Wait Patiently for the Lord: The Lord is Sufficient

More than once someone has encouraged me to “wait patiently for the Lord.” Dare I say these are not my most cherished words!

My dictionary defines patience as “the capacity to accept or tolerate delays, problems or suffering without becoming annoyed or anxious.” Understandably, my name is not inserted near that definition as a prime example. As a matter of fact, my children laugh at the way I carefully choose routes of travel to avoid stop signs, traffic lights and construction zones. Neither the words “wait” nor “patiently” form the foundation of my genetic makeup.

How about you? What thoughts enter your mind as you read this passage?

Wait patiently for the LORD.
Be brave and courageous.
Yes, wait patiently for the LORD.”
Psalms 27:14

Note the double emphasis David used. Perhaps first to remind himself and then a second time to remind the rest of us.

Wait Patiently

The Hebrew word for “wait” means to bind together and to expect. I’m not alone in choosing more tangible, readily available things or people to “bind” myself to rather than trusting and relying confidently in God as my soul support.

Israel had a similar problem. They had a habit of “going” when God specifically asked them to “wait”; they “mumbled and grumbled” instead of “patiently” binding themselves to God as the source for all they needed. No finger pointing here! I associate more with their twisted attitude and off-centered focus than with the psalmist’s clear directive.

God is loving in all He does; He is an inerrantly good and gracious Father. As such, He works His friendly persuasion to lead us to rely on Him as our soul support and help.

“The Lord, the LORD of Heaven’s Armies
will take away from Jerusalem and Judah
everything they depend on:
every bit of bread and every drop of water.”
Isaiah 3:1

If God were to do the same with me, removing every level of support and supply, every attempt to protect or sustain myself, every self-created prop I so confidently depend upon, what would remain? I fear that I would quickly realize how little, rather than how much, I am actually waiting patiently on God.

Trusting on God

Two years ago, I purchased a small weeping birch tree. Although it was about eight feet tall, the trunk was quite slender and weak. To protect the new addition to my landscape, I staked it firmly on three sides, and tied it securely with soft cords. Weekly, I gave it the water and fertilizer it needed for steady growth and  root development.. There it stood flexing and bending during the summer storms.

In early winter, however, a fierce winter blizzard hit with freezing rain. The gale force winds and weight of icy boughs broke the support cords, pressing my little tree horizontal to the ground. All natural support had failed! I gently broke the ice from its frail branches and retied the little sapling, hoping it would somehow survive winter’s assault.

“But I am trusting you,
O LORD, saying, “You are my God!”
My future is in your hands.
Rescue me from those who hunt me down relentlessly.”
Psalm 31:14-15

Man made help and support might be adequate for the everyday “storms” of life, but only God is sufficient for all seasons and circumstances. David learned this truth on the hillside protecting his sheep from lions and bears — a truth reinforced while hiding in desert caves from a king who put a bounty on his life.

How willing am I to wait patiently on the Lord declaring, “my future is in your hands?” If I find it difficult to trust Him in this moment, with patience, how will I possibly trust Him with my unknown tomorrows?

Grace to Wait

Though I look impatiently to the destination God is pointing me toward, He is creating in me the grace to wait. He patiently develops my character with a greater “capacity to accept or tolerate delays, problems or suffering without becoming annoyed or anxious.” With God, patience is an attribute of His character: for me, however, patience is a process.

Although I don’t experience it moment by moment, through hindsight I vividly see the grace, strength and ability to endure taking form. What once caused a great deal of anxiousness and annoyance, now has far less power to control my emotions. Progress may be slow, but God continues to faithfully work in me.

My little tree doesn’t need artificial staking and support any more. It has developed an ability to bend and flex in the wind and endure extreme conditions. The trunk has thickened sufficiently to support the tree through the worst weather thrown its way. The unseen roots have spread out to securely anchor the sapling, producing vibrancy and growth. I hope the same can be said of each of us.

If we back up a few verses in Psalm 27, we discover the reason for David’s ability to wait patiently for the Lord with strength and courage. We see clearly where he plants his spiritual roots for optimum growth.

The LORD is my light and salvation —
whom shall I fear?
The LORD is the stronghold of my life —
of whom shall I be afraid?”
Psalm 27:1

The Lord Is!

When God removed every previous support system that David had once depended on, David was still secure, confident and solidly grounded. Why? God was enough! When all else is stripped away, we discover (often to our surprise) that the Lord is enough — He is sufficient to satisfy our every need.

Herein lies the joy of having all human and artificial supports removed from our lives. What nothing and no one else can bring, God supplies within Himself.

One thing I ask from the LORD this only do I seek:
that I may dwell in the house of the LORD
all the days of my life,
to gaze on the beauty of the LORD
and to seek him in his temple.
For in the day of trouble he will keep me safe in his dwelling;
he will hide me in the shelter of his sacred tent
and set me high upon a rock. . .
My heart says of you, “Seek his face!
Your face, LORD, I will seek.”
Psalm 27:4-8

When we finally come to realize that the Lord is all we need, the essential for our lives, we too possess an ability to wait patiently for Him. In Him, we find the strength and courage not just to wait, but to move ahead into what God is calling us to do — trusting fully that our future indeed is in His hands.

