When Waiting Seems To Be The Only Action Occuring…

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Those minutes that drag into hours…  Those days that drag into weeks… Months… Years…  Prayers that seem to go unanswered…  Pain that seems to never release its hold…  Regrets…  Old habits…  Difficult people…   Painful wounds from the past…  Loved ones who still remain enchained to themselves…  So many dreams that seem to be fading, dying…  when the waiting seems eternal… and hope is fading…

Perhaps that’s you today.

When waiting seems to be the only action occurring, let’s look at the apparent action.  What’s happening while we are waiting?

Corrie ten Boom said the following regarding waiting:

If you want to hear God’s voice clearly and you are uncertain, then remain in His presence until He changes this uncertainty.  Often much can happen during this waiting for the Lord.  Sometimes, He changes pride into humility; doubt into faith and peace; sometimes lust into purity.  The Lord can and will do it.

Anne Graham Lotz says the following in regards to waiting before acting:

I never make a major decision, especially one that will affect another person, before I receive direction from God.”

Priscilla Shirer said this about her friend Anne Graham Lotz, “…she is resolved to wait on Him for guidance before coming to a final decision on a matter.”

Two verses concerning waiting from God’s Word:

Habakkuk 2:3

For the vision is yet for an appointed time, but at the end it shall speak, and not lie: though it tarry, wait for it; because it will surely come, it will not tarry.

Psalm 27:14

14 Wait on the Lord: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the Lord.

Proverbs 8:34

34 Blessed is the man that heareth me, watching daily at my gates, waiting at the posts of my doors.

2 Thessalonians 3:5

And the Lord direct your hearts into the love of God, and into the patient waiting for Christ.

Proverbs 8:34

34 Blessed is the man that heareth me, watching daily at my gates, waiting at the posts of my doors.

2 Thessalonians 3:5

And the Lord direct your hearts into the love of God, and into the patient waiting for Christ.

We also see the word “endure” in God’s Word — another word that speaks of a steadfastness in waiting.  It speaks of carrying a “load” while waiting.  It speaks of not getting “bogged down” in the waiting but the waiting actually accomplishing something within us.

John 6:27

27 Labour not for the meat which perisheth, but for that meat which endureth unto everlasting life, which the Son of man shall give unto you: for him hath God the Father sealed.

1 Corinthians 13:7

Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.

2 Thessalonians 1:4

So that we ourselves glory in you in the churches of God for your patience and faith in all your persecutions and tribulations that ye endure:

2 Timothy 2:3

Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ.

Hebrews 6:15

15 And so, after he had patiently endured, he obtained the promise.

James 1:12

12 Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him.

These verses indicate that something is being accomplished while we wait.  In my previous blog, https://graceinthemoment.wordpress.com/2015/06/19/whose-leading, it speaks of how God was doing something that was so wonderful that it couldn’t even be imagined.

 

While we wait, we need to believe that God is working.  It might be a work that needs to be accomplished in us while we wait so we are prepared to receive the manifestation of God’s answer.

Sometimes, the purpose for our waiting is to prepare us for God’s answer. 

It may be that we are not ready for the immediate outcome of God’s answer; thus, we must wait so that He can change us so we are prepared to properly receive and respond submissively to His answer.

I love what Priscilla Shirer says in her Bible study book, Discerning the Voice of God:

The process of waiting for a message from God can be just as important as the message itself.  In waiting, my faith and intimacy with the Lord grow.  Often something I learn while waiting prepares me for the message so that I am not as surprised by it as I might have been otherwise; thus, I am more willing to obey.

Discerning the Voice of God goes on to say:

The value we place on an object or person dictates the amount of time we are willing to wait on them … we should be willing to wait patiently and not move until we have received it [the answer or direction from God].

Did you get that powerful challenge?  The value of an object or person dictates the amount of time we are willing to wait. 

Whom are we waiting on?  God!  How important is He really in your life?  That will determine how long you are willing to endure and to wait patiently.  That will determine how patient your waiting is.  That will determine the outcome of your waiting.

Perhaps, the action that needs to occur is ours — yours and mine.  Perhaps, there’s something that needs to change in our own hearts in relationship to God. 

Do you trust God enough to wait on Him — no matter how long the process takes?  God is Almighty and all-knowing.  He knows the perfect timing for the completion of His will in you and in the events of your life.  Perhaps, the problem with your waiting is with your trust.

