I won’t exactly describe myself as impatient, but there are times I do not like waiting. A good example is waiting in traffic, or waiting at the hairdresser’s for my turn. I am convinced the Lord created me to be pretty active. I am one of those rare creatures that actually gets infused with more energy as the day progresses and by midnight I reach my peak. At this point you may catch me doing anything from blogging to DIY.
So a while back I had some waiting to do. I had been waiting for this particular breakthrough from God. I prayed, fasted, mustered up all the faith that I could and believed God without wavering. The prospect was time-sensitive and when the time came and went, without the elusive breakthrough, I was crushed. You may well have been there before. I had to sit and ask God what happened. “Should I no longer trust you fully? Do you only answer the prayers of certain of your children, namely not Toks? Do you go by feelings, i.e answer me when you feel like it? The questions didn’t stop and not surprisingly the answers did not show up. In exasperation I got up from the dust, shook myself free of the dregs of remorse and decided, ‘Lord, if you won’t help me, I’ll help myself’, and I began to come up with plans B, C and D.
Now at this point I experienced two conflicting emotions. The first I understood, which was an accusing voice reprimanding me for having the audacity to think I could do anything without God. The second was a liberating feeling which left me somewhat confused. Liberating because I suddenly felt free and empowered to make a decision, and uncertain because I felt it was wrong to feel this way. A bit like having peace but since you haven’t ‘earned’ it you choose to worry.
Recently a dear friend went through a devastating disappointment. She had been waiting on God for a situation. The lights were green. The approval was stamped. All was set to go and then silence. Nothing. It didn’t happen. She struggled to make sense of this and it was during this period the Lord spoke to me about the difference between waiting on Him and waiting for Him.
Habakkuk 2:2 says write the vision and make it clear, that he may run who reads it. A vision is linked to activity, running not sitting. While I was waiting for God to come through, I should have been busy planning. I should have written a plan and worked it. I was to have been active and not sitting quietly for God to do the work. God opens doors for us but we have got to walk through those doors and in some cases run through them. It appears that we prefer the Lord to drag us through them. Our waiting for God to do the work, to carry out the activity for our vision will not get us anywhere. When all the cards appear to be stacked in your favor, it doesn’t mean that you should wait for God to play those cards too. You have to work! And not seeing a way forward isn’t an excuse because we walk by faith not by sight.
Proverbs 21:5 says the plans of the diligent leads to profit. Dictionary.com definitions:
To develop in advance a scheme or method. E.g battle plans.
1.constant in effort to accomplish something; attentive and persistent in doing anything: a diligent student.
2.done or pursued with persevering attention; painstaking: a diligent search of the files.
A plan needs to be carried out before the work is done diligently, only then can success be realised.
Waiting on God on the other hand entails being in a quiet place with the Lord as you wait for an answer or instructions. I believe God will not carry out a task that He has equipped us to. Waiting on God will fall more into the category of should I marry Ben or not. I wouldn’t go ahead and start planning a wedding just because that fine brother proposed to me. I’ll wait on God to hear from Him and get direction- before I plan (to wed or to walk).
Proverbs 21:31- The horse is made ready for the day of battle, but victory rests with the Lord. This means that even in an uncertain situation, when you don’t know whether or not you’ll even survive the battle, you must still prepare and plan. The ultimate victory belongs to God not you, but you have a part to play. Can you imagine a soldier going out to war and not putting any armour on, or going with a hungry or overfed horse that can’t even trot? And then saying ‘I’m trusting the Lord for victory’?
We do this so often as Christians. Throw ourselves out to the elements and leave it to God to sort us out, like going unprepared for an interview and asking the Lord to “turn the interviewer’s heart in my favour and bless me with the job”.
Let us not be foolish or negligent of the word of God, Proverbs 16 says Commit your ways to the Lord and your plans shall succeed, and vs 9; A man’s heart plans his course but God directs his path.
I have since learned to pray, plan and proceed all the while listening for God’s leading and direction. I’d rather do that than sit and wait, I believe God is glorified when he sees us use the ability He placed in us. Imagine how proud He must have been of Noah as he busied Himself planning and building that massive ark? Don’t you want God to be proud of you too?
Thank you for stopping by, do share your thoughts!