What to Do When You're Waiting on God
And gathering them together, He commanded them not to leave Jerusalem, but to wait for what the Father had promised, “Which,” He said, “you have heard of from Me”—Acts 1:4 .
Without a doubt, one of the hardest things to do in the Christian life is to wait on the Lord. Yet we are commanded to do just that. David said in Psalm 27:14, “Wait for the LORD; be strong, and let your heart take courage; yes, wait for the LORD.”
We all tend to want God to be like a microwave oven. We want Him to provide His miracles, His breakthroughs, His answers to our prayers in short order. The reality is this: God isn’t like a microwave oven. He is much more like a crock pot. If it feels like God is slow to answer your prayer and meet your need, remember that God is working in the waiting room of your life and mine. He uses the waiting time to help us grow.
In Acts 1, the disciples were told to wait in Jerusalem until the Holy Spirit came upon them. They waited 10 days until the timing was right on God’s calendar. But their waiting time was not wasted time. They did some important things that we need to hear, heed, and put into practice in our own lives.
What does God want us to do as we wait on Him for a mate, for a breakthrough, for that special door of opportunity to open?
1. Be active. Waiting is active, not passive. The disciples were told by the angels to stop standing idly by (they were staring into the sky as Jesus ascended from their sight on the Mount of Olives). Are you waiting for God to provide a job for you? As you wait, look for a job. Be proactive, energetic, and start beating the bushes. The Lord made it clear in Matthew 6 that He feeds the birds… but the birds don’t lounge in the nest all day either. As they look and scratch for food, God feeds them. Waiting time is not the same as wasting time. Be active.
2. Be obedient. The disciples were told to wait in Jerusalem. So when Jesus ascended, they went back to Jerusalem, just like He commanded them. As you wait on God, do the things He has commanded you to do. Recently, a young mom told me she was praying for a spiritual breakthrough with her live in baby daddy. I told her she needed to get married ASAP. Having sex with a man to whom you are not married is blatant disobedience and definitely not the formula to see God work miracles in your life. “If I regard wickedness in my heart, the Lord will not hear” (Ps. 66:18).
3. Be unified. The disciples along with the other believers (about 120 persons) were in one accord, having the same passion and focus–to see the resurrected Christ glorified and made known. There is great power in unity. Couples, families, and churches that need a miracle need to come together in unity.
4. Be praying and praising. What did the disciples do during the 10 days before the coming of the Holy Spirit? They were continually devoting themselves to prayer (Acts 1:14) and praising God in the temple (Luke 23:53). There is tremendous power in unified prayer and praise. Like a magnifying glass harnessing the rays of the sun to start a needed campfire, unified prayer and praise starts a spiritual fire that ushers in a great move of God. Are you praying and praising as you wait on God?
5. Be preparing. In Acts 1, the group prayed and selected a replacement apostle for Judas, the apostate disciple who betrayed Jesus. Peter knew the Lord wanted 12 apostles to witness to the 12 tribes of Israel. Preparation needed to be made as they waited for the Holy Spirit. In your waiting, prepare yourself for what lies ahead. “Discipline yourself for the purpose of godliness” (1 Tim. 4:7). If you are single and waiting on God for the right person, then prepare by being the right person yourself. If you are waiting for doors to open in ministry, prepare yourself now for that next step. When young David killed Goliath in that epic battle, he had been practicing with his sling shot, and he had already killed a lion and a bear. Preparation is critical as we wait on God.
What is that issue in your life that you are waiting on God for? Will you wait His way?