If I told you that I needed you to wait at a certain (safe) location where nothing was going on and nothing was happening, but if you did, I would reward you with $100, what would you say? What would you do? What if I increased the amount to $1,000? How much would it take for you to drop everything and just quietly wait, ignoring all of the things in life that try to draw you in? Ignoring your phone. Ignoring all those things that pull for your attention?
People like to say that they could do it or would do it, but the sad truth is that most wouldn’t. And most don’t. Society has, over the years, developed the human mind to shy away from a place of silence and stillness. You have to be doing something all the time. You have to put your hand to something—watch this video, scroll this screen. To drop everything and do nothing comes only at bedtime and death.
But that’s not how it should be. As Christians, we should cringe at the idea of constantly doing things, constantly scrolling, continually moving, and constantly thinking. We should have that desire to draw away and just wait. Not to wait on nothing, but to wait upon God.
When we do, great things will happen.
One of the problems is that you and I are geniuses. Okay, maybe I am. I won’t vouch for you. And as geniuses, we have no need for God because we can do it all on our own. (Aren’t you glad I didn’t call you a genius now?) Many of us think that we can do everything on our own because we’re either that smart or we have enough of God’s Word dwelling in us that we don’t need His ability, His wisdom, or His power to operate through us to do the things He has created us to do.
Guess what? That’s not true. It’s a lie straight from Hell. Yet it’s so hard to separate ourselves for any extended period of time to wait on the Lord, to seek His face and His wisdom. But if we could, great things would happen. If we would choose to lay down the things of this world (things that aren’t necessarily bad; they just occupy our time), then we would see our entire world changed by what God can do through us.
Let’s take a moment and see what the Bible and history have to say about waiting on the Lord.
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. – Isaiah 40:31 NKJV
One thing that is going to happen to us when we wait on the Lord is that our strength is going to be renewed. I’m not sure about you, but I need my strength renewed. God has promised us that as we pray and seek His face, waiting on Him, He is going to give us strength to do what we need to do.
And he spake a parable unto them to this end, that men ought always to pray, and not to faint; -Luke 18:1 KJV
If you look this verse up in other translations, you’ll see that prayer will help us not to get discouraged, become weak, weary, lose heart, and give up. Prayer, waiting on God, gives us the ability to do what needs to be done.
Do you remember when Jesus went to the cross? Of course you do. And you remember when He went to the garden beforehand? Before Jesus went to the cross, He went to the garden to get the ability and strength to go to the cross. He went there to pray so He wouldn’t faint, give up, and lose heart. The other disciples, however, He told them to pray, but they were under so much spiritual oppression from the enemy that they didn’t. Instead of praying to get that strength, they fell asleep. And in turn, they gave up and scattered when Jesus was arrested.
What about others through history? It’s great that it works in the Bible, and if we apply it to our lives, it’s going to work for us. But it encourages us and helps us to see it happening today, in modern times. Doesn’t it?
Years ago, there was a minister named Raymond T. Richie. He held healing meetings across the country, and thousands were delivered from the powers of darkness. But God’s ability working through him didn’t come because he was a good person. It came because he did what the Bible says. He waited on God.
“Brother Collins was a great inspiration to Raymond’s life. For some time he was very closely associated with him in the ministry, and it was Brother Collins who taught him the great secret of waiting upon God. Not an occasional hour did he pray, but many consecutive hours, and should you have been fortunate enough to occupy a room adjoining him and to awaken during the night, it was the rule rather than the exception to hear the low murmur of his voice as he communed with the Lord.”
What about Evan Roberts, the most prolific minister of the Welsh Revival?
“It is pertinent to note here that in today’s evangelistic efforts, massive publicity and promotional campaigns are utilized to bring the ministry of an individual before the public eye. In extreme contrast with this was the ministry of Evan Roberts, who, though he became by far the most publicized preacher in the world at that time, he repeatedly refused interviews with newspaper men who came from every part of the globe. He had no desire for publicity and adulation. He was acutely conscious that his ministry was of God and not of himself, and he walked cautiously in prayer before the Lord with great concern, lest the Holy Spirit be grieved and withdraw from his midst. He knew that without the presence and power of the Holy Spirit, nothing of lasting value could be accomplished.”
But there were times when he realized all he had to offer was from himself, not from God: “And, in the event that Evan felt he did not have the divine inspiration from God to preach, he would simply not preach! He therefore became known as the “silent preacher.”
Let me share two more examples from history. Pastor David Yongi Cho, who at one time was the pastor of the largest church in the world, made spending time with God a priority. It was such a priority that many others might see it as being weird or fruity. However, spending time with the Creator of the Universe is never such a thing. He was at a pastor’s conference in Florida once and, while onstage, asked to be excused because he wasn’t done spending time with the Lord. He then proceeded to leave and do so. That might seem odd, but the fruit of his lifestyle proved that it was working. God was showing up in his life and at his church.
The great healing evangelist Oral Roberts was known for waiting on the Lord before his meeting because he realized that he had nothing to offer the people. There were several times that his meetings would not start on time because he was still fellowshipping with the Lord, waiting on Him, and getting the anointing that provided the healing power that the people needed. Today, the problem is that we are so prideful that we think we have something to give people without the Lord’s help. We don’t.
It doesn’t matter if you are a minister or not. If you are a Christian, you have a call from the Lord to fellowship with Him, wait on Him, and receive what He has for you and your life. You may be a businessman, a student, a teacher, a warehouse worker, or anything else—in all of it, we’re called to wait on Him. In that time, we will receive what we need to accomplish everything we need to do in life. Don’t neglect it, or it will bring regret. Stay with the Word and the Spirit.