Waiting for God...

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by Onlybygrace, Feb 17, 2010.

  1. Onlybygrace

    Onlybygrace
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    One of the hardest things for me to do is to wait for God. And it seems I am constantly waiting. Sometimes I wonder if in the office block of God's divine plan and purpose there is perhaps a secret waiting room that people like me have been unwittingly assigned to. There we sit blissfully unaware that the door we are eager to go through is just a facade leading to another waiting room with another door...ad infinitum!

    Yet outside that room everyone seems to be getting on with life, living out their dreams, achieving their goals, accomplishing something significant in the world, while we wait, seemingly set aside, called off the field, waiting on the sideline as the game rages on.

    It seems almost cruel doesn't it? The Holy Ones would call that blasphemy I suppose and seize the opportunity to rattle off a zillion scritures about the secret to happiness being contentment...while we wait!

    We wait for them to finish, we wait for them to listem, we wait for them to move on so that we can watch them torture someone else in the room while we wait!

    They say everthing comes to him who waits...Is that true? When do you wait and when do you act. When does patience become passivity and when does action become ambition?
    How thin is the line between waiting and wasting and how do I tell the difference between faith and foolishness?
    I have plenty of time to ponder these things..as I wait...
     
  2. Crabtownboy

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    Hang in there. I do not know how old you are, but it seems for much of my adult life I had pretty much the same experience. There were times that I could see in hindsight that God had been at work, but it was exceedingly hard to see where he was leading. It was only after I retired that several opportunities came to my wife and I that I had inklings of where he was leading. Some of those doors seem to have closed now and I am waiting for the next to open.

    I wait and watch. If a door opens and the way is there I will walk through it regardless of where it leads.

    God may well be preparing you for that which you have not imagined ... that was the way with my wife and I.
     
  3. paul wassona

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    Maybe you're waiting on the wrong thing? Get busy doing something. "An idle mind is the devil's workshop" is a true saying and it shows in what you said. Hospitals, orphanages, nursing homes, rescue missions, etc., etc. are in great need of some one who can give a tender touch with a pure heart. Start a bus ministry. Start a card ministry. Start a clothes closet. Start a food pantry. Start an elderly companionship ministry within your church. DO SOMETHING! other than sitting in a waitingroom. People who fail at trying at least tried. People who fail because they wait on something to do die having done NOTHING. There's the chewing out you wanted now get up and......
     
  4. Onlybygrace

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    :) Thak you brothers for you response.
    To crabtownboy...I am nowhere near retirement age, but the wait has been 20 years now,

    To paul, thanks for the whippin but I am actually pretty involved in teaching several bile studies, preaching when asked, personal evangelsim, music ministry and even the writing of a christian book to name but a few :(
     
  5. Trotter

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    I feel your frustration as it is also my own. The feeling of having been put on a shelf and left idle while others around you are put into play and are being used. I can handle "no" better than I can handle "wait" as "no" is a definite, but "wait" is uncertainty. As a finite and sometimes impatient, imperfect human being, definite works much better for me than uncertainty.

    If I have learned anything in my years upon this earth, though, it is that my wants don't mean diddly in the grand scheme of things. That's a pretty bitter pill to swallow for me, but that doesn't change the fact of the matter. I would much rather have it all laid out before me so I could study it and go along with it in the full knowledge of what is going on and why. It's funny, though, as God doesn't seem hip to that idea.

    So I wait and stay busy in the meantime. My fear is that I will be too busy to notice when God does finally call for me to follow Him on to the next step. There are so many things that can be used to take up our time, talents, and energy. Most of them are good, but they are no substitute for what God has planned. But, then, we don't know what those plans are, and whether or not they will be something we actually want to do. God sometimes uses waiting as a way to prepare us for things that we would not be willing to endure otherwise... things like pain and loss are hard things to endure, but waiting helps to prepare us for those tough times because we are much more sensitive to God's voice from straining to hear it for so long.

