“Truly my soul silently waits for God; From Him comes my salvation.” (Psalm 62:1 NKJV)
Everyone seems to be doing Christian commentary videos these days on social media. Yeah, you have seen them.
I know you have.
More often than not, some of these videos remind us how the scriptures warn, “Not many of you should become teachers, my brothers, for you know that we who teach will be judged with greater strictness” (James 3:1).
But I have to say also that some are very good.
Some… not so much.
I recently came across a video by a young woman who professed to be a Christian. She discussed in the video our need to “wait upon the Lord.”
But the example she used was instructing women NOT to pray for a husband.
She immediately caught my attention, so I listened intently to her message.
The young woman’s advice to other women, who I assumed was her target audience, was NOT to pray or seek out a husband and to “work” for God… and if it were God’s Will, He would “send” a husband to the woman at the appropriate time.
I was perplexed why she would tell other women not to pray for a husband when the scriptures clearly say that we can ask God for anything we need (Matthew 7:7; John 14:14).
Moreover, scripture says that God will give us the desires of our hearts when we delight ourselves in the Lord (Psalm 37:4) and live for Christ (Luke 12:31), placing Him first as head and Lord of one’s life.
But I left a comment for the young woman because wanted to understand what she meant. She appeared to imply that waiting on God meant that a person should do… nothing.
And that is simply untrue.
To my surprise, she responded.
In her reply, she asked me, “What did Abraham and Sarah do?” Referring to them waiting on God for the promise of a child.
I simply responded back… “Abraham and Sarah continued to have relations.”
I wasn’t trying to be flippant or provocative with my answer.
As I explained to her, I wanted her to understand that sitting idly by is not the biblical definition of waiting on God.
Even when God gives us a promise, or we desire to receive something from the Lord, it doesn’t mean we don’t have a part to play in our own blessings.
That means continuing to live a life daily for God, as the center of all our heart’s desires. But it also means to act in faith by committing to Godly activities while faithfully cutting out the ungodly.
Either way, waiting upon the Lord to fulfill the promises He made or actively waiting on a prayer request, waiting on God still maintains us to act in a manner that will bring about the desired result.
The following four points are what helped me to maintain an attitude of living for God as I waited for what I asked for.
1. Living for God: A Definition
It seems nowadays that many do not understand what it means to wait upon the Lord.
Living for God is different than living for ourselves. Many often believe that we can live for ourselves, and that God will simply give us whatever we want.
But that is NOT the case.
The Psalmist says, “He will choose our inheritance for us…” (Psalm 47:4a)
Again, the scriptures tell us, “My old self has been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me. So, I live in this earthly body by trusting in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” (Galatians 2:20 NLT)
The Christian life is a life lived for God.
That means our purpose and desires stem from living a life that is not only pleasing to God in general but one that is focused wholly on realizing how to use our gifts, talents, and abilities to further God’s purpose in our lives and the communities in which we live.
What is God’s Purpose?
God’s purpose is to bring others to Him through us:
- by loving Him, and
- by loving others
Every job, vocation, or even hobby we engage in should have as our primary motivation to love God and show God’s love to others.
2. Beginning with Relationship
I have never met a married couple that became a married couple by not spending any time together.
Similarly, I have never met a strong Christian successful at living out Christian values who never (or rarely) spent time with God.
Understanding God’s Will for our lives is based upon the relationship we have with Him. Having the ability to wait upon God stems from trust in God that only develops from spending time with Him.
Many years ago, during a time of unemployment, I asked God for help in finding a job. I continued to do all the things people should…: send out resumes, talk to people, apply to jobs I thought I might qualify for, etc.
I know I’m dating myself here, but back then, there were no online job postings or social media accounts to network from.
There were just good ole’ Sunday Newspapers and phone calls to everyone I knew, letting them know I needed a job… fast!
Ahhh… The good old days!
But I also did something else.
I continued to live my best as a Christian by being my best, attending church regularly, prayer service, and bible study. I often volunteered to help others and continued to stay active socially.
Ironically enough, my prayers weren’t answered through sending out resumes or applying to Sunday classifieds.
My prayers for a job were answered through participation in bible study.
While attending a Tuesday night bible study at my church, I had the pleasure of meeting an associate minister who didn’t attend my church but attended our bible study regularly.
He approached me after the bible study and said that he heard that I was looking for work. He told me that his cousin was a manager at one of the local colleges and that he was looking for a reliable person.
He said that he would give my name to his cousin if I was willing to meet with him.
I was both ecstatic and thankful for the reference!
Long story short, I gave his cousin a call and was hired a week later.
My point here is that waiting on God still requires us to stay in fellowship with God and His people because sometimes our prayers are answered through others.
3. Obedience in the middle
Obedience to God, as exemplified by faith that encourages a willingness to live as God has directed us to live through His word.
