“13 I remain confident of this: I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. 14 Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord.” Psalm 27:13-14 NIV
Wait for the Lord. What does that mean? I’m learning. I’m learning that to wait for someone, you have to be in close communication. You also have to trust their word. If I don’t ask what their plans are, I might barge ahead with my own plans. I might get in the way of the other person’s plans. It might mean that we miss our connection entirely. Sometimes I forget to pause and check in with God’s plans for me. I barge ahead without hesitation thinking I know best. Occasionally I delude myself into thinking I know a lot more than I do. I waste time and energy worrying about things He has already worked out. So waiting is an art. To wait confidently and gracefully with composure. I still struggle in this area but I am learning! Sometimes I get too wrapped up in my head and don’t rely enough on God’s voice. So I have to go back to square one and get quiet and listen.
Father God, I’m so blessed that You are always there waiting for me. You never leave without me. You never leave me stranded. Thank you Lord!
“7-8 He grants good sense to the Godly – His saints, He is their shield, protecting them and guarding their pathway. 9 He shows how to distinguish right from wrong, how to find the right decision every time.” Proverbs 2:7-9 The Living Bible
“He shows…how to find the right decision every time.” Now that is a strategic piece of knowledge. So, why do I always think I know best? Why do I invest so much time and energy trying to figure things out?
I have found that many times I fight against letting go of the helm. I want what I want when I want it. That is not an optimal place to submit to God’s will. It is the antithesis of submission. Why am I so afraid to let go? That requires an examination of my heart. If I really sit quietly soaking in God’s Word and seeking His input, He begins to reveal what might be standing in the way of totally relinquishing to Him. Sometimes it requires healing; sometimes it requires repentance; sometimes it requires deliverance. It always requires that I sit with Him. Being real and being vulnerable enough to hear His voice.
The promise is really incredible! He grants good sense to the Godly. He shows how to distinguish right from wrong. He shows us how to find the right decision every time. It doesn’t get much better than that.
Lord, I pray that I seek You for the right decision every time.
3 “For the vision is yet for the appointed time; It hastens toward the goal and it will not fail. Though it tarries, wait for it; For it will certainly come, it will not delay. 4 “Behold, as for the proud one, His soul is not right within him; But the righteous will live by his faith.“ Habakkuk 2:3-4 NASB
Father, thank you for Your promises, Your deliverance and Your Word. Thank you for Your love, Your power and Your might that You wield on my behalf. Thank you for going before me and coming behind me. Thank you for Your favor.
Father, please search my heart to make it right and suitable for You. Take my heart and purge it of any prideful or soulish desires. I yearn to be in full communion with You, believing Your promises and waiting patiently and hopefully for Your timing.
“Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time.” 1 Peter 5:6 NIV
Pride has been an issue for me. This verse caught my eye because if I am prideful, I have already lifted myself up. I have not surrendered everything to God so that He can lift me up in His timing. Pride makes me get in a hurry to do things my own way. Pride makes me think that I know the best way. Pride throws patience to the curb and says “See you later, sucker!”
Pride forces its way into situations and circumstances with an expectation of entitlement. Humility is graceful and waits patiently offering to serve others in the meantime. Pride is rude and rash. Humility is gentle and kind. Pride takes what is mine first. Humility honors others first. Pride is legalistic. Humility hears the cry of the needy.
Father, help me surrender and submit to you in every way. Let humility govern my heart.
8 Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. 9 Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that the family of believers throughout the world is undergoing the same kind of sufferings. 10 And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast. 1 Peter 5:8-10 NIV
What is a little while? This scripture says that after we have suffered “a little while” Christ will restore us and make us strong. Whew! I am thankful for that. However, am I able to withstand suffering for a little while?
Sometimes it is easier to get through things if there is a goal in mind. Saving for a big vacation or a new car. Saving for a life event like college or a wedding. The process of saving requires choices, decisions and sometimes sacrifice. Suffering. Not having everything you want when you want it. Delayed gratification. We are not used to that in this day and age. We’ve become a right now culture at all costs. Do we understand what it means to wait or delay for the perfect timing? Is that why the word “suffering” is such a turn off?
To suffer can mean to be in pain. But it can also mean to endure or permit. Can we endure and permit delays and wait for God’s timing? To wait for God’s best for us?
I ask myself these questions all the time. I find that when I am feeling rushed into making decisions or choices that it gives me pause. Pause to pray and take God’s plans into consideration above my own. Sometimes, even frequently, the decision or choice I was in such a rush about starts to fade in importance…And I wait.
Lord, remind me to pause and not allow things to rush me. Help me to remember that Your pause brings peace and perspective.
“Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.” Matthew 11:29 NIV
Yoke: to join, couple, link or unite; to attach, pair; a part that secures two or more components so they move together; a link, tie or bond; to secure or harness.
When we take on the yoke of Jesus it means we are putting His teachings into practice in our lives. We trust Him with our life. It means we are joined with Him when the storms of life come. We are united. We are secure in Him. We move with Him as one. This is also how we demonstrate our love for Him.
When I was a teenager, I had lots of opportunity to get into trouble. The only reason I didn’t get in more trouble was because I knew how much my mom trusted me. She demonstrated gentleness and humility. It was just an unspoken part of her. It was her heart. Her trust held me in check more than any punishment could have. I did not want to break her trust. Believe me, I was far from perfect. Her trust kept me out of harm’s way many times.
It’s no different with Jesus. He trusts us to choose. He leaves the choice in our hands every day. We can demonstrate our love by choosing His yoke and releasing the ways of this world. Releasing the desire to criticize others, serve ourselves first, push our own agendas, and rush to our own conclusions. We demonstrate our love by walking in faith and trusting Him with our lives and the lives of others on a daily basis.
Father, help me see how much You trust me every day to act like You would. Help me carry the trust You have in me deep in my heart. I pray it directs my actions in every way.
“1The revelation from Jesus Christ, which God gave him to show his servants what must soon take place. He made it known by sending his angel to his servant John, 2 who testifies to everything he saw—that is, the word of God and the testimony of Jesus Christ. 3 Blessed is the one who reads aloud the words of this prophecy, and blessed are those who hear it and take to heart what is written in it, because the time is near.” Revelation 1:1-3 NIV
The image of John receiving this message from the angel of God is a powerful one. Wow. To see and hear from God like John – that would be incredible.
So what does it take to hear from God this clearly? Be still. I think we also have to know how much God loves us in order to fully trust what we hear. It is critical for us to know how deep and how true He loves us.
We will be tested. We will need to stand firm, stand firm in His life and His love. We will be faced with ugliness. Darkness will be all around us. In those times, the hard times, we need to trust God. Trust His love for us.
Father, help me stand. Help me simply stand firmly next to You. Hold my hand. Never leave me or forsake me. I know You never will because You promised.