Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Waiting Is Becoming

Do you ever feel like the person in the picture??  

The Israelite king, David, writes of Yahweh as his stronghold in Psalm 27.  When we truly trust God and obey Him, we have no reason to fear anyone or anything at any time (vv. 1-3).   BUT, to have that confidence requires a deep, abiding intimacy with Him (v. 4).  That's why he has placed within every person a natural yearning to know Him (v. 8).  It's there!!  It's always been there.  We might try to subdue it or to fill it with things other than God; but nothing will ever truly satisfy that yearning until we know Him personally and intimately. 

When we yield to Him and begin to strive after Him daily to build that intimacy, we will develop a confidence, not in ourselves, but in His power, protection, and provision.  We can recklessly abandon our lives into His hands knowing that HE will never abandon us (v. 10).  

We will grow stronger and bolder as we learn to wait on God in every situation (v. 14).  That's not something that 21st century Americans are comfortable doing.  Our culture likes the instant.  With the introduction of the microwave and thirty minute television shows, we started down a slippery slope of wanting everything NOW.  The Internet and a 24 hour news cycle have only exacerbated impatience.  The result is that far too many view waiting as inactivity.  But, it is not inactivity for the follower of Jesus.  It is submission.  It is actively listening for the voice of God.  It is praying, listening, submitting to the will and direction of God.  It is trusting Him enough that when He is silent, we are still (Psalm 46:10).  Did you know that one way to translate that verse is "Stop struggling and know that I am God."  Stop worrying, stop fighting, stop wondering.  Just stop and wait because you know that I am God.  

Rather than taking situations into our own hands, we should always seek God's counsel.  The Bible is filled with well-meaning folks who rushed ahead of God. None of them turned out well.  Abraham rushed ahead of God and the result was Ishmael.  Jacob rushed ahead of God and it cost him exile from his family and seven additional years of servitude to Laban.  Moses rushed ahead of God and it resulted in 40 years of exile.  David rushed ahead of God and it resulted in three days of deadly pestilence for his people.  

Now someone is going to say, 'God had a plan and worked it to perfection.'  There's no denying that!  But that doesn't mean that Abraham dalliance with Hagar or Jacob misleading Isaac, or Moses killing of the Egyptian was a part of God's plan.  David's decision to do a census of his military  The wonderful thing about God is that He can take what we mess up and make something good come from it.  But His desire is that we seek Him first to save ourselves some pain, disappointment, and even punishment.  

So, let's get more comfortable with waiting.  In the doctor's office or the DMV line, in the grocery line or a traffic standstill, let's seize such things as opportunities to say as Samuel did, "Speak, Lord, for your servant is listening." (I Samuel 3:10)  Always be ready to submit to God's counsel quickly and faithfully.  And remember!!  Waiting is not inactivity.  It's submission to His will, His way, in His time.  "Biblically, waiting is not just something we have to do until we get what we want. Waiting is part of the process of becoming what God wants us to be."  -- John Ortberg