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Devotions > Waiting

14 May 2013


What is your first impression when you are requested to wait?   If someone would visit our culture from a few centuries ago we might appear to them as a flock of furious gatherers.   If our farmers shared our epidemic proclivity for impatience we would likely all starve from haste to bring in the harvest before the fruit matured.

We desperately garner money so we can gladly gather more and more insignificant things.    We spend extreme quantities of time caring for the excessive possessions that help express our essentiality.  We work overtime in order to arrest a fast and jammed packed vacation only to return home more exhausted than when we departed. 

We somehow seem to have the innate sense that the sheer speed of our lives equates to our substance and significance.  We often attain the speed of life where when panic begins to drain away we erroneously sense that something is going catastrophically awry.   We may sometimes suffer from the secret fear that if we were to slow down we would shrivel up and become helplessly insignificant.  

To intentionally wait is to slow the pace of our lives.     This goes against the grain of our carefully crafted culture which consistently drives us to live at a disastrously dangerous speed.   Waiting seems to have a very low or perhaps negative value in our culture.   However in the economy of heaven waiting is above the value of gold.  

Isaiah 40:31 (AMP) 

31 But those who wait for the Lord [who expect, look for, and hope in Him] shall change and renew their strength and power; they shall lift their wings and mount up [close to God] as eagles [mount up to the sun]; they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint or become tired.

There are many directives in the Word of God to wait, however if we consider this single passage what might the Lord reveal to us regarding the results and rewards from waiting?  First we see that this is not impatient waiting; it is expectant waiting.   The waiting Isaiah describes is a waiting that is watching and hoping in, expecting the work of the Lord.    Here is a significant problem in our day.   We have fallen for the fond tale that “it” is all about us.    Therefore when we think of waiting we are thinking mostly of the negative impacts upon us, principally the delays in our gratification.

There is a law of the disparity of eyes.   Upon what object are our eyes focused?   Are our eyes on the Lord, hoping and expecting, or are our eyes on ourselves and our unfilled desires?    When our eyes are upon our Lord in an attitude of humble expectation and hope, we often find a powerful peace filling our waiting.   Conversely when we see waiting as blocking our immediate selfish desires we invariably inhabit a self-centered and worldly frustrated mind seeking its own self perceived good and its own glory.

There are few among us who do not desire to have renewed strength and power.    God has clearly instructed us that we must wait expectantly upon Him.   This is similar to Jesus oft expressed directive, follow Me.     But we want to lead.    Leaders are lifted up in our world.   We want to be the one with the plan with the vision with the really good ideas.   In heaven’s economy there are no good ideas that come from earth!   God has all the good ideas, all the good plans, and all the power needed to bring His plans and ideas into fruition.     God’s principal idea is that we might seek Him and live in an intimate relationship with Him as Jesus described as the relationship between the branch and the vine.

I believe that the Lord, speaking through Isaiah is instructing us to understand this reality; if we do not learn to wait we will not learn to come nearer to God.    What is the main occupation of the branch?  Is it not to maintain its connection and wait?     Does fruit come in an hour?   Does fruit come in the middle of the winter?   No, fruit will come when the branch understands its role to abide in the vine and wait until God has selected the time for fruit.    Notice the branch must abide, remain in intimate relationship with the vine, not just in fruit bearing season, but continually, waiting for God to produce the fruit.

There is much less fatigue and frustration in this waiting on fruit from God.   In our attempts to manufacture fruit we find extensive frustration and failure.   While attempting to fabricate fruit we often find ourselves so busy that we do not have time to pray.    We must quickly get on with the things of God.   We have meetings to attend, communications to write, calls to make and lessons to prepare.    And then there is the balance of life crammed full with various other activities.    From heaven’s economy which of these activities is more important than drawing near to God?    How will we hear His still small voice unless we draw near and wait to listen?   Do you get too busy to hear from God?

Does it seem to you that the Holy Spirit is regularly in a rush?    Have you noticed how many times Jesus ran from one place to another frantically trying to do the will of His Father?   No, Jesus’ every moment was measured and meticulously conformed to the plan and purpose of God.    He made His relationship with His Father paramount, even above His mission.  Perhaps He knew that His mission’s completion depended upon His consistent intimacy with His Father.   Possibly we would do well to copy the pattern of Jesus, keeping and maintaining our intimacy with the Father as our first priority.   Could it be that our divinely assigned mission is also dependent on our maintaining consistent intimacy with our Father?

Could we benefit from a perspective of the high value of waiting expectantly on the Lord?   Might we become better stewards of the manifold blessings of God were we to make time in God’s presence our primary priority, the first thing we strive for?    Have you noticed that when we spend adequate time in the presence of our Father we are more inclined to move through our day at the pace of the Spirit?   This was consistently the velocity of Jesus, He traveled at the pace of the Holy Spirit.  This pace demands leaning into faith and at times expectantly and joyously waiting.   Waiting is an excellent time for prayer.

Jesus waited and prayed in a garden called Gethsemane.   He waited and prayed while being bruised for our transgressions.   He waited and prayed while he died on the cross at Calvary.   His entire life consisted of Jesus waiting expectantly to exchange His life for the death of lost sinners.   Oh how we need to fully engage in expectantly waiting and listening in order to pray and submit to the will and  plan of God.


Jeff Williams