Power of Waiting
by Peter M Bens
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One of the important issues of the Bible is the call to “wait on the Lord.” Even though God promises a lot of blessing for waiting, waiting is one of the most difficult experiences in life. Why is it so hard? Because, human being we are eager to know the outcome or the benefits as soon as possible. God told the first family not to eat a certain tree. What was the result? They could not wait. The fall of humanity, most of us we fail to get to the promises of God due to lack of obedience to wait upon the Lord. We are so prone to take mat-ters into our own hands, to follow our own desires. Yet, over and over again we are told to “wait on the Lord.”
We don’t like to wait and when we think of waiting we are quick to respond with gust, “Wait? Waiting on the Lord is the most complicated and tiresome scenarios in ones life. I have done a lot of homework concerning waiting upon the LORD. My conclusion is simple “Just wait till He comes” most of times we are driven by our own opinions and forget to wait. Always there are two paths, one from God and the other from yourself. People can destroy your life once you allow them to. Listening the people’s opinion can mess you up. Your friends will play around with your mind. They will affect your will-power to wait upon the Lord. As you wait the Lord you should never allow any one to distract you from listening the guidance of the Lord. We fail whenever we allow our own close people to advice us. Many will always tell you, “God has taken too long why can’t you try this?” Abraham was a victim of this. Sarah told him to take agar to fulfill what God had promised him. The rest you know what happened.
Some people are always in a hurry about things. If they want to do something or to have something, they cannot wait; they must do it or have it at once. When they are compelled to wait, the time seems very long and their impa-tience grows with every delay. They cannot quietly and patiently wait for any-thing.
Such persons bring this same characteristic into their spiritual lives. When they pray, they want an immediate answer--they want God to hurry up. If the answer is delayed, they get all worked up about it. Sometimes they murmur against the Lord and feel very bad, like spoiled children. Sometimes they pray a few times for what they desire, and if the answer does not come they con-clude that God does not mean to answer them; so they give up seeking for it and sometimes question God's faithfulness. If they see something that needs doing or something that is not going to please them, it must be remedied im-mediately; if it is not, they are much displeased. They cannot wait for a propi-tious time or till things have worked out so that they can be properly handled. Their motto seems to be, "Do it now." That is all very well for some things, but quite frequently it is necessary to patiently wait on the Lord and upon others. We cannot hurry the Lord; all time is his He works according to his own purposes and will, according to his own wisdom and plans. We cannot choose for him; we must be willing for him to choose for us. It must be his to say both as to "when" and "how." Ours is to wait and trust his to choose and do.
A certain preacher told us the following account, and I feel obliged to share it with you. He started like this; “When I was lying on my bed of affliction and praying earnestly for God to restore my health, he brought to my mind this story and applied its lesson to my soul. It was such help to me that I will give it to you also. I had been much troubled because I was not healed. I would pray very earnestly with a longing that seemed to draw out all my soul. Oth-ers would pray also, but there was not answer from God. Disappointment and discouragement seemed to shut me in with walls of darkness. A feeling of helplessness and almost of utter hopelessness came over me. I was in this condition when God brought to my memory this long-forgotten story and ap-plied it to my heart with a peculiar emphasis that made it a direct message from him to my soul. This is the story: The king of a certain country was growing old, and he had no son to succeed him. He announced to his people that he would choose and heir to the throne from among the young men of the country by a competitive test, which would give all an equal chance. On the day appointed, a great number of young men presented themselves. A cer-tain test was made, and some failed while others passed. Then other tests came, and each time some were rejected till at last only three were left.
They were put through test after test, but all seemed equally able to meet them, so the king announced through his heralds that on the next day the mat-ter would be decided by a foot race. The course was marked off, the judges were at their places, and all was ready. Just at this time a man came up to each of the contestants and said secretly to him, "The king is taking special note of you. Do not run when the signal is given until the king gives you a special signal." The three took their places eager for the race. The signal was given, one bounded forward quickly, then hesitated and stopped; then another sprang forward after him, upon which the first started forward again and they ran for the goal with all speed. The third stood looking anxiously at the king and at the two runners; murmuring to himself, "I can make it yet, I can make it yet." The king gazed at the runners and gave no heed to the one still stand-ing. The waiting man thought himself forgotten and soon realized that it would be impossible for him to win the race. He felt that all was lost for him.
The two runners ran on at top speed, reaching the goal together. They were brought back, and all three stood before the king. To the first he said, "Were you not told not to run until I gave you the signal? Why then did you run?"
