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Waiting on God's Timing

Waiting on God's Timing

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Published by Craig Wagener
How Long Must I Wait for God to act?
How Long Must I Wait for God to act?

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Published by: Craig Wagener on Jun 09, 2009
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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Waiting on God's TimingLamentations 3:24-26"I say to myself, 'The Lord is my portion; therefore I will wait for him.' TheLord is good to those whose hope is in him, to the one who seeks him; it is goodto wait quietly for the salvation of the Lord".Humans Find Waiting ToughThink back how many times you had to wait for something in your life, and how muchyou've hated it. Getting to a sale to buy that much desired article of clothing,only to find that your size was sold out. Then going to the sales person andasking them to call around to the other outlets of the store to see if they couldtrace your size. The words, "come back tomorrow," are just the most difficultwords to agree to. Knowing that a Christmas or birthday gift waiting there for youto open, just seems to evoke restlessness, curiosity, and impatience. Beingseparated from someone you love for a long time, and being forced to wait for themoment when you can be together again. Or, meeting a person at an agreed locationand time, and then having to wait for them for 15 minutes or longer. Waiting, forwhatever reason, is really a difficult thing for most of us to do. Then we get tothe Bible, and there we read that God wants us to wait for Him. Wait for an answerto prayer, wait while He brings us through a trial, or wait for Him to show uswhat His will is with regard to a decision we need to make. As humans, we like toknow exactly what is going on in our lives, and we want to do as much as we can tobe able to control as much of the future as possible. We want to be secure andcomfortable in our lives from day to day. We naturally hate change, insecurity anduncertainty. Waiting on God incorporates all of these! Waiting on God means thatGod might change the way we are used to doing things. Waiting on God means that Hemight work out our lives to be totally dependent on Him, bringing us to a veryinsecure point, humanly speaking. Waiting on God means being uncertain of whathappens in the future, because we are not busy chasing around with our normalearnest attempts to keep our lives moving along the normal fixed and controlledpath. The question is, can God expect us to wait on Him in all areas of our lives?What does it mean to wait on God? How do I cope in my situation of loneliness, ofconfusion, of hurt, of anger, or whatever my situation might be? If I am downspiritually, or feel far from God--when I have more questions than answers, can Iwait on God? This is surely the time I need instant answers. Where do I go forstrength and focus to implement this most difficult request . . . to wait on God?Waiting Demands ClosenessLet's go back to what it takes to wait for someone somewhere. Say for example, youwere to meet a friend at a supermarket parking lot at 2.00p.m. You arrive at1.55p.m., and start waiting. At 2.10p.m. you start wondering why they're notthere. At 2.20p.m., you get a little edgy because you wonder why they are late. At2.30p.m., you start speculating where they could be and whether something happenedto them or not. At 2.40p.m., the test of your friendship comes in. If the personis just an acquaintance, you start getting really irritated because they arewasting your time! But, if that person is really close to you, and you know themintimately, knowing that they would never keep you waiting on purpose, you wouldhave a totally different emotion as you wait for them. You would firstly hope thatthey didn't have an accident or that something else really bad didn't happen tothem. Because of your knowledge of the person, you would give them the benefit ofthe doubt that something happened to delay them to this extent. The closer andmore intimate the relationship you have with the person you are waiting for, theeasier and more relaxed the waiting becomes. So, when God calls for you and I towait on Him, He is calling us to be close and intimate with Him--to give Him thebenefit of the doubt, and to have complete and unconditional confidence in Him, as
Creator and Controller of the universe by the mere power of His spoken word. (Seethe article on "If He Created All--He Controls All"). If His spoken and writtenWord has the power to bring the universe and this earth into existence, andcontrol the flawless working of the universe, then that same spoken and writtenWord can answer any questions I have, and control any crisis in my life. Howeverlong the wait is, whatever the intensity of our emergency is, and howeverdesperate we are to find the answers, the intimacy we have with God will enable usto let God be in control and just wait for Him to work in and through thatparticular situation."Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for theLord." Psalm 27:14. Is this possible? It sure would bring relief and rest if wecould come to this point in our lives.Examples of WaitingThe best way to answer the question as to whether it is possible to implementunconditional waiting on God, is to look at examples from the lives of peoplebefore us. Examining the lives of people that have successfully waited on God, canteach us, inspire us and motivate us to wait on God.Joseph - is one of the most inspiring examples of someone who waited on God.Imagine the anguish of being sold by your own family to slave traders and thenbeing taken hostage to a foreign land.Being sold as a slave to a strange man who has a different culture, religion andlanguage to you. Waiting day by day for some kind of purpose to unfold in theseevents, but only to be thrown into further confusion and apparent defeat by thefalse accusations of his master's wife, and be thrown into prison. More waiting,more time, more trials. A flicker of hope enters the picture as Joseph interpretsthe dreams of Pharaoh's baker and the cup bearer, only to have to wait for twomore years. Finally, after about 12 years of waiting, Joseph gets the answer ofwhy this long period of waiting, of confusion, of change and uncertainty. Comingthrough the crisis and looking back always makes sense . . . but at the time,nothing makes sense at all. It took over 12 years of waiting, day by day, for Godto bring Joseph to be the Prince of Egypt, ruler of all the land, having onlyPharaoh higher than him.Mary and Martha - had an experience of waiting that really put pressure on theirrelationship with Jesus. Mary and Martha sent an urgent message to Jesus,informing Him that Lazarus, their brother, was seriously ill. Jesus delayed ingoing to Lazarus' aid. He waited for four days before He went to see Lazarus, but,by then, Lazarus had died from his illness. When Jesus arrived at the home of hisclose friends, Martha ran out to meet Him, saying, "Lord, if you had been here, mybrother would not have died. But I know that even now God will give you whateveryou ask."When Mary came out to meet Jesus, she voiced the same words. (See picture above).Jesus then performed a miracle that impacted the lives of his dear, intimatefriends in a way that an earlier visit could never have done. Jesus walked to thetomb where Lazarus was buried and said, "Take away the stone." So they took awaythe stone. Jesus called in a loud voice, "Lazarus, come out!" The dead man cameout, his hands and feet wrapped with strips of linen, and a cloth around his face.Was the wait worthwhile? Was it worth having gone through the soul anguish inorder to witness the power of the Creator and Controller of the universe'spowerful word? Was the short term suffering worth exchanging for the long term
involvement in the awesome display of this divine deed--the awakening of the deadto new life by the spoken word of the Son of God? (Read this story in John 11)Esther - was a young Jewess, carried into exile by the king of Babylon, who waslater conquered by the king of Medo-Persia. She and her people lived in thisforeign land, among foreign people. She had an uncle, Mordecai, who served in theking's court. When Esther was just a young teenage girl, she was taken into theking's court as a candidate to be selected as queen. She had to undergo 12 monthsof beauty treatment before being presented to the king. The king was attracted toEsther more than any of the other young virgins, and chose her to replace theexisting queen. One of the king's evil nobles devised a plan to kill all the Jewsliving in Medo-Persia at that time. Esther played a crucial role in saving herpeople from being destroyed. What if she had given up on God because she was incaptivity, seemingly removed from God and His leading in her life? How could Godallow her to stay in captivity? What was the purpose of her being selected as oneof the many girls who would serve the king? These are all questions that Esthercould have asked. But, in the end, Esther saved the nation of Israel from beingdestroyed. Waiting on God to act and work in the circumstances of her life,brought her to the place where she could do a saving work for those who lived inher world at the time.(Read her story in the Book of Esther).David, Moses, and John the Baptist - all waited, alone, for God to work throughtheir circumstances, to prepare them for a special task, and to develop a moreintimate relationship with God. Moses and John the Baptist spent time alone in thewilderness, and David spent time alone out in the meadows, tending sheep. Eachperson waiting on God to work in their lives in the way that He knew best.Are You Confronted With Waiting?Are you trapped by a set of circumstances that you are desperate to get out of?Have you tried everything in your power to find answers to your unique situation,and just cannot find any? Do you feel totally helpless and out of control to thepoint where your state of well being is effected? Have you been listless andunmotivated, have you been feeling depressed and disillusioned while you have beenwrestling with the complexity of this mysterious maze? Well, along with so manyothers, those in the Bible and those in life around you, God is calling you towait on Him. God's heart aches to get involved with your life and bring you theclarity, the confidence, and the composure you long for. God's timing is not thesame as ours. God longs to give us answers and an outcome which is far superior tothe short term solutions which we might have come up with. God asks us to justwait. Wait so that He can work slowly and thoroughly through the mess that hascome into our lives due to our ignorance and independence of Him. It will take aperiod of time, a period that no-one can determine, for Him to bring us to wherewe will find an undisturbed happiness, and to where we are able to save otherpeople trapped by their circumstances, with whom we make contact from day to day.Oswald Chambers in his inspiring devotional book, My Utmost for His Highest, makesthe following statement in the passage for January 4, about waiting for God:"There are times when you can't understand why you cannot do what you want to do.When God brings a time of waiting, and appears to be unresponsive, don't fill itwith busyness, just wait. The time of waiting may come to teach you the meaning ofsanctification--to be set apart from sin and made holy--or it may come after theprocess of sanctification has begun to teach you what service means. Never runbefore God gives you His direction. If you have the slightest doubt, then He isnot guiding. Whenever there is doubt--wait.

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