Waiting on God

WaitingonGodWaiting on God (Baker Books, 2015)

Waiting on God: What to do when God does nothing is written by Wayne Stiles (DMin, Dallas Theological Seminary).  Dr. Stiles currently serves as an executive vice president at Insight for Living Ministries.  The Old Testament account of Joseph provides the framework for Wayne’s discussion of the most difficult kind of waiting- waiting on God.  Like Joseph, our confidence must be in God, not in God’s plan.  Therefore, God hides His plan so that we will trust Him- and wait on Him.

God arranges the gaps- where we wait on Him- as well as the great days.  Most noteworthy, those gaps are too long for us to place our hope in seeing significant days.  As a result, we need a different goal- faithfulness rather than significance.  However, when life gets tough we tend to take matters into our own hands.  This misguided effort only intensifies our problem.  Furthermore, Dr. Stiles notes, “natural circumstances seem more compelling than God’s revelation.”

In order to effectively wait on God, we must love Him supremely.  While waiting on God, He prepares us for our ultimate purpose by taking us on a journey we’d prefer to avoid.  Therefore, what we see as a hindrance to our progress truly becomes an essential part of our development.  In contrast, a ‘safe’ life that never gets us hurt seldom recognizes God’s hand.  Thus, we presume God’s goal for leading primarily involves taking us somewhere.  Instead, God’s main purpose is for us to follow.

By leading us, the Lord takes the initiative in our lives and waits for us to respond- a divine exchange.  In the process of this divine exchange, we grow.  Yet, Dr. Stiles observes, quite often the Lord allows painful tests to serve as a warning that something needs to change- usually us.  And during those moment of painful revelation, we experience God’s presence as He patiently waits on our response.  When in the midst of impossible situations, we need to trust God rather than figure out solutions.  Depending on people as our foundation only makes us slaves of our circumstances.

Although the world fails and disappoints us, God never does.  Our response necessitates walking the path of obedience.  Because the path of obedience always follows the big picture God sees, it ultimately leads to the life we truly desire.  As we humble ourselves, stand alone, and face our fears, we express trust in the Lord- with all our heart.  Dr. Stiles concludes:

“The Bible doesn’t tell us everything.  It doesn’t need to.  It tells us all we need to know to live a life of faith.  The rest, we wait for.”

About the author

Dave Henning

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