"I forgot," said the man.
Of the second he asked the same question. His reply was, "I thought it would be but a moment till you would give the signal, and seeing the other running I ran also."
To the third he said, "And why did not you run?" "Because you did not give me the signal, sir," he answered. "My son," said the king, "I knew that you could run, but I did not know that you could wait."
So the young man found that the test was not a test of doing but of waiting. And thus the Lord said to me that day, "I knew that you could run, I knew that you would work with all your strength; but can you wait on me?" These words have been repeated over and over in my heart during the long years. It was a hard lesson to learn, and many times I have grown weary, many times I have longed for the end of the waiting; but that lesson has helped me to bear and to wait and to be patient in the waiting. Sometimes it has seemed that the Lord had forgotten. Many times I have had to say to my heart, "Be patient and wait." This is the hardest lesson that many of us ever have to learn, but learn it we must if God's will and his plan are to be fulfilled in our lives.
There are some things for which we do not need to wait, but for which we need to press our petitions with earnestness and diligence and with an out-reaching grasp of faith for a "now" answer--for example, the supplying of a soul-need, such as forgiveness or sanctification, or physical or other help where the need is urgent. Sometimes people think that it is not the lord's time to save or sanctify them or to give them something else that is needed at once, when the trouble is they do no get in earnest enough or do not exercise faith as they might. God's time for necessary things, and especially for salvation work, is now; and if we do not receive when we seek, we may look for the fault in ourselves or in our manner of seeking. Waiting on the Lord is not needful in this class of things and it will only hinder receiving. There are, however, many other things for which we may not know God's time and in the case of which growing impatient and trying to force matters will grieve God and hinder us. Unfulfilled desire patiently and submissively met is often a powerful factor in character-building.
Have you prayed for things, yearned for them, reached out after them, and yet your prayer is not yet answered? Have you been tempted to believe, that it was of no use, to seek for them? If, you are not seeking selfishly, or if God has not denied you, do not lose faith. God has said, "Ask, and ye shall re-ceive;" and again he says, "They shall not be ashamed that wait for me" (Isa. 49:23). God is faithful. He knows what is best. As a loving Father he watches over you. His ear is open to your cry. We are told to "rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for him." Do not grow impatient, do not become wrought up, but while you must wait on the Lord, rest in him. Jeremiah tells us how to wait for God to deliver--"It is good that a man should both hope and quietly wait for the salvation of the Lord" (Lam, 3:26). Think of that expression, "Hope and quietly wait." Do not these words mean confidence and soul-rest? Do they not mean assurance and trust? They do not mean, however, that we should be careless. They imply activity of faith and desire, but they shut out fear and unbelief. The Psalmist says, "Wait on the Lord: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart." (Psa. 27:14). Keep up your courage while you wait, do not grow despondent, be strong in faith; God will not fail.
Again, we are exhorted to "wait on the Lord, and keep his way" (Psa. 37:34). If wrongs are not righted, if persecutions continue, if like Paul, we have a "thorn in the flesh" and our desires are not granted, let us do what this text tells us--let us "keep His way." Let us serve the Lord just as truly as though conditions were ideal and all our desires satisfied. Let us show our fidelity to God, by being true whether circumstances are favorable or unfavorable. God promised Abraham the land of Canaan, but he went up and down in it for many years as a stranger. His posterity went into Egypt and there, under the lash of the taskmaster, they waited, waited, waited. Did not they have God's promise? Had he not said that that goodly land should be theirs? Why did he wait so long? Was this the way that he fulfilled his promises? Had he forgot-ten them? Did their cries to him fall on deaf ears? Their waiting was not easy. It was long and oh, how wearisome! Why did God wait so long, was there any adequate reason? Yes, when God waits there is always a good reason for the waiting. His acts are not arbitrary; he does not act according to caprice; he acts wisely and when it is best. He tells us why he delayed in this case; it was because the sins of the Canaanites had not yet come to the full. When they reached that point, the Lord fulfilled his promise and led the children of Israel out of their bondage into the goodly land.
Have you learned this lesson of waiting upon the Lord? Can you commit your ways to him and feel that if desire is still unsatisfied, if obstacles are not yet removed, if trials yet bear upon you, the Father-love is not growing cold, nor his hearing dull, nor has he forgotten? In the proper time and way the answer will be sure, and because of the delay the answer will be fuller and will enrich you more than if it had come when first you asked. Wait patiently on the Lord, trust also in him, be not weary in well-doing, and out of your waiting will come strength, and out of your sorrow will come rejoicing, and out of the bitterness will come sweetness, and at the end of the way you will find a crown and life everlasting.
