually shouldn’t quit our jobs before God leads us to new ones.
What are the Benefits of Waiting?
1. We discover God’s purpose for us.
Write a brief prayer, asking God to increase your faith to trust that He has something good for you in that difficult area.
God is not stringing us along to tantalize us. He is not saying, like earthly parents, “Well, we’ll see.” He promises to provide what we need, when we really need it.
2. We receive supernatural physical energy. (Isaiah 40:29-31)
Actively waiting on God energizes us. When we wait on Him, He supplies us with supernatural physical strength.
When the Lord finally delivered David from the hands of his enemies, including Saul, David attributed his strength to the Lord, “For You have girded me with strength for battle; You have subdued under me those who rose up against me” (2 Samuel 22:40).
Describe a situation in which you were able to rely on the supernatural strength of the Lord for either physical or emotional energy. (If you haven’t experienced this, you may want to write a prayer asking God to show you how to depend on His energy.)
3. We win battles.
In Biblical times, manpower and horsepower usually determined the odds of success, humanly speaking. However, God’s criteria for success are different. Read Psalm 147: 10-11.
What natural talents or strengths do you tend to depend on instead of the Lord?
Why do you think waiting on God empowers us for victory?
4. We receive answers to our prayers.
Psalm 40:1 says, “I waited patiently for the Lord; and He inclined to me, and heard my cry.” Many times, God requires us to go through a season of waiting before He answers our prayers for provision, guidance, or healing. If we are unwilling to wait on God, we fall into sin—trying to meet our needs ourselves—or simply miss His timing. Either way, we won’t experience His best for our lives.
Think of a time when you became weary of waiting on God’s direction or His provision for your need. Did you wait patiently on Him, or did you rush ahead without His guidance or blessing? What was the outcome of your action?
When others encourage us to forge ahead instead of waiting on God, we should remember that He will not let us down.
God Uses Waiting
While we wait, God may change circumstances, get us in step with Him, and prepare us for His answers. Think of a situation in which you had to wait on the fulfillment of a dream or desire and describe how God used the time you waited.
Waiting is not wasted time. No matter why we are waiting on the Lord, God will use the long pauses in our lives if we let Him. He is the God who “acts for the one who waits for Him” (Isaiah 64:4).
Father, thank You for having a purpose and a plan for every season of my life. Help me wait patiently on Your best in every area of my life. Increase my trust that You will do something wonderful in my life if I submit to Your timing. In Jesus’ name, amen.
-Adapted from Charles Stanley’s Handbook for Christian Living. pp. 333-335. 1996.