Saturday, March 27, 2010

Hurry up and wait.....

So, how many of you would wait in line for 90 minutes to be seated at your favorite restaurant?  I am guessing you would if you're like any of the millions of people who eat out every night.  Now, how many of you would spend time in prayer with God and wait 90 minutes for an answer, or in silence waiting to hear from God?  Now that I have your attention, I'll share with you something that came to mind when [you guessed it] I was waiting in line for 45+ minutes to be seated at a restaurant.

In this fast paced, microwave, drive-thru society we expect everything instantly.  Instant message, instant coffee, instant rice, instant movies [movies on demand], instant cash, instant credit approval, you get what  I mean.  We do the same thing with God too I am afraid.  We say a quick prayer and think, bam, where's my answer or sign God?  We read some Scripture and say to ourselves, I didn't really get anything out of this or God how come you aren't speaking to me through what I read.  How many of us actually give God time to respond?  Do we even sit still and quiet for 5 minutes?  We take our "outside" lives and try to apply it to our Spiritual life.  For instance, when we sit in a room with people no one can stand the awkward silence.  When we're alone with God we never allow for any silence, and then wonder why we haven't heard.

The very subject of not hearing from God has come up in several instances this past week and waiting in line just reaffirmed the need for me to blog on it.  A few friends and even a gentleman in my men's Bible study have mentioned to me that they don't hear from God, or that God never talks to or answers them.  I simply asked, how long have you waited in reverent silence during prayer to hear?  Have you given Him the chance to actually respond?

So just what does God's voice sound like I have been asked.  "How do you learn to recognize anybody's voice?  You pick up the phone, and if you know somebody well you know their voice. It's by experience.  You've listened to it many times, and it has a certain tone.  One thing you need to know about God is God's voice is never frantic.  When you hear desperate thoughts, or panicky thoughts, that's not God's voice.  God's voice will never lead you into panicky desperation." - John Ortberg

Paul says that while we're waiting for God to set everything right, we suffer.  But suffering produces perseverance, and perseverance produces character, and character produces hope (Romans 5:3-5). God is producing these qualities in us while we wait.  What that means is that waiting is not just something we have to do until we get what we want. Waiting is part of the process of becoming what God wants us to be.  When waiting for God, He blesses us.  “Yet the LORD longs to be gracious to you; he rises to show you compassion. For the LORD is a God of justice. Blessed are all who wait for him” (Isaiah 30:18).   What does it mean to be blessed by God while we wait on Him?  As we wait on God and His timing, He can accomplish so much in our hearts. Often we find new purpose in life, receive answers to prayer, see God work, increase our faith, and most often we see God’s perfect plan fulfilled in our situation.  Remember, waiting is not wasted time! 

If you want some Jesus bumps [as my friend George calls them] then know this about eagles and Isaiah 40:31.  Did you know that an eagle knows when a storm is brewing long before it breaks?  When a storm is eminent, the eagle will fly to a high spot and wait for the winds to come.  This is how they respond to storms.  When the storm arrives, they set their wings so that the winds lift them up, high above the storm.  And, as the storm rages below them, the eagle soars high above it, effortlessly gliding with ease.  What is fascinating is that the eagle does not escape the storm; the eagle does not suffer through the storm, or hope to survive.  The eagle does not fly away from the storm.  The eagle just simply uses the winds of the storm to lift itself high above the storm. The eagle's response is to rise high above the storm on the very winds that brought the storm close.  WOW!

Now I know that I got off track here and there but it all still pertains to waiting on the Lord and actually giving Him time to respond.  Pray and stop thinking; pray and stop planning; pray and stop talking.  Today may look the same as yesterday, the circumstances may have stayed the same, but continue to allow God's promises to take root in your heart.  Hurry up and wait upon the Lord.  I guarantee that being fed from God is much more filling and worth the wait than that dinner you got waiting in line for 90 minutes for.

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