Waiting on God

“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. They shall walk and not faint...” Isaiah 40:31

Waiting has never been one of my strong points. I value my time perhaps too much, considering it my own instead of God's. God's timing is often different than mine. We live in a fast-food society where we expect instant service. Well, God is not a genie waiting to do our bidding. He is a fierce and awesome God, and His will must prevail no matter how much you fight against it or get impatient. God's work, after all, is usually gradual. The work that matters, I mean the work of sanctification, which is the only reason we are still left on earth, is a slowly growing plant. If we grow impatient with what God is trying to do in our lives, sometimes we miss God's best altogether. Fighting against God causes my pain to be wasted. And more than anything, I want the pain to count for something. I want to go deeper with God.

It's like coming to a fork in the road, which like Robert Frost states in his poem, I want to take the road less traveled by... the road that makes a difference. The path God wants us to travel sometimes requires more pain than if we just took the other path and walked away. The problem is that I want to walk away. Who chooses more pain? It doesn't make sense. It's easier to walk off in a huff, blaming everyone else, walking the easy path of bitterness. That's the default. What is easy is actually worse. Worse for our character, worse for our walk with God, worse for our lives.

Yes, this means yield, even when nothing is going your way, when you are trapped between a rock and a hard place and there is no way out. When there is pain on every side, and you keep asking God if it's over yet. We do this instead of waiting on God. We struggle to shorten the trial, not realizing that struggling only lengthens it. Or worse, we get nothing good out of the trial because we fail the test. Oh, God! Find me worthy, that having been tested, I may come out as gold! I so badly want to be gold, no matter what the cost. And there's peace and joy and more of God in my life if I can only pull that off.

Years ago when I hadn't slept for four days in a row and teetered on the verge of insanity, I came across a book by Andrew Murray called Waiting on God. If I had read it any other time, it would have sounded cliche, like I already knew everything he had to say. But somehow I had supernatural eyes and could see as into a different dimension. He talked about waiting on God as if I were a waiter (or waitress) at a restaurant. There is God, and I'm standing here calmly, waiting to know what His bidding will be. It is an active waiting, a waiting that results in right actions.

This has revolutionized my walk with God. Because that's what walking by the Spirit is... it's waiting on God, or abiding in Christ. And this can't be done when I'm fighting against what God is doing in my life. For those of us who want to walk closer to God, He will purposely purify us and bring us to a higher place. I have never known higher places with God without deep pain. That's the way to get there. I'm telling you because I've forged the path with a machete, and I can see the view from the majestic heights, and let me tell you... no... let me promise you that it's worth it. Just hang on for the ride. If you stop kicking and yield in your spirit to God, you will get there, too. Oddly, being yoked to Christ is restful. Only move when He moves. Your will has to die to get to this place. And even then, you will usually choose to do the wrong thing because of spiritual blindness. I don't know how many times I've tried to do the right thing and ended up on the wrong path, all because I wasn't waiting on God. Waiting on God is everything. It is the secret to life. I'm talking about real life, where you actually know God for real, where God will call you His friend. It's worth everything you have to get to this place.

Waiting requires a supernatural endurance that can't be produced on one's own. God does the work, if we will only hold still.

“Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.” James 1:2-4