Waiting on God…

Sometimes I want to scream, “How long, Lord?”

How long must I wait on you? How long before I hear answers to my prayers? How long before I see you move on my behalf? How long before we see your glory? How long before you rid the world of evil and save us from this wicked place? How long before you restore a kingdom of righteousness and peace and joy? How long, Lord? How long, Lord? How long must we wait?

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His response is, “Not long.” He will not tarry.

But am I waiting like I am supposed to?

Whoever keeps the fig tree will eat its fruit;
So he who waits on his master will be honored. (Prov. 27:18)

The Christian walk is one of patience. We are continually exhorted to run this race with endurance. We are expected to persevere through various trials and tribulations. We are reminded that those who overcome will be saved. Nevertheless, I think some people misunderstand how we are to wait. Our waiting on God is not like one who sits passively in a waiting room, but it is more like one who waits on tables.

Whoever keeps the fig tree will eat its fruit;
So he who waits on his master will be honored. (Prov. 27:18)

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The scripture compares waiting on our Master like a person who keeps a fig tree. This kind of waiting is service. It is looking to provide all that the object/subject of our attention needs. The person who keeps a fig tree is constantly looking after it, watering it and making sure the tree has sunlight (this is me making an assumption; I have never taken care of a fig tree). This person is serving the fig tree and will be later served by the fig tree.

In a similar way, the waiter serves the guest, providing water and food for the guest on their command. The waiter checks on his guest throughout the evening–seeking to make sure the guest is happy. The waiter is serving this guest with the expectation of being paid.

I think waiting on God is a similar thing. Waiting on God is not a passive thing. We serve God diligently, and we expect Him to bless us, don’t we? We expect Him to be in fellowship with us. We hope to be in Heaven with Him. We expect Him to answer our prayers. This is not because we believe we deserve this (though a waiter or planter may very well deserve to be rewarded for their service), but this is because He has graciously promised us this through His Son. He has given us a promise that if we follow His commands, we will be blessed. For those who have His commands and keep them, they will be loved by God and He will manifest Himself to them (John 14). So we serve God in the hope and expectation that He will continue to serve us.

However, let’s not make the mistake of thinking we serve God as though he needed anything. For He has given us “life, breath, and all things” (Acts 17:25). He needs nothing from us. We need everything from Him. We need His attention and affection. Any ministry or service we do on His behalf is done in the capacity that He has given us. And it will be for our ultimate benefit because our joy becomes full in the process. So in serving God, it’s like we serve ourselves. “Waiting” is seeking to serve God, by allowing God to serve ourselves to Him for us. In our glorifying of Him, we are most blessed by Him.

Whoever keeps the fig tree will eat its fruit;
So he who waits on his master will be honored. (Prov. 27:18)

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Instead of twiddling our thumbs, we should be serving ourselves to Him as a living sacrifice. We must be presenting our minds, our hearts, and wills to be consumed by Him! In His consumption, we are most fulfilled!

Simply put: every chance we get we should be watering our hearts in prayer and providing the Son’s light to our minds from His word. We should be cultivating our faith like the person who keeps the fig tree. As we wait on God, we will see the growth and the fruit of His Spirit. And in the right season, we will hear from God. At the right time, He will show us His glory! But we cannot stop waiting! Everything He does is for a reason. Everything has its perfect season. All things will work for good for those who love God and are called! We should never stop answering His call! We should never stop serving Him and serving ourselves to Him! We should never stop submitting! We must seek His deliverance for our lives! We must watch for Him! And We must wait!

How long? Not long!

Therefore, do not cast away your confidence, which has great reward. For you have need of endurance, so that after you have done the will of God, you may receive the promise: 

“For yet a little while, And He who is coming will come and will not tarry. Now the just shall live by faith; But if anyone draws back, My soul has no pleasure in him.”  

But we are not of those who draw back to perdition, but of those who believe to the saving of the soul.

(Heb. 10:35-39)

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