Waiting on the Lord is not wasting time

When you don’t know what to do, or you are not able do what you think you should do, the right thing to do is wait on the Lord. This isn’t wasting time. This is letting the Lord lead in your life.

Examples of waiting on the Lord with good outcomes

  • Joseph was sold into slavery in Egypt by his brothers and then spent at least 2 years in prison on false charges. This was not wasting time. Joseph realized it was God who sent him there. (Genesis 39-45)
  • Moses spent 40 years tending sheep in the wilderness. During this time, he was waiting on the Lord and didn’t even know it. This was not wasting time. (Exodus 3)

Always do these things while waiting

  • Pray for wisdom and understanding — this is first because Solomon said it was the the most important thing (Proverbs)  James said God would give wisdom to anyone who asks. (James 1:5)
  • Pray for knowledge of God’s will — this is next because anything done against the will of God will fail. Join the Apostle Paul in praying to be filled with “the knowledge of His will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding” (Colossians 1:9)
  • Pray to be strengthened with all his glorious power so you will have all the endurance and patience you need — because God has promised to reveal his will to people who seek it, so you need to be ready when the time comes. (Romans 12)

Examples of going ahead of the Lord with disastrous outcomes

  • After the successful battle against Jericho, the children of Israel attack Ai without consulting the Lord, which results in a disastrous defeat (Joshua 7)
  • Desiring to bring the Ark of the Covenant home to Jerusalem, David transports it in a cart without consulting the Lord, which results in disaster (1 Chronicles 13)
  • Jonah runs from the Lord instead of obeying the voice of the Lord with disastrous consequences (Jonah)

Don’t ever do these things instead of waiting

  • Fight the Lord — so obvious, yet strangely, I often hear of people that struggled with the Lord all night long in prayer. Seriously!? Do you really think that’s a good idea? Maybe, what really happened is the Lord struggled with you all night long. Consider Jacob wrestling with God. (Genesis 32:22)
  • Lead the Lord — most prayers seem to be telling God what to do. Come! Go! Do! Bless! Fix! Seriously!? Before you’re tempted to do this, consider Jesus Christ’s prayer to God the Father (Matthew 26:36-46)
  • Teach the Lord — much more subtle. It’s not fighting the Lord. It’s not leading the Lord. It’s just helping him to understand the situation from your perspective. Seriously!? He knows the hairs on your head, he knows every sparrow that falls, he calls the stars by name. Is anything about your situation that he doesn’t know? (Isaiah 40)

Remember, God is not in the mighty windstorm, the powerful earthquake, or the blazing fire, but he is in the sound of a gentle whisper

“Go out and stand before me on the mountain,” the LORD told him. And as Elijah stood there, the LORD passed by, and a mighty windstorm hit the mountain. It was such a terrible blast that the rocks were torn loose, but the LORD was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the LORD was not in the earthquake. And after the earthquake there was a fire, but the LORD was not in the fire. And after the fire there was the sound of a gentle whisper. When Elijah heard it, he wrapped his face in his cloak and went out and stood at the entrance of the cave. (1 Kings 19:11-13)

I pray that you will be ready to hear the gentle whisper of the Lord leading you.

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