We live in a world that demands speed. Waiting for God is not on our “to do” list.
Fast food workers are timed in how long it takes them to deliver burgers to customers.
Webmasters are penalized by Google if their website loads too slowly because mobile phone users don’t like sites that load slower than 3 seconds.
People drive ten mph over the speed limit as a habit.
Our society hates to wait.
Even in our spiritual life, we want speed. We want speedy church services. Speedy answers to prayer. Faster ways to look up scriptures. The list goes on.
However, just because our culture values speed, does not mean that God does. There are many times He puts seasons in our life where we have to learn other values including the value of waiting for Him.
In this Bible study, I hope to be able to share with you not only the fruit that God can birth in your life by waiting on Him but also some of my own experiences when I have waited on the Lord.
I hope that by the time you are done the reading, you will have a new appreciation for those times that God asks you to wait upon Him.
Let me start by sharing with you the main Bible verse that talks about waiting upon the Lord.
Isaiah 40:3131 But those who wait on the LordShall renew their strength;They shall mount up with wings like eagles,They shall run and not be weary,They shall walk and not faint.
For many years when I read this scripture, I thought in my mind’s eye that what it was talking about was sitting and waiting.
However, that is not exactly what this scripture is talking about.
The Hebrew word for wait is Qavah which means to look to, or wait expectantly, hope, or eagerly await.
To put it in plain English, it means to look to the Lord eagerly expecting Him to do something.
It is not passive, but it is active.
How Do We Wait Upon the Lord?
So what does it mean to wait for God?
It all depends on what you are being asked to wait for.
If it is guidance, then you are waiting for His voice to speak to you either through the word of God, or a prophetic word from a trusted source, or that still small voice in your heart.
If you are waiting for a prayer to be answered, then it might be God moving a circumstance around to provide the answer to that prayer.
Or you might be waiting for God to open a door that has been promised will be opened.
So it does depend on what you are waiting for God to do.
Here are a few tips that I have found helpful when I am waiting for the Lord to do something in my life.
When waiting on the Lord, increase the time you spend in His word.
One of the primary ways that God gives us direction is through the Bible. It is His word to us.
When I am waiting on the Lord, I increase the time I spend reading the Bible for my benefit.
What I mean by that is that many times we read the Bible so we can learn something, or prepare to teach something to somebody else, or we read it to get an answer to a question.
Those are all good things, but when you are waiting for the Lord to do something in your life, you need to set aside time to read the Bible to listen to what God would tell you personally.
Instead of having an agenda when you read, just read with the idea in mind that you are listening with your heart to hear what God would say to you personally.
When waiting on the Lord, increase the time you spend listening in your prayer time.
Many of us, myself included, get into the habit of doing all the talking when we pray. For some reason, we get uncomfortable being silent.
Prayer is meant to be a 2-way avenue of communication.
Increase the time you spend just being quiet and listening to that still small voice that became part of your life when you accepted Jesus as your savior.
For me, when the Lord speaks to me in that still small voice, it usually comes in the form of a question.
I don’t hear thundering edicts coming down from the mountain.
Instead, I hear the gentle voice of my savior asking me a question that leads me to the answer I am seeking.
I am not sure why He works that way in me, but I know it is Him.
Maybe He knows that if it were a thundering proclamation, I would get rebellious. He knows me pretty well after all!
Spend some time asking Him your question or taking Him your need for direction or provision, and then stop and listen.
You might be surprised at how much you will grow and learn by doing this.
When waiting upon the Lord, be observant.
Remember the definition of wait.
It is to look to, be eagerly awaiting.
Lift up your head and your eyes and look around to see if God is doing something.
If we bury our nose in the problem, then we may miss His clues as to the solution.
Many times God leads us and directs us by putting clues as to what is going on in our everyday circumstances.
If you are not looking for God to reveal Himself, you may very well miss it.
Many times I have seen God move in situations or give direction by very subtle clues when talking to family members or other church members and all of a sudden I realized that there was more going on that met the eye.
So lift your head and look around. God may be opening doors or leading you by the things that are happening right around you.
My Experience Waiting For God
There have been many times where I have had to wait upon the Lord.
The most significant experience was the eight years I waited to return to full-time pastoral ministry.
I was given three particular words from the Lord from 3 different people who did not know me at three different churches concerning returning to ministry.
At the time I was struggling with whether or not God would even use me again.
After receiving those three words, I started waiting for God to open the doors. It ended up taking eight years for Him to do it.
Many times, like in my case of waiting eight years for God to open the door that He said He was going to open, He is developing in you fruit that cannot be produced any other way.
In my case, it was a test of faith.
After about three years of waiting and sending out my resume’ and getting rejected, I realized that it had become a test of faith.
I started saving all the rejection letters and treating each one as a testimony of being faithful. By the time I was asked to become the Pastor of the Vineyard in Pine Haven Wyoming, I had saved over 185 rejection letters.
This developed in me faithfulness and understanding of God’s promises that I would never have had before.
It truly changed me, my leadership style, and my understanding of who I am in Christ.
I am much more likely to stop and let God reveal what He wants to do before I charge off gung-ho into something.
I take much more time to listen and observe than I ever did before.
So when God asks you to wait upon Him, don’t curse the time or think it is time wasted.
It is a valuable time between you and the Lord.
He will develop in you a strength that you never had before, and you can genuinely say, I can rise up like the eagle!