Monday, February 29, 2016

Dial Daily Bread: The Point of "Waiting on the Lord"

Dear Friends of "Dial Daily Bread,"

What do you do if your desperate prayers seem unanswered? Like calling someone you know is listening, but they never say a word in response. Like you're alone in a vast universe feeling, well, let's say it, "God-forsaken."

It's as Moses said, the "heavens which are over your head shall be bronze, and the earth which is under you shall be iron" (Deut. 28:23). Anyone who has never had even a taste of that can only mouth helpful words that sound empty. Those whom God honors do have a taste, for it involves "the fellowship [of Christ's] sufferings" (Phil. 3:10). You can never enjoy "partaking" "when His glory is revealed" unless you have first been a partaker "of Christ's sufferings." This is the reason the Word says for you to "rejoice" (1 Peter 4:12, 13).

But this seems of small comfort just now. Let someone say something whom God especially called to nurture you (he partook intimately of Christ's sufferings). It's David in his Psalms:

"Wait on the Lord; ... wait, I say, on the Lord!" (Psalm 27:14). Find some spot where you can "shut your door, [and] pray to your Father who is in the secret place" (Matt. 6:6; that's the Son of David). But the point in "waiting" is not to say words as you pray, for the truth is, you don't know what words to say! "We know not what we should pray for as we ought" (Rom. 8:26). So if you don't know what to say, don't just mouth words that you "know not." That's the point of "waiting on the Lord." Wait, so you can listen.

The Lord will give you some place where you can "shut your door," and such a place may be only the darkness of night (that's a good time to pray when everybody else is asleep). To get up and kneel before the Lord when you want to stay snug in bed won't impress the Lord with your virtue, but it will help assure you that you are serious.

Now wait before Him, silent, eyes closed, alone, just asking Him to convict you of the truth of your situation. Don't hurry; "wait." If you're serious you will "wait." You "will watch to see what He will say to [you]" (Hab. 2:1). His Holy Spirit will convict you of God's response, for Jesus promised, "I will not leave you orphans; I will come to you." That is, by His Holy Spirit (John 14:16-18). Now it's time for you to do something--"believe ... that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him" (Heb. 11:6). Wait.

--Robert J. Wieland

From the "Dial Daily Bread" Archive: May 19, 2003.
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