Why Is WAITING ON GOD So Difficult?

Have you ever noticed that WAITING is hard work for mankind?

Somehow, we find WAITING very uncomfortable. And, once we have waited for a while, boredom sets in. Restlessness sets in. And, even at times, agitation sets in! Instead of WAITING, we prefer to ACT, to DO, and to be PRODUCTIVE.

Being productive is indeed a great thing! But anybody that wants to walk far with God will soon discover that WAITING is one of the greatest virtues we have to cultivate. That is, WAITING ON GOD and WAITING FOR GOD.

Please imagine this scenario. When Satan offered Eve his ‘rosy’, ‘juicy’ temptation in the Garden of Eden, imagine if Eve had responded in this way: “Hmmh, I can see that this offer looks pleasant and lovely! I’m highly interested. But, please, LET’S WAIT for my husband to come. Or, better still, LET’S WAIT for God and hear what He has to say about it”.

It’s easy to see that Satan wouldn’t have consented to the idea of WAITING one bit! Why is this? It’s because, many times, Satan’s strength lies in pushing men to RUN AHEAD of God! And, when we run ahead of God in this way, it is clear that it is only Satan that we’ll have for company! 

It was the inability to WAIT, as instructed by Samuel, that led Saul to LOSE HIS THRONE (1 Samuel 13:7-14). Apart from being a true historical account of an event, this story is also A METAPHOR for believers in Christ. 

A metaphor for the great loss we suffer when we struggle to WAIT ON GOD. When we follow the prompting of SELF to just ‘DO SOMETHING’, instead of waiting on God. As Saul saw danger looming, he had A VERY GOOD REASON for not waiting for Samuel any longer! But his good excuse was not enough to save him from the consequence of running ahead of God! For God wants our obedience - NOT our excuses!

Jesus taught us this important spiritual truth through a couple of events in His own life. The first incident is recorded in John 7:2-4, “Now the Jews’ Feast of Tabernacles was at hand. His brothers therefore said to Him, “Depart from here and go into Judea, that Your disciples also may see the works that You are doing. For no one does anything in secret while he himself seeks to be known openly. If You do these things, show Yourself to the world.” 

In other words, they were telling Jesus, “Don’t just sit here WASTING your talent, gifts, and anointing! Go out and DO SOMETHING!!!  Let your disciples see you in action. Let the world see you. BE PRODUCTIVE with your anointing and let’s see if it works!”

Jesus’ response was classic: “You go up to this feast. I am not yet going up to this feast, for My time has not yet FULLY come” (verse 8). By this, Jesus was simply indicating that He was WAITING on the timing of the Father. The EXPECTATION of the people around Jesus did not move Him to RUN AHEAD of God. The OPPORTUNITY of preaching at the Feast of Tabernacles did not move Him. This is what it means to wait on God.

If Jesus had followed the ‘productive’ advice of his brothers, He would have had Satan for company! For the Father does NOT run ahead of His own timing.

There was a second incident. Lazarus was ill. An illness that was unto death. Jesus heard the news of this bad illness on a man that He loved dearly. He not only loved Lazarus, He also loved his sisters, Mary and Martha. 

In such a situation, most of us would have quickly embarked on the journey to heal Lazarus! This would have been a practical demonstration of our love for that family. By rushing down quickly, we would have saved them the pain and agony of watching Lazarus die. We would have saved the whole community the sorrow of bereavement.

But not Jesus! He WAITED. And WAITED. For He knew that God has a timing for EVERYTHING. And that anybody that works for God MUST learn to respect and honour God’s timing. Therefore, Jesus WAITED, and moved at God’s timing. 

For those who know the story very well, the raising of Lazarus was extremely important in drawing the curtain on Jesus’ ministry on earth! If Jesus had healed Lazarus earlier, this pivotal event in His entire ministry would have been jeopardised! Simply for NOT waiting on God’s timing.

The strength in our waiting is that it puts God in ABSOLUTE CONTROL. Our waiting means God moves when HE wants to move. It means He performs HIS own counsel – NOT ours. In short, our WAITING ‘puts God in charge’. This is why the Bible says this in Isaiah 40:31, “But those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength; They shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, They shall walk and not faint.”

