Waiting on God

Silhouette of a man waiting on a park bench in the sunset

Pastors are often placed in the position of having to wait on God. Think of the number of times in the past month when you had to wait on God. You are waiting for Him to answer prayer, to mend a relationship, to change hearts, to heal brokenness, to restore health, and to move in the congregation.

Why is it so difficult to wait on God? Perhaps it is because we just don’t like the idea that we don’t have any control over the events that affect our lives. Right now you may be going through a season of waiting. God has placed you in a position of having to wait on HIM. Yes, He is in control and yes, He will work it all out in His way and in His time.

The hard part for me is the waiting. I have a tendency to take matters into my own hands and make them work out the way I think they should. This often leads to stress and sometimes to heartache.

The Bible has much to say about the Christian discipline of WAITING on God. Here are four principles from the Scriptures:

  1. Waiting On God is not Passive.

The word for “wait” in the O.T. is a word that means, “confident expectation”. It is related to the word for rope. It literally means, “to twist tightly around something.”

We have a confident expectation that God is going to reveal His plan in His good time and so we wait. While we are waiting we continue to do the things we know to be His will. We continue to pray, preach, worship, fellowship, and give. We continue to reach the lost, comfort the hurting, encourage the weak, and love one another. We continue to be faithful to fulfill our calling as God’s people.

  1. Waiting On God means Yielding to His Will.

One of the hard things about waiting is that we must yield our plans to HIM. Our natural tendency is to take matters into our own hands and try to work something out that fits into our own concepts of what should be done. We must leave the matter in God’s hands and not take it into our own hands. Waiting on God means that we must trust God to work out His plan in His way and in His time.

I often want to work things out in my way and in my time. The danger in this period of waiting is that I will grow impatient and force things to happen that are not a part of God’s plan. We must WAIT. He will work it out if we will just WAIT. (Psalm 27:14)

  1. Waiting On God Renews Our Strength.

The promise of God is that He will strengthen us if we will just wait on Him. Those who fail to wait on HIM will spend their emotional and physical energies on things that will not accomplish His will. It is exhausting to work at the will of God without waiting on God. If we are all upset and stressed out about the circumstances, we will be drained of energy and emotionally depleted.

Waiting on God renews our strength and energizes our work. It is only when we run ahead of God that we get exhausted. (Isaiah 40:31)

  1. Waiting On God is Part of His Purpose for Us.

God often puts us in the place of WAITING so He can teach us things we need to know. Not only are we waiting on God but He is waiting on us.

  • He is waiting on us to seek Him.
  • He is waiting on us to trust Him.
  • He is waiting on us to surrender to Him.
  • He is waiting on us to be obedient.

Waiting on God is part of the process of getting us ready for the next phase of God’s will for our lives. (Psalm 37:7; 40:1)

What other things have you learned from the discipline of waiting on God?

About Robert White

Dr. Robert White was raised in central Florida and completed his Bachelor’s degree at the University of Central Florida. After college, he completed the Master of Divinity and Doctor of Ministry degrees at Luther Rice Seminary in Atlanta, Georgia. For more than 40 years he has served as pastor of churches in Florida and in Massachusetts. He served as adjunct professor at the Orlando Extension Center of Luther Rice Seminary, teaching Bible and Theology for 15 years. He taught classes for the certificate program of New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary. He has served on the New Work Council of the Greater Orlando Baptist Association and the Pastor Support Team of the Ridge Baptist Association. In October 2016, Dr. White joined the counseling staff of Care For Pastors. He currently resides with his wife, Kaye, in Davenport, Florida.

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