“… They wouldn’t wait for His counsel!”
Psalm 106:13b (NLT)
Few things are as difficult for me as waiting, especially when I know what I want. Maybe you can relate. Yet, the Bible is filled with illustrations of those who moved impulsively without seeking God’s counsel. It never turned out well. It hasn’t for me either.
Do you consider God’s counsel before you make a decision and wait upon Him before acting? Waiting for His counsel honors God and demonstrates our dependence on Him. We live in a microwave culture that fosters our impatience with waiting. The truth is, God is never in a hurry, yet He is never late. When Abraham and Sarah were promised a son, they even got tired of waiting. They came up with a plan to “help” God accomplish His promise. Never a good idea! History records the result of that plan and we’ve had Middle Eastern turmoil ever since! Moses knew God had called him to deliver Israel from Egyptian bondage and tried to speed God’s timing up to accomplish His will. He would have to wait another 40 years until God said he was ready. It’s easy to want to take the bull by the horns when you think you know what God wants you to do and act independent of Him. King Saul learned this the hard way when he refused to wait for the prophet Samuel to come to make a sacrifice before going to battle. He acted impulsively. When Samuel did arrive, he told Saul, “‘How foolish!’ Samuel exclaimed. ‘You have not kept the command the LORD your God gave you. Had you kept it, the LORD would have established your kingdom over Israel forever. But now your kingdom must end, for the LORD has sought out a man after his own heart. The LORD has already appointed him to be the leader of His people, because you have not kept the LORD’s command.’” 1 Samuel 13:13-14 (NLT)
So, why does God ask us to wait for His counsel? Here’s the irony – most of the time that we are waiting on God, God is really waiting on us. He is waiting for us to grow in our character as He prepares us for our calling. When you think about your waiting period like that, what do you think God is trying to develop in your character? This gives value to waiting. Don’t waste your time in the waiting room. Learn to be still in God’s presence. The important thing is knowing Him, not knowing the answer. God has a plan and a path for you. He uses the waiting period to prepare us and to protect us. It’s interesting to see how even Noah waited on God’s timing in the ark after the flood. The story in Genesis tells us that the ark came to rest on the mountains of Ararat on the seventeenth day of the seventh month, yet Noah waited another five months before he and his family left the ark. I think I would have wanted to exit that smelly ship as soon as I could. But God was protecting Noah and his family and preparing them for their calling to start the human race over again. If you’re waiting on God, be encouraged that God is at work in your life preparing you for His purpose. Let Him complete the process by being still in His presence and pressing in to a deeper and more intimate relationship with Him. Stay connected with God daily in prayer and worship. Before you know it, He will act. Then, like Noah, walk through God’s open door to a whole new world.
“Dear God, forgive me for rushing ahead with my own plans instead of waiting for Yours. As I repent of my impulsiveness, teach me to be still and trust You to lead me. Draw me closer to You and develop my character to match Your calling.”