Please think about this verse carefully. We all know that it is IMPOSSIBLE for men to run and not be weary, or walk and not faint. Men become weary and faint because our strength is EXHAUSTIBLE. But when we understand the POWER OF WAITING on God, we’ll discover that our WAITING puts God in control. Our waiting changes the SOURCE of STRENGTH from man to God. This is why such people do not become weary or faint.

WAITING ON GOD was one of the secrets of the strength of the Apostles of Christ. After they had served for a period, God would permit them to be imprisoned for their faith. At times, their imprisonment could be seen as a ‘WAITING’ process. 

For, in that condition, the Apostles could not run from place to place to preach – as THEY may have wished. Neither could they run around to mingle with the churches – perhaps, for as much as THEY would have loved to. They were just cooped up in their prison cells – a type of ‘WAITING ROOM’. And when God was ready to put them back in service, they would be released from prison – renewed for service.

From all these examples, we can see that believers that want to walk with God and work for Him MUST cultivate the virtue of WAITING ON HIM. This is the default position of every faithful servant – just WAITING on the Master. Just there to serve Him when HE wants. For it is all about Him, not about us.

But the world that we live in today will make this difficult! The world is fast-paced. And this fast pace is increasing all the time – pulling mankind by the ear to keep us up with its dizzying pace. 

It is for this reason that many believers even find it difficult to wait on God for illumination and revelation on His word. When we have prayed and waited a short while, we sometimes QUICKLY turn to Google when we think heaven is too slow in responding to our enquiry for illumination.

Similarly, believers also find it difficult to wait on God for His timing in other areas of life. Both the world and the church of today are teaching all sorts of SHORT-CUTS to cut down on the need to wait on God. For instance, do you need a child? Why keep waiting? Go for IVF!!!  

This will be FASTER than waiting endlessly for God! (Imagine if there was IVF in the days of Abraham, and if he had gone for that option!)

Brethren, it is time to put God back IN CONTROL of our lives! Yes, the pace of the world has increased massively. But we must always remember that God does NOT dance to the tune of the world! He is God!!! He has HIS timing for every single facet of our lives. 

As we follow Him, we have a choice of following HIS pace, or running according to the world’s dizzying pace. The world knows how to use those that are close to us to put us under pressure and pull us away from the place of waiting on God. Many times, this pressure is actually from Satan as he tries to trick us to RUN AHEAD of God!

WAITING, if indeed led by God, is NOT a wasted period of inactivity or unproductivity. Rather, waiting is the space that we create for God TO BE GOD in our lives and ministries. Waiting for Him to direct our work and our ways in accordance with HIS Holy will.

This is how to maintain our position as believers that live for Christ ALONE. We need to cultivate the challenging task of discerning when God wants us to WAIT, and when He wants us to MOVE. We dare not wait when He wants us to move. And we dare not move when He wants us to wait!

“How do we distinguish when God wants us to WAIT from when He wants us to MOVE?” This is a valid question that may come to our hearts. And the answer that Jesus gave in John 10:27 is helpful here, “My sheep hear My voice… and they follow Me.” Until we cultivate the practice of hearing Jesus, it will be difficult to follow Him or do His will. Hearing Him (as well as recognising His voice) is a function of our INTIMACY with Him.

Intimacy with Jesus has nothing to do with the easy believism that we today call Christianity. Intimacy with Jesus starts from the PLACE OF DEATH. The place where we renounce ALL our rights to SELF and carry our cross DAILY to follow Him (Luke 9:23). 

It is ONLY believers that TRULY die with Him (and are resurrected in Him as a NEW CREATION) that can hear His voice. And follow Him. And discern His will – including WHEN to wait and for HOW LONG to wait. It is all a part of the followership process.

Both the world and the church of today have taught many of us to RUN AHEAD of God! By so running, many of us have fallen into all sorts of ditches and problems. But as we repent today and re-dedicate ourselves to pursuing INTIMACY with Christ, His love is available to put us back on track. So that the pace and direction of our lives can be dictated 100% from heaven – as we learn to WAIT ON GOD and WAIT FOR HIM.

“But those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength; They shall mount up with wings like eagles, They shall run and not be weary, They shall walk and not faint.” (Isaiah 40:31).
Please, friends, let’s learn to WAIT ON GOD – for as long as necessary.

Culled from: Church Watch in Nigeria

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