When we wait upon the Lord, our faith is actually strengthened because the act of waiting develops God’s perspective in us. In other words, it’s Wait Training!
So, wouldn’t you rather be having faith for what you know God wants to do and wants you to do instead of hoping that what you want to do is what God wants you to do?
What if you suddenly began to turn every decision in your life over to God? What do you think the first thing God would have you to do? Do you think He would want you to scurry around trying to accomplish everything you just turned over to Him?
Not exactly! The first thing God would probably have you do is to wait, wait on Him. If you’re asking God to do it, then you have to wait on Him. But, If you’re going to do it, then go right ahead!
You see, God doesn’t make us wait on Him. It’s our choice as this verse from Isaiah makes clear. “They that wait upon the Lord shall…” the verse says. Not “The Lord says, You shall wait on Me!”
When you ask God to lead your life, when you ask God to make His plans and purposes your plans and purposes, it creates a conflict within your own will. One reason for this conflict is that you want to be in control. Another reason is that there’s a great deal of uncertainty involved with waiting. It’s like you want God’s will but you can’t really be sure because God’s plans and purposes are hard for us humans to know and understand (see Wait Training, Part 2: The Inscrutability of God).
That’s why waiting requires that while we are waiting we watch to see where God is at work. We wait and we watch. We watch and wait. We become “Wait Watchers.”
Watching to see where God is at work is the key to waiting. It provides focus. It gives you the opportunity to know the unknowable, to discover God’s plans and purposes.
Henry Blackaby taught us in Experiencing God that we should watch and see where God is at work and then join Him in His work. Blackaby said Jesus exemplified this principle in His own life and ministry. When Jesus was persecuted by the Jewish leaders He told them that He only did what God showed Him: “But Jesus answered them, ‘My Father has been working until now, and I have been working… Most assuredly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of Himself, but what He sees the Father do; for whatever He does, the Son also does in like manner. For the Father loves the Son, and shows Him all things that He Himself does; and He will show Him greater works than these, that you may marvel'” (John 5:17, 19-20, NKJV).
If that’s the way Jesus lived, then as His followers we should certainly conduct our lives in the same way. We should use our waiting time to watch and discover how God is at work around us and inside us. And then, when the waiting is done, we will know what is God’s will and we will be enabled and empowered to join Him in His work.
But as for me, my prayer is unto thee, O Lord, in an acceptable time: O God, in the multitude of thy mercy hear me, in the truth of thy salvation. (Psalm 69:13, KJV)