Waiting For God
Can be frustratingWaiting for God to deliver the things that you want and have ordered from him can be very frustrating if you haven’t received them. You feel like a hungry customer in a restaurant waiting for your waitress to bring you the food that you have ordered. You’re sure that what you have ordered will be good for you. You believe that God loves you and wants to provide you with what is good. You have placed your order with God through prayer, even reminding him several times that you are waiting for its delivery at a close place where you can receive and consume it with some joy and satisfaction. But it doesn’t seem to be coming and all that you have on your table is a glass of water and some clean utensils (or some religious items like a Bible and a cross). You are ready to receive what you have ordered from God, believing that it will be good for you, but you are frustrated because it isn’t being delivered and you are waiting for God.
Wondering what is causing the delayWhy isn’t God delivering what I have trusted him to provide for me? Has he forgotten about me and my request? Is there something wrong with my order and the way it was submitted? Is there something really wrong with what I have requested from God? If so, what is it? When am I going to get a clear report from God regarding the status of my order? These are some of the questions that are going through your mind as you are waiting for God to deliver what you have requested from him. You are still trusting him to provide you with what is good, but you are wondering what is causing the delay in its delivery.
Possible reasons why you are waiting for GodGod may recognize in his wise and loving knowledge of you that you are not quite ready to receive and to well consume and to use in your personal life what you have ordered. What you have ordered may be too rich and glorious for the current condition of your life to effectively accept it. Or some of what you have ordered may just not be good for you, and you may not yet realize that. In either case you should understand that God has a good reason for requiring your waiting for him to deliver what you have ordered.
What to do while you are waiting for GodThe best thing that you can do while you are waiting for God to deliver what you have ordered is to give your attention and energy to making sure that you are ready to receive and to use what God in his wise and loving Spirit has prepared for you and is ready to deliver to you when you are ready to accept it. By forcing you to wait for the delivery of your order, God is sending you away from your table of consumption to your place of exercise and discipline where you can prepare your heart and spiritual muscles to receive the divine nourishing elements that God wants to deliver to you. You need to strengthen some spiritual muscles in your life through some spiritual exercise like the focused study of his word and personal times of meditative prayer. You need to get rid of some excess spiritual fat that has been caused by the indulgence of your selfish passions in your daily life. You need to focus your mind and your willful choices in your daily activities on “the things of the Spirit” (Romans 8:5) and not on what you want for your selfish pleasures and comforts. You need to get into a state of spiritual strength and health while you are waiting for God before he will deliver what he knows is ultimately good for you. When you have done this, you can revise your order so that it conforms to God wise plan for your life and then your waiting for God will soon be rewarded by the delivery of his good food for your physical and spiritual body. Waiting for God is a process of spiritual training in which there are times for spiritual discipline and uncomfortable physical and spiritual restrictions of selfish desires in order to allow the Spirit of God to do his work of transforming righteousness into making you into a new person in Jesus.
Kind David, who lived a life of great blessings and challenging struggles with his selfish desires and the pressures of his rule over the children of God in the nation of Israel, had several wise statements of instruction for those of us who are waiting for God. He said, “Wait for the LORD; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the LORD!” (Psalm 27:14). In a subsequent psalm, he declares these words of testimony: “Our soul waits for the LORD; he is our shield. For our heart is glad in him, because we trust in his holy name. Let your steadfast love, O LORD, be upon us, even as we hope in you (Ps. 33:20-23). Personally he said, “I wait for the LORD, my soul waits, and in his word I hope (Ps. 130:5). Paul in his great letter of faithful doctrine and encouraging words of instruction to the Christians in Rome had this to say about their common discomfort as they wait for a very desired blessing from God: “we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies. For in this hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what he sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience” (Romans 8:23-25). So God is waiting for us to get ready to receive what in his wise and loving plan will be better for you and me than what we have probably ordered. And such a process of waiting for God can really be good for us.
Scripture quotations are from the ESV Study Bible English Standard Version (ESV&174), copyright © 2008 by Crossway. Used by permission. All rights reserved.