David was a man who chose to live according to God’s plan and schedule. David waited 14 years to become king and spent most of that time in hiding. Dr. Stanley reveals the biblical reasons why we ought to follow David’s example. We’ll never be disappointed if we choose to wait on the Lord.
Instead of becoming impatient, nervous, or frustrated, God wants us to wait patiently, quietly, and courageously.
WAITING ON GOD’S TIMING
KEY PASSAGE: Psalm 27:11-14
SUPPORTING SCRIPTURE: Psalm 25:1-3 | Psalm 37:1 | Psalm 37:7-9 | Psalm 37:34 | Psalm 40:1 | Psalm 62:1 | Psalm 106:6-15 | Psalm 119:74 | Psalm 119:81 | Psalm 130:5 | Isaiah 64:4 | 2 Corinthians 5:17
Of all the principles I’ve learned in the Scriptures, the one that stands out to me the most is the concept of waiting upon the Lord.
This is a critical issue because God’s will includes His timing. He has an awesome plan mapped out for each of us, but He only reveals it one step at a time. When we follow His plan, He is glorified, and we are fulfilled. However, if we don’t seek the Lord’s guidance each day, we’ll end up automatically following our own course. As a result, we’ll be confused and dissatisfied because we’ve missed what God intended to give us and do through us.
The wisest thing we can do is to start every day by connecting with almighty God.
Although we are already united with the Father through Jesus Christ, we still need to communicate with Him daily in order to develop an intimate relationship. Instead of only coming to Him in times of emergency or need, we should begin each morning by asking Him to help us walk wisely, not lagging behind or getting ahead of His plan.
What does it mean to wait on the Lord?
David was a man who chose to live according to the Lord’s plan and schedule. Although he was anointed at the age of 16, he didn’t actually become the King of Israel until 14 years later. God’s promise was sure, but the timing was unknown to David. He had to wait, and much of that time was spent hiding and running from King Saul who was continually trying to kill him.
- God uses delays to prepare us for His plans. David learned valuable lessons during those difficult years that equipped him for his future role as king. In the same way, God uses our hurts, losses, and disappointments to produce character qualities we’ll need to accomplish His plan for our lives.
- Waiting on God is an active stillness. It doesn’t mean we abruptly stop all activity and do nothing. When the Lord is bringing about a change in our lives, He wants us to continue being productive, while watching and waiting for further direction.
- Waiting on God is purposeful. We often think the Lord’s plan for our lives is on the other side of the delay, but in His eyes, the process of waiting is an essential part of His purpose. Knowing this allows us to wait with a sense of direction and expectancy.
- God knows when we’re willing to accept His answers. If we’ll listen, He will reveal the next step when we’re ready. If He delays, we must recognize that His timing is perfect, and the best doesn’t always come quickly.
We are frequently admonished in Scripture to wait on the Lord.
This is His usual procedure with us and not an unkind or unnecessary hardship. We read about this in:
- Psalm 25:1-3. God promises that we will not be disappointed or ashamed when we trust in Him.
- Psalm 37:1, 7-9, 34. The Lord tells us not to fret because He is watching over us. If we’re willing to obediently walk with Him according to His timing, He will provide everything we need. Even if we haven’t been following God’s plan for our lives, He’s willing to pick us up right where we are, forgive us for all the wasted time, and give us a fresh start.
- Psalm 40:1. God isn’t trying to keep His plan secret. When we don’t know what to do next, He hears our cries for help and shows us the way.
- Isaiah 64:4. No matter what we are facing, we can know that God always acts on behalf of those who wait for Him. Since He’s the omniscient, omnipotent, and sovereign God of the universe, He can do what no one else can, and He always works for our good.
Why does God require that we wait?
The Lord’s reasons for delaying are always for our good, in order:
- To receive His clear direction. Not knowing the future, we may sometimes become impatient, thinking we’ll lose out on something good if we don’t act now. However, what God has planned for our life already has our name on it. There’s no way we can lose anything if we follow Him. He has given us His Word and His Spirit to teach and guide us. By heeding His instruction, we are conformed to the image of Christ and empowered to walk obediently in His will and according to His schedule.
- To keep us in step with His timing. The Lord is never in a hurry. He created time and has planned everything perfectly. However, He doesn’t reveal everything to us when we want it. Even when we’ve asked according to His will, and He’s given us a confirmation in our spirits about something He wants to do in our lives, we can’t presume to know when it will happen. Sometimes He holds it back because we aren’t ready to receive it. That’s when we must trust that His ways and timing are best.
- To test our faith. We already have all the blessings that God has promised us, but sometimes He restrains them until we trust Him. He wants us to believe Him even when we can’t clearly see the details of those blessings.
- To strengthen our faith. Waiting teaches us to walk by faith, trusting God’s timing instead of giving in to immediate self-gratification.
- To sift the motives for our desires. Sometimes we pray selfishly, only to discover how foolish we were in our request. God’s delay in answering our prayers gives us time to see situations from His viewpoint.
How should we wait?
The Lord wants us to benefit from our times of waiting by responding correctly. Instead of becoming impatient, nervous, frustrated, or miserable, we should follow these biblical examples of how to wait:
- Patiently. “Rest in the Lord and wait patiently for Him” (Ps. 37:7).
- Quietly. “My soul waits in silence for God only” (Ps. 62:1).
- Trustingly. “Do not fret” (Ps. 37:7).
- Expectantly. “I would have despaired unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the Lord” (Ps. 27:13).
- Steadfastly and courageously. “Wait for the Lord; be strong and let your heart take courage” (Ps. 27:14).
- Standing on God’s Word. “I wait for the Lord . . . and in His word do I hope” (Ps. 130:5).
- How would your life change if each morning you asked God specifically to guide you into His plan for that day?
- When He delays in intervening in your life, how do you typically respond? How would understanding His purpose change your response?
- Think of your most recent experience waiting on God. What do you think He was trying to teach you?
- Are you willing to pray, “Lord, I don’t feel adequate, but I’ll obey whatever You command”? My friend, God will use you in amazing ways if you let Him.