There are times when our walk with God seems fast-paced. God is opening doors and meeting needs, and we need to run just to keep up with Him. But there are other times when the Lord seems to slow His pace, at least from our perspective. His answers to prayer seem delayed. His provision never comes late but neither does it arrive early. There are even times when He will seem silent as a distant friend. The Bible tells of godly men and women who waited on God, looking for His guidance and provision. By waiting on Him, they learned about His character and of His love for them and for others. To begin, it is critical to remember that if you are waiting on the Lord’s guidance or blessing, God always has a greater purpose than what we see immediately in front of us. His silences and patience always signal that there are greater needs being addressed than just our own at that moment. Even when He seems not to be working, He actually always is, both on your behalf and for those around you. Also remember that God will often allow time to pass to get our attention. There is nothing like an unresolved circumstance to stimulate our pursuit of God and to draw us closer to Him. When He is silent or delayed in providing an answer, draw closer to Him and listen. That being said, there are some principles we can follow as we wait upon the Lord.
If you are unsure of which way to turn, don’t. I remember clearly being out in a friend’s boat one day to do some much anticipated scuba diving. As we were speeding out to the reef on that fine summer morning, the driver thought he knew the course to follow. Without warning, we ran around on some reef just below the surface. Fortunately, we made it back with the prop intact. But how often do people’s lives run aground because they have not consulted the Lord’s counsel?
The Bible teaches that we should “be patient as you wait for the Lord’s return. Consider the farmers who patiently wait for the rains in the fall and in the spring. They eagerly look for the valuable harvest to ripen. You, too, must be patient. Take courage, for the coming of the Lord is near” (James 5:7-8, NLT). Learn to see His slower pace as the patient work of a loving heavenly Father accomplishing His will through us and around us.
Both with the Lord and with others. That is, spend intimate personal time with the Lord. Read your Bible, spend time in prayer, and worship Him. Sometimes depression can set in unexpectedly. A wise pastor told me once, though, that reading the Bible is a “full-frontal assault on depression.” Saturating your mind with God’s perspectives and promises will clarify your thinking and fortify your resolve to wait upon Him because He knows what is best. But also invest in your relationships with others. The encouragement that comes from sharing your situation with someone you trust and who is godly can go a long way in strengthening your resolve to trust the Lord through your circumstance.
My senior pastor, Bob Coy of Calvary Chapel Ft. Lauderdale, rightly points out that waiting on God need not mean lethargy or inactivity on our part. Continue to persue with all your heart those tasks and responsibilities He has placed in front of you. In so doing, you will often discover His next steps for you just by obeying Him in what you know to do right now. If you are waiting upon the Lord or are facing a difficult circumstance, resolve to be holy and blameless in your behavior (see James 1:2-4). But also resolve to trust in Him, knowing that He loves you and that all things will work out for your good and His glory (Rom. 8:28). After it is all said and done, He will soon look upon you standing before Him and He will say, “Well done, good and faithful servant! Enter into your Father’s rest!”
Allen can be reached at [email protected]