I will reflect for a moment on what it means to wait on the Lord. It does not mean ‘do nothing’. To oversimplify it, I would say that it means that I should begin each morning looking at him. From that point I should take each step, one at a time, moving forward in his guidance.
For sometime now I have prayed that God would guide “my words, my thoughts, my steps, my decisions as I go through the day“. I do not believe that waiting on the Lord means inaction, I believe it means moving forward. But I believe that that moving forward is done in his light, according to his plan, one which I cannot know if I am not sitting and listening to him – through abiding.
Indeed, to wait on the lord means to be so intentionally listening to his instructions that I step in his path. As one pastor said it “I want my nose so closely behind his shoulder blades that I cannot see to the side”.
But, waiting sometimes does means inaction. This is why I’m such a big fan of Sabbath. For it is in Sabbath, stillness, quietness, that I can rest and reset my heart and mind so as to be able to hear more clearly.
I am a big fan of short naps. When my mind has begun to feel groggy for whatever reason, I will put myself in a quiet place, tell Siri to wake me up in 20 minutes, and begin to pray. In that prayer I focus on him. As I focus on him, my mind is reset, and then I drift into a light sleep, and then Siri wakes me up. I am refreshed and, the vast majority of the times, I am more alert. I think this is a kind of waiting on the Lord. Not being in such a rush. Not striving forward just because something needs to be done. Not seeking to fill a need, because the need is not necessarily the call.
Those with a bit of ‘works righteousness’, whose identity is found in what they do, instead of in our Lord, will find waiting on the Lord to be rather unnerving. They have been convinced that must change the world and change culture. I saw an interesting quote today that said “no where in the Bible is church told to change a culture.” I remember when I was pushing back against the whole culture thing in my doctoral studies saying that cultures are changed one heart at a time.
Reaching the world for Jesus or reaching a country for Jesus or reaching a city for Jesus, it seems rather pie in the sky, very unrealistic, And I’m not even sure it the words of Jesus. But evangelicalism in the last hundred years has been singing that song very loudly so that it has become, for the singers and the listeners, a kind of truth, while not being strictly true. With this kind of philosophy, it is difficult to… Wait on the Lord.
I think of a little booklet, Tyranny of the Urgent. Our urgency, to do this and that, have replaced any idea of waiting on the Lord. Jesus said abide in me and I will bear fruit in you. We are all about the fruit but we don’t necessarily want to abide. We have replaced the important (abiding) with the urgent (doing).
Let me try to put it in a sentence.
To wait on the Lord is, I think, a posture of looking to him as I step forward, walking in his steps, not in the urgencies of the world or it’s rescue.