|What to do While You Wait
Ever feel like you spend a great deal of time waiting for God to move in your life? I sometimes do. Whether it is waiting for Him to
provide a job, a spouse, deliverance, healing for ourselves or a love one, financial relief, direction, power or a material need or desire we
all find ourselves waiting on God from time to time. And if you are impatient or controlling, waiting can seem unbearable because you
feel as though you should be doing something to assist God. The period of inactivity can be nerve racking and cause us to sulk, whine,
complain, or worse, doubt God’s willingness to move on our behalf.
In reality, most of us do not have the patience of Job who declared in the midst of his trial, “All the days of my appointed time will I
wait, until my change come” (Job 14:14). However, although we often find ourselves in a position wherein we must wait on God, this
does not mean that we have to sit idly by, twiddling our thumbs. Whether we are seeking deliverance, direction, or a desire, the Bible
describes activity we should engage in while we wait on God to move.
Open your Bible
Jesus told the disciples, “If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you” (John 15:
7). To abide in this instance means to survive or live in. God is the True Vine and we as the branches must remain connected to Him
for survival. We do this by knowing Him through knowing His Word. Mat 4:4: states, "Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every
word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God." And the Psalmist declared, "Your word is a lamp to my fee and a light to my path"
(Psa. 119:105). God reveals His will, work, and ways through His word. Hence, abiding in (or studying) the Word may help you to
understand if what you are seeking is in line with God’s plan for His children.
Push away from the table
The Bible provides numerous examples of how God moved when His people fasted. Fasting is a means of humbling oneself before God
by abstaining from food. The practice is recorded in both the old and new testament. In 2 Chronicles 20:1-30 when three nations were
coming against Judah to destroy them, King Jehoshaphat proclaimed a fast for the whole nation and they asked the Lord what they
should do. He gave them prophetic direction through Jahaziel. Moses received “the words of the covenant, Ten Commandments” (Ex.
34:28) after he had fasted for 40 days and 40 nights. And David fasted on behalf of a sick friend (Psalm 35:13).
Although Jesus never commanded fasting, clearly He recognized its importance and power. He fasted to prepare for his public ministry
(Matt. 4:2). Further, when the when the disciples questioned him about their inability to heal a man’s son, Jesus told them that they
lacked the faith necessary to bring about the healing and that, “this kind does not go out except by prayer and fasting” (Matthew 17:21).
In Acts 13:2 the leaders of the church of Antioch fasted when they sought direction for appointing new apostles. The Holy Spirit then
led them to choose Paul and Barnabas.
Through fasting we can discover God’s will, gain insight and direction, and receive power. If we want God to move in our life we
must put Him first. Often this means putting aside the fulfillment of our physical appetites so that we can focus our attention on Him. If
you have sought God in vain, it could be that He is waiting for you to humble yourself by fasting.
Get on your knees
As indicated above, fasting is often coupled with praying. However, whether or not you choose to fast, prayer is always in order when
you are seeking God’s will because prayer is how believers communicate with God. Paul wrote, “Be careful for nothing; but in every
thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God” (Phil. 4:6). Charles Stanley says that
prayer invites God to act. It does not alter His divine purposes or plans, nor does it cause Him to change His mind. What He has
decided will occur, and His decisions will be exactly the right ones to accomplish His will. However, our prayers are powerful when we
invite God to do His work in our lives and the lives of others. So while you wait take Paul’s advice to pray without ceasing (1 Thes. 5:
17), which means to be persistent and consistent in prayer.
Search for Meaning
T.D. Jakes recently preached a message in which he repeatedly stated, “Nothing just happens in the life of a Christian.” This means
everything believers experience has meaning and purpose. Mature Christians realize this and strive to understand God’s plan for their
situation. Paul told the Corinthians that God allows believers to experience difficulties so that He can comfort them and they, in turn,
will know how to comfort others (2 Cor. 1:4). Instead of focusing on his mistreatment perpetrated by his brothers, Joseph looked for
opportunities to do good as he waited for God to deliver him. At the end of his trials he exclaimed to his brothers, “you meant it for evil,
but God meant it for good” (Gen. 50:20). Jesus did not raise Lazarus from the dead until he had been buried for four days so that God’
s glory would be seen (John 11:40). When the disciples questioned Jesus about the cause of a man’s blindness, He told them the man
was blind “so that the works of God might be displayed in him” (John 9:3). James advised that when we experience a trial we should
ask God for wisdom to understand it, and He will give it liberally (James 1:5). Bishop Dale Bronner elucidated that it is not God’s desire
that Christians live an easy life but a transformed one. Thus, we should not ask God to quickly deliver us from our period of waiting;
rather we should ask Him to transform us through it.
Expand your view
Finally, as you wait on God be on the lookout for something to happen! Paul asked the Colossians to pray and watch for God to open a
door for the word to go forth (Colossians 4:2). As you watch, expect the unexpected. Often we view God from the realm of our finite
sight, understanding, and ability. However, He told Isaiah, “My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways My ways, says
The Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways and My thoughts than your thoughts
(Isaiah 55:8-9). God’s plan for us often exceeds our wildest dream and his method for bringing His will to pass often defies our logic.
If we’re not watchful we could miss His hand at work.
David implores in his psalm of trust, “Wait on the Lord, be of good courage, and He shall strengthen your heart; Wait, I say, on the
Lord” (Psalm 27:14). The Hebrew word for wait may also be translated hope. To hope in God is to wait for His timing and action. We
can actively demonstrate this hope through studying, fasting, praying, searching, and watching.
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