Waiting is a very risk undertaking, you do some thing thinking you are saving the situation but you end up messing every thing like the three guys, they were being tested on patience. Saul had the same problem. We all fall under the same category. Let the account of this young people teach us. Saul had some instruction from Samuel; he felt Samuel had delayed so much. (1Samuel 13:1-14)
 Saul reigned one year; and when he had reigned two years over Israel,
 Saul chose him three thousand men of Israel; whereof two thousand were with Saul in Michmash and in mount Bethel, and a thousand were with Jona-than in Gibeah of Benjamin: and the rest of the people he sent every man to his tent.
 And Jonathan smote the garrison of the Philistines that was in Geba, and the Philistines heard of it. And Saul blew the trumpet throughout all the land, saying, Let the Hebrews hear.
 And all Israel heard say that Saul had smitten a garrison of the Philis-tines, and that Israel also was had in abomination with the Philistines. And the people were called together after Saul to Gilgal.
 And the Philistines gathered themselves together to fight with Israel, thirty thousand chariots, and six thousand horsemen, and people as the sand which is on the sea shore in multitude: and they came up, and pitched in Michmash, eastward from Beth-aven.
 When the men of Israel saw that they were in a strait, (for the people were distressed,) then the people did hide themselves in caves, and in thick-ets, and in rocks, and in high places, and in pits.
 And some of the Hebrews went over Jordan to the land of Gad and Gilead. As for Saul, he was yet in Gilgal, and all the people followed him trembling.
 And he tarried seven days, according to the set time that Samuel had ap-pointed: but Samuel came not to Gilgal; and the people were scattered from him.
 And Saul said, Bring hither a burnt offering to me, and peace offerings. And he offered the burnt offering.
 And it came to pass, that as soon as he had made an end of offering the burnt offering, behold, Samuel came; and Saul went out to meet him, that he might salute him.
 And Samuel said, What hast thou done? And Saul said, Because I saw that the people were scattered from me, and that thou camest not within the days appointed, and that the Philistines gathered themselves together at Michmash;
 Therefore said I, The Philistines will come down now upon me to Gil-gal, and I have not made supplication unto the LORD: I forced myself there-fore, and offered a burnt offering.
 And Samuel said to Saul, Thou hast done foolishly: thou hast not kept the commandment of the LORD thy God, which he commanded thee: for now would the LORD have established thy kingdom upon Israel for ever.
 But now thy kingdom shall not continue: the LORD hath sought him a man after his own heart, and the LORD hath commanded him to be captain over his people, because thou hast not kept that which the LORD com-manded thee.
There is a phenomenon in waiting upon the Lord. Before the Lord comes the situation will always be so tempting. Times will tend to be very harsh for you, you are waiting the Lord to heal you, as the miracle for healing is about to come that is the time you will be smelling death, I have come to know that when the going gets tough, the tough gets going. Waiting for your break-through, your Mr. / miss right, to bring back to life your dead relationship, and any situation you might be waiting God to do. It isn’t easy to wait. Thrill-ing, turbulent, perilous moments will pass then the Lord will appear. Holding on the power of waiting will see you get the promise.
The Saul’s incidence expresses our normal dislike for waiting, especially in our “I want it now!” society. Ours is a society that has grown accustomed to imme¬diate fulfillment. Due to mod¬ern tech¬nology.—tele¬phones, microwaves, fast foods, airplanes etc how many of you would like to travel by ship except for leisure? No body, all of us prefer airplane to reach just in a minutes but not days, months etc.—we have many things immedi¬ately at our fingertips. “You are hungry? Wait a minute- microwave –full? Ok. That is the kind of life we love to live.
When we think of wait¬ing, what comes to mind? A doc¬tor’s waiting room, the line at the supermarket, or being stuck in rush hour traffic or even an ur-gent order to deliver. The facts are, most of us are wait¬ing for some¬thing most of the time: waiting is part and parcel of our lives. We must learn to wait.
Maybe you are in a financial situ¬a¬tion that’s really tough to endure and you are wait¬ing and hoping that conditions will change.
Maybe you are with¬out a job and wait¬ing for news on an applica¬tion you made the other day. I have been a victim of a joblessness, its one of the toughest times to endure. For more that nine years I waited upon the Lord for a job, finally I got one and I am happy.
