Tuesday, June 22, 2010


For the bible study group this will be a preview and extension of tonight's lesson.

Wait. This is a word I've been hearing from Jesus the last few weeks loud and clear. We hear these phrases all the time, "I'm just waiting on God" or "I'm waiting on an answer." Even a commonly quoted verse is Isaiah 40:31:

31Yet those who wait for the LORD
Will gain new strength;
They will mount up with wings like eagles,
They will run and not get tired,
They will walk and not become weary.

For a long time I would have said that I'm a person who "waits" on God. I pray about His plans for me. I try to discern through the Holy Spirit the right choices. I try to find His plan for me. Sometimes I've even followed the Holy Spirit into decisions I wouldn't have made on my own power or that maybe didn't seem logical to anyone else and I believe I was blessed for it. So why don't I feel like a seasoned "wait-er". Well, an assult on my thinking in the last few weeks has made me realize that I'm still missing a lot of what it means to wait. It is more than what we rationalize in our minds that waiting should be. So what does it mean to wait???

First, when I was exercising at the gym a couple of weeks ago I put on a podcast from James MacDonald. I love my smartphone btw. Having all these resources available when I have a little free time is very uplifting. But back to the topic, I started listening to a series called "Powered by the Holy Spirit" and it was a study of the chapter of Acts. In the first chapter, he was referencing verse 4 where Jesus tells the disciples to "wait" for the Holy Spirit (which they don't but that is another study).

Jesus says, "Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift my Father promised, which you have heard me speak about."

The gift He was talking about was the Holy Spirit.

In this study, James began to question what it means to wait. He gave the example that even though we are sitting at a red light in our car, we might not actually be waiting. One online definition of wait is To remain or rest in expectation.

I've been at a red light. I've seen others at red lights. How many of us, when the light changes, will give the car in front of us a little "honk" if they don't move within 6 seconds? Or maybe we are fussing and cussing to get moving because we are running late and the car in front of us isn't in the same hurry we are. Are we really "resting in expectation"? No way. We're planning, scheming, multi-tasking, fussing but we aren't really waiting.

So if we apply this to our time of "waiting on God" for answers, resources, directions, we probably aren't really waiting either. This is where my conviction began.

Maybe our lack of waiting doesn't look like the impatient driver at the red light but maybe it looks like this...

Scenerio: Your family is at the realization that you need or want a new vehicle. So you begin to look at cars online. You start driving through the parking lot looking. You ask all your friends and neighbors if they like their car. You decide what color you want. You decide what features you can't live without. You spend a lot of time on the car payment calculator. You decide how much you can pay. Now with all that decided you begin to pray, "Lord, if it be your will, please send me an '09 Ford Taurus with 20,000 miles in red or blue and it can't cost more than $250 per month. This is me. I've done this. Maybe not in so many words, but I've had all my plans laid out in my power and then asked God to bless it and say it is ok.

So what is the problem with this? Maybe nothing? Maybe we're just being good stewards in considering what is practical (this was always my reasoning)? Except, maybe we are missing what God really had planned. Maybe He really wanted to give you a raise at work to pay for a bigger car so you could help pick up your neighbor kids and take them to church too or because He plans to bless your family with another child. Maybe His plan was for something bigger and better but because we already decided on what we thought was possible, acceptable or desireable, we totally cut off His ability to provide for us. We didn't wait. We planned, we schemed, we decided and then we asked God to get on board. What if we did wait and started with prayer first? Who knows. Only God knows.

This is really hard. This goes against everything that comes natural to us. I'm so overwhelmed by this. I have so many thoughts on this. Too much for one post or one bible study lesson. I have so much to learn. I plan to share more on this subject soon. Be blessed.

Listen to James MacDonald at: http://www.walkintheword.com/Broadcast.aspx

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