The Waiting Game
Instant gratification is the desire of the current culture. This generation is truly a “have it now” and “have it your way” people. From fast food, to Netflix, to buying anything with one click on Amazon, to even dating with the swipe of a finger on Tinder, this is an instant gratification culture. Most of us are so accustomed to speed that any sense of patience has long sense flown out the window. In fact, when traffic or food or shopping slows down for whatever reason you will find a large majority of people becoming little rage monsters because their system of immediacy has been interrupted.
This attitude has only made our relationship with our Lord Jesus more difficult. Christ simply doesn’t operate on our timing, yet His timing is perfect. Sometimes He waits and sometimes He never seems to intervene, yet His timing is perfect. Sometimes He allows suffering and sometimes He promises suffering, yet His timing is perfect. At some point we have to decide that we are what’s broken in our lives and not God. We have to decide that His Word is perfect and we are not. We have to decide to actively wait on the Lord even when our world is in a massive hurry.
Luke 24:49 I’m sending you what my Father promised. Wait here in the city until you receive power from heaven.
Jesus tells the apostles that the promised Holy Spirit is coming to them, but they must wait on their mission until the Spirit does so. This is the last recorded thing that Jesus says in the book of Luke before He ascends. Were the disciples wondering how long they must wait? Were they itching to move forward like we often are? What does it mean to wait on the Lord? Is it sit in circle staring at one another as the clock ticks down? The apostles show us the right way to wait on the Lord.
Acts 1:14 They all met together and were constantly united in prayer.
There is difference between stagnant waiting and active waiting. We cringe at the idea of waiting on the Lord, but it may be because we don’t realize our part in it. Christ has a plan for each and every one of us and in many ways it is unique to each one of us. So many of us are unsure of this truth, but the source of that unbelief is based in our lack of confidence or our lack of patience. We can’t really see a plan, but we haven’t really searched after Him like the early church. The prophet Jeremiah writes that we will seek and find Him when we seek with all our heart. The early apostles spent 10 days in communion with one another, praying together and preaching to each other and God showed up. In Acts 2, Peter preached for like 10 minutes and around 3000 people came to faith in Jesus.
Our kind of math is pray for 10 minutes and work hard for 10 days and see what happens, but God’s kind of math is pray for 10 days and work for 10 minutes and see what He can do. It was the power of prayer that brought these people to faith not the power of Peter’s persuasion. Many of us struggle to see God moving in our lives and its likely because we do the math wrong. We aren’t actively waiting on the Lord and we aren’t deeply devoted to seeking Him out. Stop working day after day in your own power, never seeking Him in prayer and devotion, all while wondering where God is, and start actively waiting on Him daily. None of us get confused when an unplugged light doesn’t turn on. Why should we get confused when our lives don’t seem to work when we don’t plug in to the power?
Psalm 27:14 Wait with hope for the Lord. Be strong, and let your heart be courageous. Yes, wait with hope for the Lord.