Even though waiting may seem like a very passive activity to you, it actually sets God in motion.
Isaiah 64:4 says, “For from of old no one has heard nor perceived by the ear, nor has the eye seen a God besides You, Who works and shows Himself active on behalf of him who [earnestly] waits for Him.”
Exactly what kind of work does God do for us while we wait? He strengthens us, for one thing. Take a look at Isaiah 40:28-31.
Have you not known? Have you not heard? The everlasting God, the Lord, the Creator of the ends of the earth, does not faint or grow weary; there is no searching of His understanding.
He gives power to the faint and weary, and to him who has no might He increases strength [causing it to multiply and making it to abound]. Even youths shall faint and be weary, and [selected] young men shall feebly stumble and fall exhausted.
But those who wait for the Lord [who expect, look for, and hope in Him] shall change and renew their strength and power; they shall lift their wings and mount up [close to God] as eagles [mount up to the son]; they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint or become tired.
What a blessing it is to exchange our limited, human strength for the unlimited strength of God Himself! Yet many times we pass up that blessing because we don’t take the time to wait. So, instead of burning brighter day by day, eventually we burn out.
A minister’s wife once said to me, “You know, I am so busy in ministry I don’t have time to wait before the Lord.” Of course, she meant well. She loved God. But she had fallen right into the devil’s trap.
He knew if she spent all her time serving people and none in the presence of God, she’d eventually dry up, run out of power, and be no help to anyone.
Don’t misunderstand. I’m not saying we shouldn’t serve people. What I am saying is that service should come from the overflow of our relationship with God. We should be meeting our family’s needs not from our own puny, human resources, but from the rivers of living water that are released within our hearts during our times of quiet fellowship with Him.
No doubt, sometimes you’ll want to wring your hands when you look at your schedule. You’ll think, “How am I going to get all my work done if I take time out to wait on God?”
The fact is, you can’t in your own strength. You will have to depend on God and you express your dependence by waiting on Him. You come before Him and say, “Lord, You are my life. You are my strength. You are my ever-present help. So I’m putting everything—schedule and all—in Your Hands. I am waiting on You.”
Please understand, waiting on the Lord doesn’t necessarily require hours of your time, and it doesn’t always have to be done just in your prayer closet. If you’ll ask the Lord to help you, you can learn to wait on Him at the office during a break time, when you’re driving your car, at a restaurant while you’re waiting for your food—anywhere!
I remember one particular Sunday, I had planned to spend the afternoon fellowshipping with the Lord and preparing to preach the evening service.
My plans were interrupted, however, when my daughter told me she needed me to take her to the mall to buy something she needed for school on Monday. Since I had purposed in my heart not to let my ministry interfere with meeting my children’s needs, I set my plans aside and off we went.
As I walked through the mall with her I thought, “Lord, it looks like I won’t get to spend much time alone with You before I preach tonight, so You’ll just have to help me.”
Suddenly the Lord spoke to my heart. “See that seat over there?” He said. “You just sit down there, wait on Me, and let your daughter go on and shop with her friend.”
That’s exactly what I did. I sat down, closed my eyes and in a flash I left that mall and stepped into the presence of God. I don’t know what the shoppers who passed by me thought I was doing. I probably looked like I was asleep. But I wasn’t. I was having a wonderful time fellowshipping with the Lord, listening to Him and receiving the strength I needed to minister that night.
If you’ll ask the Holy Spirit for His help, He’ll show you many such opportunities. He’ll even help you wait on Him in the midst of seemingly impossible circumstances.
I heard about one woman, for instance, who had eight children. As you can imagine, with such a large family it’s practically impossible to ever get time alone. God gave her grace and while she was stirring the oatmeal in the morning with her children all around her, she’d throw her apron over her head and say, “Well, I’ll see you all later. I’m going to spend some time with God!”