Most people don’t like to wait. We often get frustrated when we have to wait because it makes us anxious and it inconveniences us. This hurriedness often works its ways into our spiritual lives causing us to rush into the next thing before calling on God for direction. While most of us feel the need to rush, God is not in a hurry. In fact, the Bible says He is slow at going about things. What we often forget is that God has a plan and a purpose for us according to His Will. On the road of life, crucial decisions are like intersections that call for us to choose which way to go. If we go through life without seeking Christ, the road we pick may lead to regret. However, when we seek Christ, things that didn’t make sense before are revealed to us. Although the Lord is ready and willing to offer us clear direction, He doesn’t always give it quickly. Here are nine things to do when you’re waiting on God.
Think About the Good That Comes From Waiting
As difficult as waiting can be, it builds spiritual endurance in a unique way. Isaiah makes this truth clear: “But they who wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount with wings as eagles, they shall run and not grow weary, they shall walk and not faint” (Isaiah 40:31). This is a glorious promise but our discontented hearts find it difficult to wait. One great thing about waiting is that it allows us to pray without ceasing. When our thoughts turn to worry, fear, discouragement and anger, we are to consciously and quickly turn every thought to prayer and every prayer to thanksgiving. Another great thing about waiting is that it increases our faith. We wait and God works!
There are times that will God will make you wait simply because He wants to get your attention. If you are waiting on God, listen closely to what He may be trying to reveal to you. He may be trying to reach you or speak to you about a certain situation in your life. When everything is running smoothly, we tend to forget the Lord. But uncertainty draws us back to Him like a magnet. By aligning our steps with His and walking in submission to the Spirit, we open our ears to hear His voice. Our waiting period is God’s preparation time. He may put us on hold to coordinate events to line up with His Will.
When we're waiting on God, it may seem like our prayers are going unanswered. That's why it's important that when you're waiting on God, you pray fervently. Also, make sure your prayer is to the glory of God. One of the most important questions we face in prayer is whether our appeal is for our own selfish interest, pride or attainment, or whether it is really to the glory of God? Answers to prayer are supposed to honor God and bring glory to Him. This is one of the main reasons we offer prayer in the name of Christ. Jesus assured His disciples that if they remained in Him and His words remained in them, whatever they asked would be given to them. Prayer that is offered in the name of Christ and to the glory of Christ is prayer that God can answer.
Remember God May Be Answering a Bigger Prayer
Our God is a merciful God. Sometimes we forget this when we’re waiting on God. We get so caught up in the pain we’re experiencing, the people we’ve lost and the things we don’t have. We start focusing on all the ways that God hasn’t measured up to our standards and find ourselves disappointed time and time again. Instead of focusing on the blessings we’ve been given, we focus on what God hasn’t done for us. This is human, but it doesn’t mean it’s right. It also doesn’t mean that God has abandoned us. It means that what He wants for us is in His time. Not ours. And sometimes God’s plans are bigger than our own. You might pray for love to come into your life at a certain time, but if it had, God wouldn’t have been able to make you more strong and independent. If things had fallen into place at the college you prayed for, you may not have attended the school that shaped so many of your future friendships and dreams. Just because God isn’t granting the prayers in the way we want Him to doesn’t mean He doesn’t love us.
Find Spiritual Strength
Waiting on God helps strengthen us spiritually. By the mere term “spiritual strengthening” two things might be suggested to us. We might think of spiritual as distinguished from physical strengthening. We also might think of strengthening by the Spirit as distinguished from some earthly force. Sometimes the Lord has to work to accomplish in us before we are ready to handle what He’s planned for our future. If we instantly received His direction, we would rarely have the opportunity two exercise our faith. Christian maturity becomes evident in the ability to wait in peaceful confidence. We’ll know exactly what to do when we trust in His timing.
Sometimes God makes you wait because he is building patience in your life. Waiting on God means patiently looking to Him for what we need. David recognized why we had to wait on the Lord. First, His salvation came from Him (Psalm 62:1). He learned that no one else could deliver Him. His only hope was in God for God alone hears prayers. Our prayers often revolve around asking God to hurry up and bless what we want done or want to do. But what if God’s answer to us is simply, “Be patient. Wait upon me”? We can pray with David: “Listen to my voice in the morning, Lord. Each morning I bring my requests to you and wait expectantly” (Psalm 5:3). We can trust His response, even if it doesn’t come in the time we expect.
Trust His Will
It would be so helpful to know God’s Will for our lives but we don’t have the answers. That’s why it’s important to trust the direction God may be taking you in when you’re lead by the Spirit. John 15:7 says, “If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ask whatever you wish and it will be done for you.” So that means if we tell God what we want, He will give it to us, right? Well, not exactly. If you’re wondering why things aren’t going according to your plans, here’s the short of it. We aren’t aware of God’s Will. It’s important that we pay attention to the word abiding in this verse which means “to live in, dwell in and remain in.” When you have an intimate relationship with God, you begin to know His heart and have a clearer sense of the things you should pray for and what His Will truly is for you.
Depend on Him
Another reason God may be making you wait is because he is building your dependence on Him. When we are in an unhealthy condition either physically or emotionally, we tend to lack patience when it comes to our circumstances. We also begin to look for thrills in life. In our physical life, it leads to obsessions and to destruction; and in our spiritual life, if we insist on pursuing only thrills, on mounting up “with wings like eagles” (Isaiah 40:31), it will result in the destruction of us spiritually. Having the reality of God’s presence is not dependent on our determinations to keep the Lord before us continually. Our problems arise when we refuse to place our trust in the reality of His presence.
Allow Your Character to Be Transformed
Maybe God is making you wait because He is transforming our character. Waiting builds and transforms our character. Moses became a great leader in his time and God worked through him to bring about many miracles for the children of Israel. Of course he had to go through a long period of processing in the desert for 40 years before God came to him. We know that when he was a young man, he was brash and impatient. Yet, when he was given a second chance, he opted to do it God’s way and in God’s time. Waiting has a way of humbling us and to rub off the tough edges of our lives so that the true Christlike character is revealed in us.
If impatience tempts you to jump ahead of the Lord’s timing, you risk stepping outside of His Will and missing His blessings. But by waiting until He gives clear direction, you will walk in His peace and certainty, instead of stumbling around in anxiety and confusion.