    I will pray for you, and I ask that you pray for me. One day God will pull back this curtain of mortality and we will get to see everything He was doing in our lives including these times of waiting. Then, and only then, will we completely understand it all. Until then we will continue to wait... and to pray.
     
  6. BJWester

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    I have always wanted to have children. I married a woman who wanted to have children. God has given me a gift with kids; I just love kids (yours, mine, whomevers).

    After my wife and I were married, we prayed to have children. After two years of trying and praying, I began to get bitter. I couldn't pray about it anymore. It hurt whenever someone asked about us having kids. For two more years, I had bitterness in my heart about this. But God finally answered our prayer and my wife became pregnant.

    A few months later, I came home from work to find my wife gone. She called from the Doctor's office to tell me she was being taken by ambulance to the hospital as she was in labor (17 weeks premature). On the way to the hospital, God brought to me the image of Abraham with Isaac on the altar. "Take your son, your only son, whom you love" . Essentially asking me "Who do you love more - the child or me?"

    As I drove, I confessed my bitterness to God and told him my child was His. I couldn't protect or care for her. My daughter was born 15 weeks premature (1lb 4oz) and is a happy, healthy 9 year old today. She was soon followed by another daughter and two sons. God is so good.

    My point here is that my bitterness grew as I focused on the wait. I can't imagine praying and waiting for 20 years, but I hope my story is an encouragement to you.
     
  7. menageriekeeper

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    How do you know you are waiting?

    Sounds to me like you being used plenty. What do you think God has you waiting to do? Or in other terms, what do think God has called you to do that you haven't done?

    Or are you waiting for a want of your own?

    See, its *my* wants that get me frustrated when I have to wait. Doesn't bother me at all when God says for me to do something and then doesn't provide a way immediately. But if I I I I I I want something and I think my want is something God wants too, waiting is interminable!!! It never ends.........................

    Anyhow, just my two cents and all questions are rhetorical so feel free not to answer them.
     
  8. paul wassona

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    I agree with MGK, you sound very busy. Many times we don't see the magnitude of our current service. Too many times our expectation in service is higher than the Lord has us prepared for. I've seen many have the "pat on the back" the "name in the hat" and see them nearly destroyed or worse because neither were they ready to fill that position, nor was it God's will but the will of wellmeaning men. I preach every Sunday to the "problem" teens. We see fruit in some of their lives, but some not so. I am not revered much by many in the church for what I do for Him. In fact I have had interference by those who thought they were more qualified. Sad that I have to say is God put me here and they thought He didn't. I have GREAT liberty preaching here. A man of God knows what I mean. It has to do with being in the place God has put you. What are you waiting for? Prestige. popularity, a pulpit which somebody else fills? Fill the one that God filled you for! PRAYING!
     
  9. Onlybygrace

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    YOu guys have some really good comments and insights and really I agree with everything. I have to say that I don't equate business with productivity but activity and activity is never proof of living out God's will or fulfilling His purposes. I try not to busy but productive, choosing carefully the things I invest myself in and trying always to priorotise His kingdom above my needs and wants.

    I think menageriekeeper has really given me food for thought. Maybe I am not waiting, maybe this is it. But if it is why do I feel like God is calling me to full time service. Could I have missed the opportunity and now all I'm feeling is regret? If it is then I have to come to terms with that and be content to serve where I am in the capacity I am in.
    There are other things as well that I'm waiting for. The bible says that we seek first His kingdom and righteousness all things will be added as well. What about delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart? What about if you abide in me and your word abide you ask what you will and it will be done unto you? what about ask, seek and knock?
     
  10. Martin

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    ==Nice to meet another member of the learning to wait for the Lord club. :wavey:


    ==I think Scripture teaches that waiting on the Lord is not sitting in a waiting room doing nothing while life passes us by. We are to do what God has given us to do while we wait. I think that is where many of us get side tracked. We are so busy waiting that we forget to do the work God has given us and we forget to thank God for the things He has blessed us with.

