To wait on the Lord is to have trust in Him. Psalm 37:7 says, “Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for Him.” And earlier in the psalm we read, “Trust in the Lord and do good… Commit your way to the Lord; trust also in Him” (verses 3 and 5).
It is never an easy thing to “wait on the Lord” or to “trust in Him” when we want quick results. When we look at the story of Moses and the Israelite people in Exodus 32, we see that Moses was up on the mountain where God was giving him the Ten Commandments. But the Israelites, who had seen many supernatural signs and wonders, still did not trust God enough to WAIT. Verse 8 says, “they have turned aside quickly.” They took things into their own hands and produced an idol. Genesis 16 tells us how Abraham took things into his own hands to produce the promised heir. The result was Ishmael, Hagar’s son. The Bible is full of testimonies of people who were tired of waiting on God. So they did their own thing, but that never works for God’s glory.
How often do we take things into our own hands and do things our own way as we become impatient with waiting on God. Perhaps we did not get that business breakthrough we expected. So while we have not forsaken God, our eyes have moved from the eternal purposes of God to the temporal. We are now focused on building our business our way. Or consider young adults who grow tired of waiting for God to bring a spouse into their life, or the aspiring preaching who feels overlooked. The day-do day examples are endless.
Yet we also see in the Bible those heroes of the faith who waited patiently on God for His way, His direction, and His intervention. Look at David. Anointed by Samuel to be Israel’s king to succeed Saul. He waited 20 years before he became king. He did not do his own thing. He waited on God and became probably the greatest earthly king of all time. He might have become king anyway had he taken things into his own hands but it would have been a very different picture. We might have read: And David became king for five years. He did not walk in God’s ways, and so God raised up another king. Instead, however, books of the Bible are written about David. His name will live on for all eternity. He became a man after God’s own heart.
Why did he wait on God? I believe he waited on God because he trusted him. He trusted who He is. He trusted God’s plan and purposes for him and the nation. He trusted God’s ability, certainly over his own. He trusted God’s timing. He trusted his life completely to the One he served.
As David waited on God for the time to when he would be crowned king but he did not wait passively. He gave his attention to all he did. He shepherded his sheep well. He grew in intimacy and skill in worshiping God. He developed his warfare ability and his leadership. He did not sit passively and grumble at God saying things like, “You said I would be king. When will that happen?” No, he did what was at hand with passion and purpose, all this preparing him for his great reign. We see over and over in Psalms that David speaks of trusting God even in dire circumstances. How did he accomplish this? Because his trust was so complete, his waiting was not with anxiety, frustration or incomplete. He waited – He praised God – He waiting – He worshiped – He waited – He served and honored Saul – He waited and so on. He did not lose hope, because he had grown in his trust of God. He was real about this soulish struggles, but always in his waiting, he chose to trust God and praise Him. Psalm 28:7 says, “My heart trusted in Him and I am helped.”
David had to make his choices in his generation; we must make similar choices today. How will we respond? Do we want to be Christians who will live this life eating the crumbs of what God purposes for us, but focusing on this early life? Or do we want to be those that are willing to wait with patience and endurance and inherit all God has for us? Let us take the higher road. Those who choose to trust God in every aspect of their lives will wait on Him with patience and endurance. God always gives His best to those that “wait on the Lord.” So let us wait with eager anticipation, joy, peace, listening for God’s every word, ready and prepared, but patiently trusting the One who gave His all for us. Jesus, our King and Lord.
Isaiah 40:31 New King James Version (NKJV)
“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”