Waiting on God
Have you ever wanted a change? Perhaps you are single and desire relationship. Or you desperately want a different job. Maybe your heart is leading you towards a mission, ministry, or adoption.
Maybe the change is more subtle. Maybe it’s something you’ve always wanted to say to someone, or something you’ve always wanted to do.
Perhaps the desire for this change is now at its peak, demanding your action. This is it. You finally have the courage to face the challenge head on in anticipation of the reward on the other side.
It’s now or never, you fear. You go to the Lord in prayer, resolved to do whatever it takes to follow through with this, what now feels to be a calling from God.
And He answers you with two words, “do nothing.” What? Isn’t this desire from You, Lord?! What could benefit anyone from being told to NOT act on what they feel is right?
F.B. Meyer once wrote,
Never act in a panic; nor allow man to dictate to thee, calm thyself and be still; force thyself into the quiet of thy closet until the pulse beats normally and the scare has ceased to perturb. When thou art most eager to act is the time when thou wilt make the most pitiable mistakes. Do not say in thine heart what thou wilt or wilt not do; but wait upon God until He makes known his way. So long as that way is hidden, it is clear that there is no need of action, and that He accounts Himself responsible for all the results keeping thee where thou art.
Many years ago, a friend gave me this quote during a time when I was at a crossroad in my service to the Lord.
This friend knew nothing of my conflicting spirit, but clearly was used by God to speak to me. It was clear He was telling me to “do nothing” towards a change at this time.
I was struck by the beauty of the realization that the Lord Jesus is willing to accept responsibility for my lack of apparent action as I actively wait on Him. This time in waiting not only allowed His will to take over, it also allowed my desires to stew in His, becoming like His desires. Even greater, it was time spent cultivating relationship with Him and the wisdom that comes from it.
Waiting is hard. At times, painfully hard. So hard, that sometimes we fail to do nothing and we act out of fear, like Abraham’s wife did in Genesis 12, in the midst of waiting on the Lord’s promise of a child.
Sure, action by our own efforts gets the job done physically. However, it’s in those times of “doing nothing” that we are doing some of our most important work, eternally, as children of God.
In Proverbs 2: 2-11, we read:
2 “Make your ear attentive to wisdom, Incline your heart to understanding; 3 For if you cry for discernment, Lift your voice for understanding; 4 If you seek her as silver And search for her as for hidden treasures; 5 Then you will discern the fear of the Lord And discover the knowledge of God. 6 For the Lord gives wisdom; From His mouth come knowledge and understanding. 7 He stores up sound wisdom for the upright; He is a shield to those who walk in integrity, 8 Guarding the paths of justice, And He preserves the way of His godly ones. 9 Then you will discern righteousness and justice And equity and every good course. 10 For wisdom will enter your heart And knowledge will be pleasant to your soul; 11 Discretion will guard you, Understanding will watch over you.”
While we “do nothing” on purpose, we are encouraged many times in scripture to use our time intentionally. It’s a time of active waiting. It’s in this time of pause that we learn to trust more in His Wisdom (2 Samuel 7:28, Psalm 20:7, Joshua 1:9).
We learn to find our joy in Him and only Him (Proverbs 10:28, Romans 15:13, James 1:2-9).
And, ultimately, we are allowing Him to receive all the glory (Duet. 5:24, 1 Peter 5:6-11, John 11:40-42).
This is why, as F. B. Meyer said, Jesus is willing to take the blame for our lack of action. The Lord knows the outcome is worth it, because the greatest outcome, over any earthly one, is a deeper, more trusting, more unified relationship between Him and His child.