    At this present time I have waiting on the Lord to answer a very important need in my life. There was a time, not so long ago, that the waiting was about to drive me crazy. I prayed about it every day, multiple times a day, I even tried pushing the door open myself. Guess what? It did not work. I know the Lord is working and I know He has His perfect timing. I'm learning to do what He has given me to do at this time and trust Him to open the door at the right time. In the past year (roughly) I have seen His hand at work and, more importantly, I think I am learning why He has me waiting.


    ==Actually the Psalmist Asaph had similar problems (Ps 73). Why do the righteous seem to be behind the unrighteous? Why does it seem that those who serve the Lord don't get the "perks" of the wicked? God answered Asaph's question and, in doing so, I think He also answers ours. God will help, God will answer, in His timing. Until then we are to trust in Him. This does not come easy. It takes time and learning (Phil. 4:6-7, 12).


    ==Patience becomes passivity when we are not doing what God has called us to do at the moment. Waiting on the Lord is an active state.
     
  11. Jon-Marc

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    Unfortunately, I have never been one for waiting--too impatient. I have made so many mistakes in my life and regretted every one of them.

    I had a friend who wanted so badly to pastor his own church. He didn't have the education or qualifications to candidate for a church and decided to start his own. He did, however, have a good knowledge of God's word.

    He got a few people together, and they took out a loan on a church building that was for sale. The mortgage payment was $3,000 per month, and they quickly lost the building since they weren't able to make the payments.

    He didn't wait on the Lord and did what he wanted without first finding out what God wanted. He wanted to be "the man in charge" and wasn't satisfied with being a follower. He called a pastor one time and asked "What position can you give me if I come there?" The pastor said, "Well, I need a janitor." That wasn't what he wanted. He wanted at the very least to be a deacon.
     
  12. Onlybygrace

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    I think that everything you are saying Martin is absolutely valid. But what I am struggling to come to terms with is whether or not God has a specific purpose for my life or whether this is it. I am very busy serving God, I try to never be a christian who sits around twiddling his thumbs but rather I try to look for opportunities to serve God. But I can't help but feel there must be more for me yet every time I reach for it doors either close or never open. I've always thought that if I have a heart to serve God that He would bless me my giving me an opportunity to serve Him in a greater capacity, not necessarily as a big upfront leader type, but just something more significant in terms of contribution. But it never happens. I feel like I've missed the boat and its not coming back this way or maybe I was never meant to be on that boat in the first place...is that possible?
     
  13. donnA

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    Lots of people are looking for something great to do serving God and get impatient waiting for it to appear. But you say you are serving God already. Perhaps your waiting for something thats not there, you are serving God, what if your already doing exactly whats He's given you, all the while complaining it isn't great enough.
    Our old pastor used to preach all the time, if you don't know what God wants you to do next, then do the last thing He told you until He tells you differently.
    Sounds like your doing it.
    God has a plan for each of us to serve Him, some of those are something 'great', by human standards, some are mediocre, by human standards. I don't think God holds the same standards we do. Yet we expect Him to preform by our standards.
    If your serving God where He has put you, then your serving right where God wants you. Then standing back and telling Him it(His will) isn't enough.
    Prehaps you could pray not for more to do or greater to do, but to know satisfaction in serving Him, to be satisfied in serving Him, assurance your serving in the right area.
     
  14. Onlybygrace

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    I don't know if I'm just imagining it but it seems like the majority of posters on this thread seem to misinterpreting what I am saying.

    So for the sake of clarity allow me to respond a little. I think it is incorrect to assume that because a person says they want to serve God in a greater capacity that they mean that they want a position, recognition, popularity or power and authority. That is a very negative and worldly view of service in God's kingdom and I assure you it is not mine. I am talking about fulfillment not recognition. I have always been more than happy to serve God without fanfare in an unobiquitious and often anonymous capacity. Much of what I do in terms of ministry no one even knows and I don't want them to know. When you start blowing your own trumpet you can forget about God's commendation. I've just turned down numerous requests to rejoin the church executive simply because I believe that once you have a position it changes peoples perceptions and expectations of you and in some ways even restricts your ability to minister.

