The last couple of days, I have focused on Proverbs, but I need to divert our attention to something else. You see, at church last Sunday the topic of discussion seemed to revolve around our need to “wait for the Lord,” and how much we hate that reality. All of us desire to have our prayers answered immediately, and the “cries of our heart,” healed instantly, don’t we?
I know I do! But I have walked with the Lord, have been in ministry and have been actively praying for people long enough to realize that “instant” healing and answers to our prayers is not the norm. Now don’t get me wrong, I know instant healing does occur. I have experienced them, witnessed them and have heard the testimony of many who received instant answers to their prayers. But they are the exception, and not the rule.
As a matter of fact, in hindsight, when instant and miraculous things did happen in my own life, they were in the early days of my faith. And, I will be honest, that is what I needed. However, as I have grown and matured in my relationship with my Lord, I learned that I must wait and anticipate the answer. Is that true for everyone? I don’t know. But it shouldn’t surprise any of us. Because, growing and learning is an ongoing part of life — and certainly of our faith. We should never stop learning. Even most professional occupations have to earn, “Continuing Education” credits, don’t they?
This is true for all of the vital spiritual lessons we need to learn. They never end. And I believe they will continue on into Eternity. I hate to think that I will never grow and increase in knowledge and understanding once there, because Eternity is an awfully long time to go without it! However, the Truths that our Father teaches us now, are invaluable and practical because they concern our character development,the choices we make and the lifestyle we pursue. And their value reach way beyond our Earthly life, all the way into eternity!
But I will be honest, one of the most difficult lessons we need to learn in this life, is waiting. Or more specifically, waiting on our Lord to act and to move! I don’t know what you are facing in your life, right now. Maybe you are facing a critical decision and have no idea which way to go. Or maybe you are praying for a specific healing, but it seems as though the Lord is not responding. Then again, maybe you are praying for a new job, because the one you have is “driving you crazy.” I know of some who are, after many years, still unemployed, are becoming very depressed about it. Whatever the situation, it is wearing you down because there is no end in sight.
These are the times where the only thing we want is instant relief or immediate direction. But, that is not the way our Father works. As Tozer taught,
“Instant Christianity tends to make the faith act deadly and smothers the desire for spiritual advance. It fails to understand the true nature of the Christian life, which is not static but dynamic and expanding. It overlooks the fact that a new Christian is a living organism as certainly as a new baby is, and must have nourishment and exercise to assure normal growth.
“It does not consider the act of faith in Christ sets up a personal relationship between two intelligent moral beings, God and the reconciled man, and no single encounter between God and a creature made in His image could ever be sufficient to establish an intimate friendship between them. By trying to pack all of salvation into one experience, or two, flaunts the law of development which runs through all nature. It ignores the sanctifying effects of suffering, and practical obedience. They pass by the need for spiritual training, the necessity of forming right spiritual habits and the need to grapple against the world, the devil, and the flesh.
The Psalmist wrote,
Wait and hope for and expect the Lord; be brave and of good courage and let your heart be stout and enduring. Yes, wait for and hope for and expect the Lord (Psalm 27:14)
“Waiting for the Lord” means that we remain in our present circumstances or situation until He gives us further instructions — expectantly and filled with hope and anticipation — which is far from sitting by passively, reserved to “put-up” with our current needs. This Psalm is calling us to an active choice to be at rest, trusting in our Father and His timing. It is not a cessation of daily activities, or even our prayers. But it is an internal stillness of spirit that accompanies you throughout your day!
Let me talk about that a moment. If we have made an active choice to be at rest, then waiting is not a concern. We know what the outcome will be, regardless of how long it takes. Hebrews 12:2 tells us that Jesus “saw the joy ahead of him, so he endured death on the cross and ignored the disgrace it brought him.” If you already know what joy you will receive, waiting is easy.
And, praying is easy. You are speaking to the One who will bring forth that joy in its time, so we can wait with Him, as well as waiting for Him! Can you understand that? Go ahead, don’t stop praying! The Psalmist understood this:
I waited patiently and expectantly for Yahweh.
He turned to me and heard my cry for help (Psalms 40:1)
O Yahweh Elohim, my savior,
I cry out to you during the day and at night (Psalms 88:1)
I will call on him as long as I live
because he turns his ear toward me (Psalm 116:2)
Even Paul understood this when he wrote, “Never stop praying” (1 Thessalonians 5:17). Although, you might find that you prayers may change. Instead of asking Him to heal you or deliver you, you will find that you are thanking Him for healing or delivering you! Even though you don’t see any physical signs of it! Interesting thought, isn’t it? This is “naming and claiming,” it is proclaiming what you already know is true!
(I send out messages like this each morning in emails, and if you are interested in receiving them, send me your email address and I will add you to the list: Mail List)
If you enjoy these messages, please consider becoming a contributing member of this tour group. It will be very much appreciated.