Saturday, March 17, 2012

The Lesson of Waiting

I have been slowly going through Charles Stanley's 30 Life Principles this year. A couple of weeks ago, I studied this one - God acts on behalf of those who wait for Him.

It is based on Isaiah 64:4, From days of old they have not heard or perceived by ear, not has the eye seen a God besides You, who acts in behalf of the one who waits for Him.

A great reminder for us! As a young adult full of faith twenty years ago or so, I had no idea how much of walking with the Lord involves seasons of waiting. We are action-oriented people by nature, and the Lord has ways of putting us into situations that require us to wait and trust Him. We can not like it, we can argue against it, we can try our hardest to change the waiting time into action time. But not until God is finished with His purposes in it will He release it and change it.

As eager as we all are to move forward, I am reminded of one of my favorite authors, Charles Swindoll. The past 10-12 years he has written an exceptional series on Bible characters called Great Lives from God's Word. Having read every one of them, I was impressed with how Swindoll brings out in each life how the Lord required them to go through extended periods of waiting while God developed them. He writes, Here is a principle that can stir a glimmer of new hope, if you remind yourself of it: Exceptional work is preceded by extended waiting.

Here are a few of Swindoll's quotations of other authors:

Waiting is a common instrument of providential discipline for those to whom exceptional work has been appointed. - James Stalker

Paul came to know the patience of hindered purpose. Stopped at the gate of Damascus, penitent in the street called Straight, filled with the Spirit he was a chosen vessel to bear the gospel . . . . Then came the discipline of delay in the desert of Arabia. The delay that instructs and prepares saves time, never loses it. From it one can walk with a step of assurance and a heart of flame. - V. Raymond Edman

Here are Stanley's excellent notes on the subject that God acts on behalf of those who wait for Him.

Those are good words to reflect on this weekend.

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