Some people have a way of looking at Bible verses that hugely inspire me. One of those in particular is a guy called Steven Furtick. He leads a church in the USA called “Elevation”, a church that has exploded in growth over the last few years. God is clearly doing great things there. Below is one of the posts from Steven Furtick’s blog – I hope you find it as encouraging as I did:
Pastor Steven was back in the house this weekend and this was the third installment of our four week series, Waiting Room. So far, we’ve learned how to turn our waiting rooms into work rooms and how to stop waiting for forgiveness by learning to “let it go.” Continuing this theme, Pastor Steven taught us this week that waiting is active, not passive.
Pastor Steven used Isaiah 40:27-31 and Luke 15:28-32 as his Scripture references this week. Both parties in these passages have seemingly been put on hold as they wait on God for something that hasn’t been completed in their lives. However, Pastor Steven gave us a challenging message on this “Already/Not Yet” tension, teaching us how to recognize what God has done that hasn’t yet manifested itself in our lives.
Isaiah 40 shows us five elements of waiting:
- What we want (v.27): We want God to hear us and respond immediately.
- Who God is (v.28): He is the everlasting God. He doesn’t grow weary. We’ll never be capable of fully understanding His works or His timing.
- What God gives (v.29): He gives power to the weak and increases strength in those that have no might. That’s us.
- How we feel (v.30): We get weak. We get tired. Even the strongest of us do.
- What we do (v.31): Be less concerned with what God can do for us while we are waiting and more concerned with what we need to do while we wait. What we call waiting is actually a form of spiritual procrastination.
Are you really waiting on the Lord? Isaiah 40 suggests that waiting involves action, effort, energy, and obedience. Those who wait on the Lord don’t sit around, they move forward. Don’t use the excuse, “I’m waiting on God, therefore I’m not going to do anything.” Procrastination often puts on a mask and pretends to be patience. God wants you to do something-don’t just sit back and hope for something to happen! Don’t wait on Him passively. Serve Him proactively.
“When you think of waiting on the Lord,” Pastor Steven said, “I want you to think about a waiter or waitress in a restaurant.” In a restaurant, a waiter doesn’t necessarily wait on you, they serve you. Perhaps “waiting” on the Lord has been contaminated to think that it simply means sitting back and waiting on God to serve us.
In the story of the Prodigal Son, the older brother stood with his arms crossed, lamenting that his father never even gave him a goat to have a party with. His father’s response was essentially, “What are you waiting for?! You know where the goats are and you can have any goat you want any time you want! Go get your goat! Have your party!” God doesn’t want to send stuff down, He wants to work stuff out. Often times, as Pastor Steven said, we don’t need to wait on God to send something down from Heaven. He’s already given us everything we’ll ever need. He can’t give us what’s already ours!
In Exodus 14, Moses told the Israelites to wait for God to save His people. God asked Moses what he was waiting for and pointed back to Moses’s staff. Don’t stand still, move forward! You already have what you need! Change the way you pray for peace, joy, and forgiveness. Instead of waiting for God to give you joy, rejoice in the Lord. Instead of waiting for God to give you confidence, go build someone else up and you’ll find what you need in what God has already given you! Let your fear dissipate in the faith in what God has given you. Take access of the fruits He has already given you seeds for.
What are you waiting on God for that you should be taking hold of instead? What has God already given you access to that you have been neglecting through procrastination?