What lies are you believing about God that are holding you back from fully submitting your will to Him and from resting in the perfection of His will?

I love what Discerning the Voice of God says in the following quote:
Habakkuk purposed to remove himself from the depression and anxiety of his ground-level circumstances and get above them.  He took his eyes off his circumstances and watched only for God.
What about us?  Are you and I still wallowing in the immediate ground-level circumstances in which we find ourselves, or are we keeping our eyes fixed on the “Author and Finisher of our Faith”?

I love what the following verses say in regards to waiting:

Habakkuk 2:3

For the vision is yet for an appointed time, but at the end it shall speak, and not lie: though it tarry, wait for it; because it will surely come, it will not tarry.

2 Peter 3:9

The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.

Hebrews 11:6

But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.

These verses remind us that God’s plan will be accomplished in due season — in His season.

We wait on God while our waiting serves a purpose. 

Our waiting teaches us to rest on Him, which requires humility, submission, and trust.

The timing of God’s answer is just as important as the answer itself.

Discerning the Voice of God says the following:

While the righteous man trusts God will fulfill His Word, the proud man (self-reliant) depends on himself to bring things to pass.  When we seek God in faith, He promises us great reward.

Our waiting reveals whom it is upon which we rely.  It is either ourselves or God.

Upon whom do you rely?

 

Who’s In Control?

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Two days ago, I went to the Christian bookstore and eagerly purchased three different Bible study books.  I couldn’t wait to begin a new chapter of growth in my relationship with the Lord and walk with Him!

My study yesterday led me to Habakkuk 1.  It drew my attention to verses 2-4:

Habakkuk 1:2-4

O Lord, how long shall I cry, and thou wilt not hear! even cry out unto thee of violence, and thou wilt not save!

Why dost thou shew me iniquity, and cause me to behold grievance? for spoiling and violence are before me: and there are that raise up strife and contention.

Therefore the law is slacked, and judgment doth never go forth: for the wicked doth compass about the righteous; therefore wrong judgment proceedeth.

Habakkuk assumes that God hears and will answer.  Yet, Habakkuk is questioning and doubtful as to when and why not now?

Sounds familiar!

How many times do we doubt if God is personally involved or cares about each minute detail of our lives?  How many times do we question whether God is speaking because we doubt our own ability to hear Him properly?

Sure, we all technically know that God cares, but we live as if He isn’t concerned with every detail.  We live as though we need to take charge of certain details, “just in case God doesn’t bother to communicate His will or give us His strength for the specific situation.”  So, we “charge ahead”, forcing our own will on ourselves and others.  Then, we wonder why things begin to turn rather “ugly” and why people are hurt or offended.

What if instead, we stopped.  We waited.  We rested.  We prayed.  We “fed” ourselves with “manna” from being in God’s presence?

Doubting our own ability to hear God correctly has some definite truth and wisdom.  The Bible warns about deception, and our souls are still affected by our sinful nature.  (Which nature, I might add, God is transforming.)  We can and are easily deceived.

Yet, we have to be careful that our fear of our ability or inability to hear God is not based on our own abilities to hear Him.  This fear might indicate that we are relying on our own abilities to hear.  For example, we might think, “If I am such and such a way, I will ‘hear’ God or understand what He is saying.”  Again, there is some definite truth to this.  Yet, truth/God’s Word is not dependent upon our ability to perceive it. 

Don’t rely on your ability to hear Him.  Rely on His ability to speak truth and on His desire to speak it to you.

He speaks to us through His Word:

2 Timothy 3:16-17

16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:

17 That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.

He speaks to us through creation:

Luke 19:40

40 He answered, “I tell you, if these were silent, the very stones would cry out.”

Romans 1:20

20 For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:

Psalm 19:1-3

19 The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handywork.

Day unto day uttereth speech, and night unto night sheweth knowledge.

There is no speech nor language, where their voice is not heard.

He speaks to us through His people:

Philippians 4:8-9

Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.

Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you.

2 Timothy 3:10

10 But thou hast fully known my doctrine, manner of life, purpose, faith, longsuffering, charity, patience,

1 Corinthians 10:11

11 Now all these things happened unto them for examples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come.

James 5:10

10 Take, my brethren, the prophets, who have spoken in the name of the Lord, for an example of suffering affliction, and of patience.

