I don’t hold a master’s degree in waiting on God, nor in patience. But I am praying that I’d be slowly molded into an artist of waiting on God. Biblical waiting means confident expectation, trusting that God will do what he has promised. That God knows best both what needs to happen and when it needs to happen. That God will be preparing us while we are waiting. That God works for the good who believe in him.
There are many examples in the Bible about what happens when we don’t trust God but precede God. Just think about Abraham! God promised him a son. But when nothing happened he took the matter into his own hands and got his wife’s maid pregnant (Genesis 16). He did not wait on God’s timing. Neither did Saul.
Saul stayed at Gilgal, and the troops followed him anxiously. He waited seven days, the time appointed by Samuel, but Samuel didn’t come to Gilgal, and his troops began to desert. So Saul ordered, “Bring me the entirely burned offering and the well-being sacrifices.” Then he offered the entirely burned offering. The very moment Saul finished offering up the entirely burned offering, Samuel arrived. Saul went out to meet him and welcome him. But Samuel said, “What have you done?”
“I saw that my troops were deserting,” Saul replied. “You hadn’t arrived by the appointed time, and the Philistines were gathering at Michmash. I thought, The Philistines are about to march against me at Gilgal and I haven’t yet sought the LORD’s favor. So I took control of myself and offered the entirely burned offering.”
“How stupid of you to have broken the commands the LORD your God gave you!” Samuel told Saul. “The LORD would have established your rule over Israel forever, but now your rule won’t last. The LORD will search for a man of his own choosing, and the LORD will commission him as leader over God’s people, because you didn’t keep the LORD’s command.” (1 Sam. 13:7-14, CEB, emphasis added)
Saul’s seemingly rational and reasonable action demonstrates disobedience to God. Saul reacted out of fear of the Philistines, not out of fear of God. Saul did not wait for God, he took charge. Waiting for God requires strength and spiritual maturity.
We are not to lean on our own understanding. We are not to birth things prematurely. We are to trust God and his timing. He knows best. We are to let God take charge of our lives. We are to trust God to take care of us according to his grace and not according to our fear.
Waiting on God is a way of life.
Waiting on God is knowing God is God and we are not God.
Waiting on God is about surrendering our will to God day by day.
Waiting on God is trusting God for pouring out grace also tomorrow.
Waiting on God is seeking him with our whole hearts.
Waiting on God is being changed into his likeness.
Waiting on God is becoming whom God created us to be.