The fact is, in spite our dislike for waiting, life is full of wait¬ing. And one of the most chal¬leng¬ing word from the Lord is “Wait.” But wait¬ing, de¬spite our impa¬tience and our dislike for it, is a fundamental ele¬ment in our life. Indeed, waiting has a num¬ber of bene¬fits that we will discuss in this book.
We be¬come restless, fearful, frus¬trat¬ed, anx¬ious, and even angry whenever God tells us to wait.. However, there are so much good things in waiting, and since it has some wonderful bene¬fits, we need to know what it means to wait and how that is to be done.
How to wait upon the Lord,
Waiting expectantly on the Lord is like a woman waiting for her new born, watchman waiting for the morning , a worker waiting for his salary etc they all have the confidence that whatever they expect will come.. The night guards watch the passage of time in anticipation of the coming dawn when they would be released from duty; pregnant mothers wait patiently for nine months without complaining as well. The coming of the next morning is cer-tain, but not without several hours of wait. We must understand and accept the fact that waiting on the Lord always involves the passage of time. Waiting on the Lord inevitably means enduring the passage of time and letting God to take His pace. The bible says God is never late.
You can’t expect
that which you don’t know.
You must have the clear knowledge of what and why you are waiting, Abra-ham waited to the end because the new that for sure he needed a baby. He eagerly waited for Isaac who God had promised. Despite long time of wait and behaving more like me and you that, we simply won’t wait without taking matters into our own hands; he got his long awaited son Isaac.
The bible talks about the watchman waiting for the morning. Why? He knows that morning comes for him to be relieved of duty. He expects with all his heart to see the sun rise. A watchman knows that the dawn is the darkest hour of the night. This teaches us that as we wait, situations will be tougher as we get about the miracle. Many of us we have lost our miracles at the last minute due to quit. Devil will be very active to convince you that it has taken too long, God has forgotten you, you have sinned and so on until you get rid of waiting. Take heart, learn to know what your are waiting. Put all your trust and hope in the Lord and tell the devil to leave you for you know that your God will never lie and you know He is reliable God. Psalmist waits for the Lord even more because he knows the Lord is more reli¬able than the rising of the sun. In other words, waiting is basically knowing, trust¬ing, and believing in the Lord and in His promises.
The ability to wait on the Lord starts from being confi¬dent and focusing on who God is and in what God might be doing towards your situation. It does not mean God is not working for your situation because it has taken too long. I have come to know that when heaves is silent, all possible have turned to impossible, all doors are tightly closed, no word is coming out, at this time God is having a high profiled meeting discussing your situation. All the trinity members and angels are preparing how to carry out the plan they have for you. ” For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil,
to give you an expected end. “(Jer29:11)
Despite you waiting for long, God still has that plan to give your expecta-tions.
It means confi¬dence in God, confi¬dence in His word, and diligently seeking to know his timing, under¬stand¬ing of our situa¬tion, because most of times God will delay while preparing us. God loves so much, that he will never al-low us to be destroyed by the things we request from Him. He will train us to be mature enough to be able to control the things He gives to us. A father who loves his son will never give him his car to drive be he is sure that his son is trained to drive. No matter how the son pleads. Why? Because the son may crash in an accident. It calls for know¬ing and trust¬ing in God’s princi¬ples to-wards His promis¬es and purposes towards our life.
But when we think of waiting, we often face the question, “What should I be doing during the waiting pro¬cess?” many of the people I have asked about this question told me many fanny things. I also asked them what is the period between waiting and the time to receive called. “Hell” the audience shouted in one of my conferences. Waiting is really tough but God is always near us. Don’t give up; press on till your day of victory comes. As you wait, keep your heart merry, take time to pray, sing, do some fasting, find any thing that you can do for the kingdom of God. Go to missions and preach to people. When you stay idle devil will take your control and mess you up. Look at this scripture…this man named Simeon kept on expecting that on day he will see the Lord Christ. He never gave up, he kept on faithing.
“And, behold, there was a man in Jerusalem, whose name was Simeon; and the same man was just and devout, waiting for the consolation of Israel: and the Holy Ghost was upon him.”(Luke2:25)
As I always believe God will be always be with us to control us if only we will let Him do whatever He wants at his own pace.
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Great and vital lesson Mr. Bens. One we all must learn to receive the promise. The Lord Bless You.