“But Samuel replied, “What is more pleasing to the LORD: your burnt offerings and sacrifices or your obedience to his voice? Listen! Obedience is better than sacrifice, and submission is better than offering the fat of rams.” (1 Samuel 15:22)
Obedience requires honesty.
We must be honest with ourselves in the ways we resist living for God. Many of us, even of the house of faith, wish to live for ourselves. Regular self-reflection and prayer asking God to reveal it to us will go a long way to helping us to become more aware of it.
Many of us struggle in this area because obedience to God’s word requires us to die to ourselves (Romans 6: 1-23). That is to say, we continually put aside the things we might desire to have for ourselves, in favor of what God wants for us… whatever that may be.
I have heard many believers state how difficult it is to avoid things they know are wrong.
That can sometimes be a problem that stems from perception, but it is also a very common struggle. Even the Apostles, including Paul, struggled with doing what he knew was wrong (Romans 7:15-20).
However, things get dicey when we don’t have a clear perception of sin.
Not understanding how our actions are viewed through the lens of scripture, can cause us to miss opportunities for repentance and change. It’s not that WE have to necessarily do the change, but submitting that area of our lives to God, He will do the change in us.
Sin is not something that always “feels” wrong.
As Adam and Eve found out… a bit too late… the destructive power of sin cannot always be realized by our senses.
Sin is most reliably RECOGNIZED through God’s word and obedience to the promptings of the Holy Spirit. Likewise, sin is AVOIDED by obedience to His word… our feelings notwithstanding.
Obedience is key.
An active relationship with God is most helpful here.
A relationship with the Father, through faith in Jesus, empowered by the Holy Spirit gives us the ability to:
- Be sensitive to the promptings of the Holy Spirit
- Ability to know God’s will for our lives
- Helps us not to be led by our senses, but better rely on our knowledge of God
Daniel is a person who didn’t lead the most exciting life in the Old Testament.
In fact, if it were not for the intrigue of his time in the lion’s den preceded by his three friends being thrown into the furnace, the Book of Daniel would be a bit dry (unless you’re one of those who get a kick out of his prophetic dreams).
The point here is that the scriptures portray Daniel as a very DISCIPLINED person. He prayed three times a day without fail. His obedience to God, as a captive in a kingdom often hostile to his faith, is an inspiration even to the casual reader.
It was only after a life of many decades of obedience and faithfulness to God’s precepts that God used him to relay his prophetic dreams. God used Daniel to show how future events are ordered by God and how God uses Kings and nations to bring about our salvation.
Greater obedience is something we should all strive for. When we are obedient, God can use us to a greater extent to bring about our fruitfulness.
4. End (that never ends) with Relationship
Knowing what God wants for us requires our submission.
Without submission, we will not hear when God speaks to us. However, when we submit to God, He can use us for His divine purpose as His instrument. Then and only then will we know we are doing the will of God and can confidently wait upon Him.
“Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you,” (1 Peter 5:6)
Hagar had a pretty good deal… until she didn’t.
Hagar, being Sarah’s handmaiden, was in a very nice position. She had the benefit of working with one of the richest women in the land due to Abraham being a wealthy man.
By a strange twist of circumstances (and disobedience), Hagar was selected by Sarah to have a child with Abraham because “someone” (i.e., Sarah) got impatient and didn’t WAIT on God (Genesis 16:2).
Hagar got the child, but she didn’t get the memo: having a child with your mistress’ husband is NOT something to flaunt… even if it was her idea!
So, to make a long story short, Hagar got a first-class lesson on what it means to be humble. But that’s not the most interesting part of the story.
Astonishingly, when Hagar sought to flee from Sarah’s abuse toward her, an angel of the Lord visited Hagar. Scripture records that, “The angel of the LORD said to her, “Return to your mistress and submit to her.”” (Genesis 16:9)
Why would an angel from God instruct Hagar to go back to Sarah and possibly suffer more abuse???
Scripture is not clear on the reasons, but the instructions are more than clear: submit. It’s also important to note that the angel’s instructions to submit were also followed by a promise of provision and blessing for her and throughout the generations of her offspring.
There are times when situations will not be favorable or ideal.
But when we fall back on the relationship we have with God, He will speak to us and help us navigate the trying times of our lives. Jesus promised that He will never leave us nor forsake us in our times of need (Deuteronomy 31:6; Hebrews 13:5)
My prayer and hope is for you to have a closer walk with the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
Hopefully, this article will give you some insight and a picture of what that means and what that looks like.
Waiting upon God is a necessary application of our faith walk and Christian growth.
Be encouraged that God knows what you are hoping for and what you desire. But even more than “things” or a better situation, our desire must be to live for Him… only then will He give the desires of our heart.