It is important to put a clear and strong emphasis on the principle of waiting on God. One of the biggest issues in seeking the will of God, prayer in general, and slow spiritual growth, is not practising the discipline of waiting on God.
We need to remember that God is patient with us; it is not us who need to be patient with God! God is more concerned with the opportunities, the seriousness, and even perhaps the danger of the situation than He is with the chronology. He knows the future. We accept that rationally, but we still try to rush God. We don’t accept this fact fully in our hearts.
A very important truth that we need to take note of is that too often we view waiting on God from a human perspective. However, there is another angle: God is waiting for us! He is waiting for us to surrender our lives to Him, waiting to make us His children, waiting for us to understand His commands and promises, waiting for us to make ourselves totally available so that the Holy Spirit can work in us, and He is waiting for us to come to a full understanding of His character, His works and His ways.
God is waiting for us to come to the right place spiritually so that He can answer us and give us new assignments. He is waiting for us to understand our utter weakness and dependency – we cannot do anything without Him! Only when we realise this, will we allow Him to work in and through us. In essence, God is waiting for us so that He can reveal His will to us.
In waiting on God, our first priority is to meet with Him. Let us not seek His will before we have met with Him. In meeting with Him, we are equipped and strengthened to do His will. As we wait on God, we must use the time to get to know Him better. In the waiting time, open your heart so that God, through the Holy Spirit, can teach you new and important truths that you will need for the next stage of your life. Times of waiting should be times of strengthening your faith, providing you do not become rebellious. God is not unaware of your predicament, troubles, needs, opportunities and desires.
Waiting on God is not a passive act. You are not simply waiting for the time to pass. It is an active waiting, filled with prayer, reading the Word, listening, discerning, evaluating, deep inner cleansing from sin and deep surrender to the King of kings.
For every new task, we need a new measure of faith, a fresh infilling of the Holy Spirit. For this to happen, God needs to bring us into a deeper walk with Him, and a deeper understanding of the Scriptures. This takes time. It takes time to mature. Waiting on God is like seasonal trees: Trees bear fruit in summer and look as if they have died in winter, but during the ‘waiting’ of winter, before the fruitful summer, the tree is actively growing, restoring and renewing itself and preparing itself for the summer. Unless the tree does this, it will not have the energy and resources needed to bring forth the fruit of summer.
In times of waiting on God, worship and praise will lead you to a place of peace, trust and contentment. As you wait on God, quieten your heart, silence it before God, enjoy His presence. His presence is much more important than His will. His will flows from your relationship with Him, from abiding in His presence. It is in times when there is no wind in the sails that God makes you willing to do His will. It delivers you from the sickness of hurriedness.
Someone once said, “God often takes a long time to work suddenly!” Isaiah 60:22: At the right time I, the LORD, will make it happen quickly. It is in the waiting that God prepares you for what lies ahead. He is also preparing others who will be with you in the situation, and He prepares the situation itself.
If you do not wait until God comes, until He reveals Himself to you, reveals His will, empowers you and shows you the way, you will face the situation in your own power and wisdom.
In the time of waiting, God also heals relationships or helps you to distance yourself from harmful relationships that will hinder His purposes. There might be things, like having a critical attitude, unforgiveness, bitterness, anger, greed, jealousy, envy, self-pity and different forms of broken interpersonal relationships that He must deal with first.
It is also in the time of waiting that God prepares you for new spiritual battles – and be sure these battles will come! In times of waiting, God shows you the things you need to be aware of. Sometimes, a spiritual battle will take place first before God reveals His will or gives you His guidance.
God often needs to help us. He comes to us in times of disorientation and confusion, in times when we face the unknown and discomfort. It is then that we need to wait for God to bring order and direction. Sometimes, God comes, but we do not recognise it is Him because we have specific preconceived views regarding the outcome. God often has to let us wait even longer because, in our hearts, we want God to confirm and approve our will to be done, not His.
God often comes with a “No” reply. Sometimes, He comes softly – there will be angels, healings, miracles, wonders, soft wind, bursts of His glory and mountaintop experiences. Other times, He comes in earthquakes, fires, storms and terrifying acts, but it is the same God.
On some occasions, He will come and give you assignments, a command to enter into a war or to rise up against injustice. Some, He will lay aside for a time, and draw you into the shadows and give you hidden assignments, or simply assign you to Himself. Often, when He comes after a time of waiting, He will say, “Do not move. Stay where you are.” Waiting on God will not always lead to ‘new’ things, ‘new’ activities or a ‘new’ season.
Many times, God has to get us out of the way first, so that He can do His will and His work! It is not our responsibility to do all that needs to be done. The apostle Paul said, “I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave growth.”. (1 Corinthians 3:6). Thus, God may let us wait until the growth, for which He is responsible, is completed.
Article taken from “Knowing the will of God” by Bennie Mostert