Looking Ahead

This one thing I want to remind myself of and encourage you with, “God is enough!” As we enter a new year, either with trepidation or optimism, we wait patiently for the Lord to lead us through.

“Do not be anxious about anything,
but in every situation, by prayer and petition,
with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.
And the peace of God,
which transcends all understanding,
will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
Philippians 4:6,7

Your Time Will Come! Be Ready! Be Prepared for Every Good Work!

Be Ready! Your Time Will Come!

Experience has taught me “your time will come”! Be ready! We never know, however, when that time will be. It is important to always be prepared and in the best position to take advantage of the opportunity when it comes.

I remember tensely waiting as teams were chosen at school. Of course, the strongest and best were picked first! As a small child, and only girl, in a small country school, I would invariably be chosen last. There was something reassuring, though, to finally hear my name being called.

When you aren't chosen!

There were other times when I wasn’t chosen at all; I would wander off and amuse myself elsewhere. Experiences of disappointment mark each of our lives at some point.

Jesus, on the other hand, leaves no one behind! He is getting us ready for the place of His choosing!

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD,
“plans to prosper you and not to harm you,
plans to give you hope and a future.”
Jeremiah 29:11

Parable of the Vineyard

When in Guatemala, I saw men from the slum villages sitting by the roadside hoping to be chosen to work for the day. Some days they were picked! Other days they went home empty handed!

Jesus tells a parable of  The Owner of a vineyard calling workers to come and work for Him. He came to the marketplace, early in the morning, at nine, again at noon, then at three in the afternoon looking for workers.

Early in the morning, many would gather ready to work. As the sun grew hot, hope grew cold! Fewer and fewer waited! One by one they drifted away, their faces etched by experiences of rejection and discouragement. It always hurts to be passed by.

But a few lingered, hoping against hope they would be noticed and welcomed into the field. Undaunted, they sharpened their tools in faith. They would not give up! Here they waited ready for the call to action!

Workers ready for the vineyard!

“About five in the afternoon
he went out and found still others standing around.
He asked them, ‘Why have you been standing here all day long doing nothing?’
“‘Because no one has hired us,’ they answered.
“He said to them, ‘You also go and work in my vineyard.’ ”
Matthew 20:6-7

Ready to be Chosen

The workers didn’t shrink back with the accusation of “doing nothing!” The persevering ones frankly expressed their willingness to work in the fields. They were ready!

God chose the lowly things of this world
and the despised things…”
1 Corinthians 1:28

God is still calling for workers! He continues to choose the unlikely ones, giving them value and purpose.

‘Call the workers and pay them their wages,
beginning with the last ones hired and going on to the first.’
The workers who were hired about five in the afternoon came
and each received a denarius.”
Matthew 20:6-9

Ready for every good work!

Whether the workers had worked an hour or a whole day, each received the same reward. The Owner paid the workers the denarius He promised. Those who worked through the heat of the day were indignant! Outraged is probably more accurate.

Such is the response of a lethargic, self-righteous people, “What? That’s unfair! I deserve more!”

To those who have waited, persevering in their love and devotion to God, while honing their skills, gratitude fills their hearts! They find the Owner as lavishly generous!

Ready for God’s Timing

A denarius represented a day’s wage for an unskilled worker or common soldier. God so valued each worker, whether their hours were few or many that He treats each equally.

It is God’s timing I often struggle with! I know I’m not alone! Often, we think we are ready for the opportunity or promotion long before God knows we are truly ready.

Wisdom is choosing to constantly walk in God’s ways, developing the necessary skills, serving wherever the need is and preparing ourselves in every way possible. God doesn’t waste any part of our lives, especially our waiting seasons!

“Whatever your hand finds to do,
do it with all your might…”
Ecclesiastes 9:10

Ready for God's timing!

Even in the waiting, be ready! Prepare for action!

Ready with Vision

Vision endures the wait, disappointment and rejection of being passed by.

“Where there is no vision, the people are unrestrained,
but blessed is the one who heeds wisdom’s instruction.”
Proverbs 29:18

Without vision impatience incites us to

move when God is saying, “Stay!”
arouses frustration and anger
ignites comparisons and competition
provokes self-promotion or self-abasement.

“Vision” includes revelation, prophecy, or divine guidance. Knowing God’s will for our lives helps us to stay the course even when we don’t tangibly see the fulfillment being realized. When we are ready, listening and obeying in the little things, blessing will follow.

Preparing in the waiting!

Sitting and waiting has never been my strength! Quite the opposite! God has been consistently building patient endurance in me.

Resting in wait…
Preparing in the wait…
Trusting in the wait…
Optimistic in the wait…

I am still a work in progress!

God so values each of us! He will always be the Rewarder of those who wait on His timing for their lives. We can trust Him to know what is best. In the process, let’s be ready when He comes our way and invites us into His field in a new or different capacity.

