In His Name
What does it mean to "wait upon the Lord?" We are told to "be still" and "know that I am [He is] God," [Psalm 46:10 NKJV] and to "Be still in the presence of the Lord, and wait patiently for [H]im to act" [Psalm 37:7 NLT]. But what does all that really mean?
I'VE GOT PLACES TO GO...
Many times when we pray to God we add in a silent "and if You would take care of that by next Wednesday that'd be great!" As "next Wednesday" approaches we keep prodding God along. When it becomes next Thursday we start to panic; by next Saturday we become convinced God is not working on the issue at hand and try to figure out ways to accomplish our desire in our own way.
This is probably one of the biggest mistakes we can make in our lives. We ask God to handle some problem or fill some need, then in an act of extreme hubris we snatch it back from His hands. Once we give it to God our job becomes to wait, watch and listen for when God gives you the signal to act. We MUST remember our thoughts and ways are far, far beneath our Lord's [Isaiah 55:8-9 NKJV]
TRUST IS A TRICKY THING
As a Christian when we talk about trust or faith in God it means we hand it over to God and wait it out. It's a deeper meaning even than a trust in our spouse or best friend. They may forget or fail but God will NOT. Not ever.
Consider something that is covered in just a relatively few words in the Bible:
1 Kings 17:3 & 7 (NKJV)
3 “Get away from here and turn eastward, and hide by the Brook Cherith, which flows into the Jordan.
7 And it happened after a while that the brook dried up, because there had been no rain in the land.
Sounds fairly simple, doesn't it. Elijah went to sit by a nice babbling brook to satisfy his thirst while ravens brought him his food (v. 6) and some time later move along when the brook dries up.
But consider, and I mean REALLY consider, the brook or stream (depending which version of the Bible you read) was a tributary to the Jordan River and dried up because "there had been no rain in the land." The drying of the brook is a slow process.
WATCHING DEATH APPROACH
OK, the heading there is a little bit of hyperbole. But not by a whole lot. Every morning when the ravens brought him breakfast Elijah watched his water source diminish by inches. A person can live months without food, but just a few days without water. On top of which, as the water changed into a dry creek-bed the water would have turned brackish at some point.
This had to have been a source of growing concern to Elijah. Watching his most precious resource slowly fade away. It can be very reasonably assumed Elijah had a certain level of anxiety about what God had in mind.
While it may feel like God has forgotten about you or has dismissed your need out of hand we must remind ourselves that God will NEVER leave nor forsake us [Deuteronomy 31:8 NKJV, Hebrews 13:5 NLT]. It's when we interfere and change our circumstances ourselves that things go awry.
I have personally experienced it too many times in my own life to doubt it. As long as I leave it to praying and listening for His answer it has always worked out. Always. By "listening" for His answer it means actively searching for how He is sending me the answer. The answer can come in many forms, like:
- A classified ad
- A TV commercial
- A Facebook post
- An offhanded comment from a friend
If we stay still and prayerfully listen for the answer God will faithfully deliver it. But we also have to use our discernment to make sure the answer is from God and not just us WANTING it to be the answer because we're tired of waiting. Also, to make sure it's not the Enemy trying to trick us. Satan, the Deceiver, will wrap his lie in the most decorative paper and shiny bows. But it is a trap, and one that will drag you just a little further away from God's plan for your life.