    But let me ask you this question:

    If desiring to serve God in a greater capacity is so wrong then what do you do with 1 Timothy 3:1? -

    "Here is a trustworthy saying: If anyone sets his heart on being an overseer, he desires a noble task."
     
  15. menageriekeeper

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    I keep reading.

    Look at the list of requirements that follows the first verse.

    I don't know how old you are, but from your writings you sound fairly young (late 20's or early 30's). I'm, hmm, quite a bit older than you! And I know from experience that while we make think we hold all those requirements in our hands, most of don't and sometimes we react to situations in ways far different than what we thought we would.

    So lets look at the list:

    Do you have a wife? Children?

    Do you behave well? (in private as well as in public, cause God sees all and what you think you are doing in private most certainly will affect how God deals with you)

    Are you sober? (and btw, that isn't talking about alcohol, but attitude.)

    Do you have a talent for teaching?

    Are you calm? (not a striker, means not given to temper)

    How about alcohol? Do you have a habit? (many substances can be substituted into this question. Pain killers, pot, etc)

    Do you love money? (this one is very hard in our materialistic society and this one used to be my downfall as it kept me from the next requirement)

    Are you hospitiable? Do you welcome folks into your home, feed them supper?

    Are you a patient man, or do you get frustrated when things don't happen the way you think they should or on the schedule you believe they should happen? (better consider this one CAREFULLY)

    Are you into wrestling or mixed martial arts? (not a brawler)

    Would you like to drive a car as nice as your neighbors mercedes? (not covetous)

    Are you children under control? Do you even know? See I am finding out that as my children age, I have less and less control. I have good kids compared to most, but there are still things that go on that I find out about later. This, is probably the hardest requirement of all, simply because controlling our children is only possible to a certain point or the control turns into "provoking our children to wrath". I was on the childhood side of control. I was controlled completely and because of it, I no longer have a relationship with my parents and we do NOT believe the same at all. I'm still going to hell in their opinion because I have playing cards and alcohol in my house and dare not to go to church when I believe my family is better served by staying home. Doesn't matter that I am saved by grace and that is the gift of God. ('nuff said)

    And the list goes on. But I'm not going to. Sometimes, we can't see our faults for ourselves. We have to be patient until God reveals them to us. It can take years (I still have financial control issues) or it might be never (my parents will never figure it out this side of heaven). When God has you prepared the way He wants you, He'll put you in the place He wants you to serve in.

    And if you can't have faith in God's timing, then how much faith do you really have?

    Now, mind you I don't expect a direct answer to any of the questions in this post. These ore for you own reflection only.
     
  16. Onlybygrace

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    Aah MGK, are you suggesting that God's calling upon a person's life, their possession of wisdom or qualification or disqualification for full time service has anything to do with age? hmmm I hope not because you and I both know that God is no respecter of persons and that He called as many young people both in the bible and throughout church history to blaze a trail for him as he did older folk.

    I would also like all pastors on BB to enter a poll so we can see how many of them in the past and at present have met all of those qualifications 100%. Paul himself was both wifeless and childless from what we know as are many ministers so what has that got to do with anything?

    With regard to patience I don't think it is as much me demanding God give me what I want when I want as much as it is me struggling to understand what He wants. I don't mind what it is, I just want to know what it is. If this is it...that's ok.

    The fact is, nothing we have or think we have in terms of standards or qualities entitles us to occupy any ministry position or function. God gives out of the fullness of his sovereign grace never because we have a right to it or deserve it or qualify for it. We are given opportunities by grace, we minister through grace and we succeed because of His grace. And when we fail it is His grace that picks us up again, dusts us off and gives us the strength to face our failure and carry on. Many people who may have started out all shiny in the ministry, happy that they met the biblical qualifications, didn't stay all shiny. Many have messed up in many areas along the way, some public, some private some with permanent consequences and some with temporary. That doesn't make them failures or useless or less than anyone else it just makes them human.

