Over the course of the last year I have learned a lot about patience and trusting that God has a perfect plan for my life. Having surrendered my will to the Lord Jesus Christ several months before in March 2009, I found myself in a confusing situation where I did not know what I should do, where I should go, and how I would get there. I was wrestling with what it meant to step out on faith and whether I needed to get off the boat or wait for God to come to me.
After meeting with one of our pastors some time in late 2009, he said something to me that really stuck and has since proved to be a very wise piece of godly advice,
"Don't you move until it's so obvious it's at your door step."
What he meant was, as I am waiting for direction in my life, making hasty decisions is not the plan God has for us. Misinterpreting our subjective feelings or perceptions of what seems to be the best course of action can lead us down a road of disappointment, or worse, outside the will of God for our lives. At the time, I was becoming detached from my current job and wanted to explore options in some sort of ministry or going to seminary, but nothing was glaring in my face as to what I should do. Instead, I was in a place where I wanted to do "something", but I was confused as to whether it was the Holy Spirit urging me or was it "me" talking. So what my pastor was telling me was to wait - wait on God.
And that is what I have been doing. A Scripture I latched onto shortly after this meeting was Psalm 27:14,
"Wait on the LORD;
Be of good courage,
And He shall strengthen your heart;
Wait, I say, on the LORD!"
What we see in this passage is when our enemies are close and when our trials are great, we should take refuge in our Lord as He will strengthen our hearts and see us through in His perfect timing. It's so important to wait on Him that he emphasizes this with a second declaration to wait on the Lord. We must wait on Him to move, and move He will.
Many of us may find ourselves in such a crossroads as we seek the Lord's will for our lives. As for me, the desire of my heart is to serve Him full-time in some capacity (job-wise), and I pray that He will fulfill this desire if it's according to His will. But until then, I must wait.
A dear brother of mine shared his study in Numbers 9:15-23 with me this past weekend. He is also in a transitional period waiting on what the Lord has in store for him. What spoke to him and as a result spoke to me, is that we must wait and move at the Lord's command. Sometimes the Israelites waited days or a month or a year before they set out on their journey again. But it was only when they were clearly directed by God to move did they continue on their way.
We have to be patient on the Lord. We must wait for Him to reveal His perfect plan for us, but that doesn't mean we sit in idleness. While we are waiting, we must diligently seek Him and press on towards the goal.
God's clearly revealed will for all of us is found in Scripture. We are called to pursue holiness and to be transformed by the renewing of our minds so that we can know His good, acceptable, and perfect will (Romans 12:1-2). So how do we do that? By studying His Word and yielding ourselves to righteousness.
Submitting ourselves to the application of Scripture is to be conformed to the Word of God - Jesus Christ. God works by His Spirit and through the teaching of His perfect compass in the Bible to draw us to Himself. Mark Cahill says the B.I.B.L.E. is our Basic Information Before Leaving Earth. In other words, the Bible is our guide to becoming more like Christ, which will culminate when we are glorified at the resurrection (2 Corinthians 3:18; 1 Corinthians 15:53; Philippians 3:20-21). We must continue to pursue His holiness, we must continue to grow in discipline, we must continue to love and serve others, and we must strive to love God with all of our minds, souls, hearts, and strength.
While we wait on His return and while we wait for direction in life, we must continue about the Father's business where He has us now. It may be years before His plan is revealed to us. So in this we must trust Him. It is so important to grasp the fact that He is in total control. He is sovereign over all things and everything happens for the good of those who love Him, to those who have been called according to His purpose (Romans 8:28). After all, our life here is not about us, it is strictly about God and His glory. In fact, everything God does is for His glory alone, so we must trust that no matter what happens in our lives, He will be glorified. We find in the often quoted passage of Proverbs 3:5-6,
"Trust in the LORD with all your heart,
And lean not on your own understanding;
6 In all your ways acknowledge Him,
And He shall direct your paths."
He will direct our paths if we are submitted to His will, and we must trust Him with all our hearts despite what we might think of a certain situation. We don't need to "make something happen" - God doesn't need our help. All we need to do is trust that He will accomplish what He has prepared for us to do from the foundations of the world (Ephesians 2:10). The Lord wants us to be completely dependent on Him and trust that we are exactly where He wants us to be. And when He is ready to move us forward, He will.
As I have continued along this journey over the last year, God has done some incredible things in my life. He has helped me understand the virtue of patience and has entrusted me with various responsibilities. I am learning that He gives us a little bit of responsibility at a time as He molds us for our future service, just as the potter molds the clay pot for its future use.
I can see the work He has done in me and the doors that are opening, even if slightly. I am now understanding that what He has me doing now is only preparing me for what lies ahead. Who knows, you may find me writing about the same thing in a few years while I'm still waiting on His direction; but thankfully He has given me the knowledge and peace that He is in control and no matter where I am, I will be there because He has appointed me to be there.
So if you are waiting on God to reveal His plan for you or perhaps you're going through a trial now, make sure you remain in hot pursuit of Him in every area of your life and trust Him every step of the way. Be content in knowing it is no longer your life, but His, and He will see to it that His perfect will is accomplished in a faithful servant.
I found the following passage from Psalm 37:3-7 to be a most appropriate conclusion for this posting. May we not act with haste, rather we should wait patiently for Him in all things.
"Trust in the LORD, and do good;
Dwell in the land, and feed on His faithfulness.
4 Delight yourself also in the LORD,
And He shall give you the desires of your heart.
5 Commit your way to the LORD,
Trust also in Him,
And He shall bring it to pass.
6 He shall bring forth your righteousness as the light,
And your justice as the noonday.