Your time will surely come! Be prepared and ready for every good work!

**********

What To Do When The Answer is “No”

**********

Never miss another blog! Sign up here!

Intercession – Releasing The Power of The Cross Through Prayer

Intercessory Prayer

Prayer plays a strategic role in the life of every believer; intercession is only one dimension of that prayer. It is a critical tool in the spiritual arsenal available for us. Yet, it is perhaps the least understood!

“I urge, then, first of all,
that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving
be made for all people…”

I Timothy 2:1

Paul urges Timothy to utilize four distinct types of prayer because

“This is good, and pleases God our Saviour,
who wants all people to be saved
and to come to an knowledge of the truth.”
I Timothy 2:4

Intercession

Perhaps one of the best books written on the subject is “Intercessory Prayer” by Dutch Sheets. It is worth both a read and a study. I’ll just scratch the surface and leave the deep theological stuff to the pros.

The word Paul uses here for intercession is (1783 Strongs) énteuksis. It means intervention or more literally “to strike, hit the mark or the bulls-eye“.

Intercession - Strike The Mark

1783 /énteuksis (“Spirit-directed intervention“) refers to the petitions (intercessions)
of believers as they “fall in line with” God’s will –
revealing how the one intervening should get involved after drawing near to God
and agreeing with His revealed will. True intercession
(1783 /énteuksis) seeks to act only as the Lord directs,
i.e. following His will to act as His hand extended (cf. 1 Jn 4:17).

(  copyright © 1987, 2011 by Helps Ministries, Inc.
For complete text and additional resources visit: TheDiscoveryBible.com)

Intercession is the faith prayer joining God’s will in heaven and His perfect desire on earth. The mystery is He chooses to use His people as the conduit through which His power flows.

The Waiter

Therefore, the first posture of the intercessor is on our knees waiting to hear and to know what God’s perfect will is in a situation.

Waiting

In the midst of a fast paced culture where identity often rests on results, this can be a difficult position to assume. First, it requires the laying down of our own desires and longings. Then it demands perfect trust in knowing we can hear the voice of the Shepherd clearly.

My sheep hear my voice,
and I know them, and they follow me.”
John 10: 27

God’s voice will always line up perfectly with His Word. His word reflects His heart and character. Just as in any relationship, the only way to truly know His heart is by spending copious amounts of time with Him.

The Warrior

Jesus led by example when confronted by the chief of adversaries. To every attack He used the word of God as His only weapon! It is obvious that the devil also knows the word of God and from the beginning has used it in a variety of twisted and distorted forms.

¹²For we have the living Word of God which is full of energy,
and it pierces more sharply than a soldier’s sword…”
Hebrews 4:12 (Passion Translation)

Warrior

Paul commands,

Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit,
which is the word of God.”
Ephesians 6:17

The sword is part of the armour to be employed daily. It is interesting to note the word of God is our only offensive weapon. Intercession, more than any other type of prayer, is a precise instrument for offensive attack on the enemy’s onslaughts.

To know the word, here meaning the written word (logos), of God is imperative to our ability to wield the sword hitting the mark.

The Worshipper

Sometimes impossibilities become possible simply through spoken praise, adoration and worship of our Lord Jesus Christ. One of my absolute favourite passages of scripture is 2 Chronicles 20. The enemy was fierce! King Jehoshaphat goes to the temple, the place of divine strategy, and lays out the situation before God. At the Lord’s command they

Take up your positions;
stand firm and see the deliverance the LORD will give you.

Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged. 
Go out to face them tomorrow.” (vs 17)

That sounds familiar! But what is surprising is that he appoints singers to lead!

“to praise him for the splendor of his holiness
as they went out at the head of the army, saying:
Give thanks to the LORD,
for his love endures forever.’
As they began to sing and praise,
the LORD set ambushes against the men of Moab and
they were defeated.” (vs 21, 22)

Worshipper

How many volunteers would we get for that choir today? The strong guys with weapons were in the rear! Now that is faith in motion!

Under the Cross

As an intercessor, one simultaneously and interchangeably assumes all three roles: waiting on the Lord, warring on His behalf, and worshipping and adoring Him alone. Positioned under the finished work of the cross of Christ, the intercessor stands in the chasm between heaven and earth releasing the will of the Father towards the children of man.

Though God can work independently of humans, He has chosen to limit Himself to work through us by Holy Spirit. We have no ability to set captives free, but we call upon the One who has paid the ransom for freedom for all. We have no power to heal, but we seek the Healer to move bringing alignment of afflicted bodies into heaven’s order. We stand on Christ the Rock and in the authority of His Name expect

the release of the demoniac,
soundness of mind to the tormented,
restoration to the oppressed,
chains of bondage broken over captives,
eyes once spiritual blind to see the Light of Life.

Soldiers take your positions! Strike the mark!

 

Under the Cross by MaryAnn Ward
Under the Cross by MaryAnn Ward

__________

If you want to be sure to never miss a blog, sign up here and be part of our growing list of subscribers.

__________