Waiting. We hardly know what to do with waiting in our culture.
Waiting on things makes me frustrated and sometimes even angry. I want doctors to be on time, fast food lines to be, well, fast, children to be efficient, packages in the mail to be on schedule — all of it irks me. I cannot stand to wait. I do wait. I will wait. I am learning but American culture seems to feed the beast of impatience.
Do I then bring this attitude to my time with God? Do I have a low-level contempt despite all that He has done for me? I am all too often anxious and uncertain — querulous within. Doubting that He will speak, even though He has proven himself in the past. How dare I feel impatient with God, when I cannot some days slow down enough to breathe Him in?
I waited patiently for the LORD;
And He inclined to me and heard my cry.
He brought me up out of the pit of destruction,
out of the miry clay,
And He set my feet upon a rock making my footsteps firm.
He put a new song in my mouth,
a song of praise to our God;
Psalm 40.1-2 NASB
What does it mean to know that God is willing by the Holy Spirit to speak to you? Would you cease striving so hard to know this and that and open up your soul to God to work?
Andrew Murray, in Waiting on God said:
“Would God that we might get some right conception of what the influence would be of a life given, not in thought, or imagination, or effort, but in the power of the Holy Spirit, wholly to waiting upon God.”1
Hold thy peace at the presence of the Lord God.
Zephaniah 1.7 NIV
Our waiting cannot be a ‘means to an end.’ But when you come before God and realize that all you want is His presence, then perhaps the spirit of knowing will come. It will be nothing you have experienced before, where time slows and you are stunned, awed by the moment of being so full of Him.
” …humble the soul into a holy stillness, making way for God to speak and reveal Himself.
“Let everyone who would learn the art of waiting on God remember the lesson: ‘Take heed, and be quiet;’ ‘It is good that a man quietly wait.’ Take time to be separate from all friends and all duties, all cares and all joys; time to be still and quiet before God.
“Take time not only to secure stillness from man and the world, but from self and its energy. Let the Word and prayer be very precious; but remember, even these may hinder the quiet waiting. The activity of the mind in studying the Word, or giving expression to its thoughts in prayer, the activities of the heart, with its desires and hopes and fears, may so engage us that we do not come to the still waiting on the All-Glorious One; our whole being is not prostrate in silence before Him.
“Though at first it may appear difficult to know how thus quietly to wait, with the activities of mind and heart for a time subdued, every effort after it will be rewarded; we shall find that it grows upon us, and the little season of silent worship will bring a peace and a rest that give a blessing not only in prayer, but all the day.”1
Waiting. Our mind & spirit in everyday life are constantly, impatiently even angrily waiting for God to work.
He only asks for “a quiet reverence, an abiding watching.”
“‘It is good that a man should quietly wait for the salvation of the Lord.’ Yes, it is good. The quietness is the confession of our impotence, that with all our willing and running, with all our thinking and praying, it will not be done: we must receive it from God. It is the confession of our trust that our God will in His time come to our help—the quiet resting in Him alone. It is the confession of our desire to sink into our nothingness, and to let Him work and reveal Himself.”1
If you knew that God
through the power of the Holy Spirit would meet you, would be waiting for you, would go against the world and wake in the dark of the night to be with Him. I have seen that a whole new life will come.
1 Murray, Andrew. Waiting on God.