    Those standards in Timothy are not just for full time workers, they are for every christian. Have you at all times met all those qualifications?

    BTW Thanks for the compliment about my age...
     
  17. Amy.G

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    True, but recall that Moses was 40 years old when he fled to the desert and 80 years old when God called him to free the Hebrews. What was he doing those 80 years? Was it wasted time? I think God was preparing him for the service He called him to do.

    I'm 50 years old and still waiting to find out what my spiritual gift is. Maybe when I'm 80? :)
     
  18. menageriekeeper

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    No, its not about age. Remember Timothy was just a young man.

    It's about being prepared (Timothy was) for the place God intends to use you. What I have learned in my extra years is that I didn't always realize just how UNprepared I was for what God had in mind for me. Then when the preparation was done, I didn't realize that either!! Just all of a sudden, it seemed like, there I was right in the place I was called to. Hindsight really is 20/20.

    Personal story. I was the child of parents who shouldn't have had any kids. My childhood was misery from the time I can remember. In spite of this and well before I even knew what abuse was, I was saved (at age 7). We moved to another state and the abuse got worse. Much worse. I used to lay awake at night, weeping and praying and asking God why He was allowing me to suffer so. (and it was worse for my brother)

    Guess what? I didn't get an answer to that question until I was nearly 40. Why did have to go through all that? Because it made the person I am today. My experiences, good and bad, have shaped every aspect of my life and enable me to be the witness God needs to those around me. They make me the mother I am, the wife I am and the friend I am. When I look back, I can see the hand of God moving all through the years.

    Time only seems to be standing still for you. I promise, when God is done with His preparations, He'll put you where He wants you. It might not be what you imagined that place to be, but you will have no doubt that you are in the right place.

    Does that mean you shouldn't prepare and reach out toward your goals. Not in the least! But if doors continue to be shut, accept that and look for a window. It may lead you in a different direction than what you thought you were heading in, but the journey can be every bit as much to God's glory as the destination.
     
  19. Crucified in Christ

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    Dear brother,
    Please understand that many of the responses that you are getting come from ministers with a great deal of experience. Many of us have gone through this personally as well as having helped to mentor other young men who were going through this season in their life. Seeing that most of the responses to your post have been similar, you would do well to consider what they are telling you.
    Now as to the question of age....Yes, God can use anyone He pleases and He has. Spurgeon was just a teen when the Lord gave him his first church, but Spurgeon would later say, in his senior years, that he was just learning to preach. With age and time in our Christian walk, we should grow in faith, wisdom and a myriad of other important traits for Christ's ministry. I see so many impatient young men wanting to get out there. That is good; you should want to serve the Lord, but it is His timing, not ours, that will matter.
    Lastly, and I say this in brotherly love, your last post bothered me. I always dislike seeing a young man ask for advice only to get impatient when he does not get the answer he desires. Perhaps, this is evidence of a character trait that God is chiseling away at in your current position. Often, I have found that such waits have shown me those things God wanted me to work on.
    Your are in my prayers,
    Your brother,
    Crucified
     
  20. Onlybygrace

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    Crucified i appreciate ur comments and the spirit in which they wer intended. But all i have sensed repeatedly on this thread has been condecension and criticism i am truly astounded at members unwillingness to truly listen and hav their own presuppositions challenged. Rather than ask for explanation and seeking understanding i am being chatised for simply asking some questions. I remember jesus saying something about removing ones own logs before u want to address the specks of others on mayb after so many years of ministry u older clergymen are completely deforested. What u have in fact implied by ur comments is that ur faultlessness earned u a ministry and that my fault of supposed impatience denies me. Is that not arrogant veiled in spirituality? no my dear brother rather save ur prayers and ur patronising for another. U wer not perfect u started out and are not even now. What is the difference between my apparent impatience and ur apparent self righteousness? Does god overlook ur sin and frown on mine? i am truly dissapointed in the superficiality of ur response.
     

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