He speaks through His Holy Spirit dwelling within us:

1 Corinthians 2:13

13 Which things also we speak, not in the words which man’s wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual.

Ephesians 3:5

Which in other ages was not made known unto the sons of men, as it is now revealed unto his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit;

1 Corinthians 2:10

10 But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God.

Habakkuk questioned God, wondering and doubting when God was going to answer.  God answers Habakkuk with the following:

Habakkuk 1:5

Behold ye among the heathen, and regard, and wonder marvelously: for I will work a work in your days which ye will not believe, though it be told you.

God is saying to Habakkuk that God is doing a work so marvelous that Habakkuk wouldn’t even be able to believe it because it’s that marvelous.

God gives specific instructions to Habakkuk:

  • Look
  • Observe
  • Be astonished!
  • Wonder!

I love what Discerning The Voice Of God, by Priscilla Shirer says:

“While Habakkuk waited on God to answer, God was already answering!  God wanted to restore Habakkuk’s confidence by showing him that He was not idle and uninterested in the demise of Judah.  Even though the prophet wasn’t seeing God respond in the way and timing he expected, God was speaking and moving.  He always is — even in His silence.”

Notice the change in Habakkuk’s attitude, belief, and response after this word from God:

Habakkuk 1:12-13

12 Art thou not from everlasting, O Lord my God, mine Holy One? we shall not die. O Lord, thou hast ordained them for judgment; and, O mighty God, thou hast established them for correction.

13 Thou art of purer eyes than to behold evil, and canst not look on iniquity: wherefore lookest thou upon them that deal treacherously, and holdest thy tongue when the wicked devoureth the man that is more righteous than he?

This prayer is a prayer of praise to the One Who is mighty.

This prayer is full of recognition of Who God truly is.

This prayer is full of eager expectation of what God will do.

This prayer is full of personal trust in the Lord.

“Could your level of expectancy be a factor in how clearly and frequently you hear God’s voice?” (Discerning the Voice of God)

Psalm 5:3

My voice shalt thou hear in the morning, O Lord; in the morning will I direct my prayer unto thee, and will look up.

Ecclesiastes 5:20

20 For he shall not much remember the days of his life; because God answereth him in the joy of his heart.

Psalm 139:17

17 How precious also are thy thoughts unto me, O God! how great is the sum of them!

Amos 4:13

13 For, lo, he that formeth the mountains, and createth the wind, and declareth unto man what is his thought, that maketh the morning darkness, and treadeth upon the high places of the earth, The Lord, The God of hosts, is his name.

Amos 4:13

13 For, lo, he that formeth the mountains, and createth the wind, and declareth unto man what is his thought, that maketh the morning darkness, and treadeth upon the high places of the earth, The Lord, The God of hosts, is his name.

John 8:47

47 He that is of God heareth God’s words: ye therefore hear them not, because ye are not of God.

John 10:27

27 My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me:

How good are we at listening? 

Do we “listen” for what God wants to say to us, or are we too busy telling God what we think the passage means?

Are our prayer times more about us telling God what we want, what we think, or do we spend the time also listening to Him, quieting our hearts before Him and ready to receive what He wants to show us?

I believe one of the greatest “marks” of godliness in a believer is a heart “position” of complete “resting” in the Lord and surrender to Him.  It is an attitude of utter reliance upon God and expectant readiness to obey His promptings.

If we aren’t waiting on the Lord’s leading before proceeding ahead, the questions to be asked are: “Who is leading?  Who is in control of our lives?”

The answer really is our self.

God is certainly Sovereign, and He will bring His will to pass no matter what.  Yet, God gives free will.  Love always allows for a choice.  When we disobey God, this is not His will.  When we hold onto our unbelief, this is not His will.

Every day, we are given multiple opportunities to submit our wills to God — to choose His grace and power to walk in the new “life” He has given us as His children over our own old sin natures.

We though. must. make. the choice. to surrender.

Do you want your own fallible, mortal, limited self as the one to whom you “bow before” — the one you serve?

Or…

Will you acknowledge that there is a God who is good, loving, powerful, holy, and therefore utterly trustworthy?  He is doing a work that far surpasses your wildest imagination.

Oh, dear one, trust Him.  Wait on Him.  Look.  Observe. Be astonished!  He will bring it to pass, in the perfection of His will.