Do you know the difference between going to a fast food restaurant and going to the DMV? At one of those places, you’re going to have to wait a while. I recently had to get my drivers license renewed. As I looked around the waiting room, no one was upset. Everyone was waiting patiently. We all knew going in that we were going to have to wait, even if we were in a hurry or had other things to accomplish that morning.
When we pray though, we treat God like the drive thru at a fast food restaurant. We want it now, we want it quick and we get mad if it takes longer than a minute. Good things take time, and our answers to prayer are often complicated with a lot of moving pieces. When we pray for things, we should think of ourselves as going into a waiting room. If God answers quickly, what a blessing! If not, wait patiently and trust His timing. He’s working in your favor.
Here are some Bible verses on waiting for God.
1. Listen to my cry for help, my God and king! I pray to you, O Lord; you hear my voice in the morning; at sunrise I offer my prayer and wait for your answer.
Psalm 5:2-3 GNT
2. Wait for and confidently expect the LORD; Be strong and let your heart take courage; Yes, wait for and confidently expect the LORD.
PSALM 27:14 AMP
3. So it is good to wait quietly for salvation from the Lord.
Lamentations 3:26 NLT
4. And I myself will send upon you what my Father has promised. But you must wait in the city until the power from above comes down upon you.
Luke 24:49 GNT
5. But those who wait for the LORD [who expect, look for, and hope in Him] Will gain new strength and renew their power; They will lift up their wings [and rise up close to God] like eagles [rising toward the sun]; They will run and not become weary, They will walk and not grow tired.
ISAIAH 40:31 AMP
Photo by Ben White on Unsplash
When I think of living by faith, I always think of Abraham first. The next person I think of is Elisha. Like Abraham, he was minding his own business doing his own thing when the call came to uproot and move. Elisha was plowing a field when Elijah walked up, threw his cloak over him and walked away. I’m not sure what my reaction would be if someone walked into my place of work and did that, but Elisha’s reaction was to run after Elijah. He didn’t ask what it meant or why he did it. Instead he said, “Let me kiss my father and mother goodbye – then I’ll follow you.”
I believe that God had already spoken to Elisha even though the Bible doesn’t say it. We know God gave Elijah the instructions to find Elisha and to do what he did, but it doesn’t give us any insight to Elisha before this moment. I believe he was a praying man. I believe that as he plowed fields with those oxen, he spent time praying and asking God to use him in mighty ways. Day after day, he plowed waiting for God to tap him on the shoulder and put him into action. I wonder if he had days where he doubted that God would ever move him from plowing fields to doing ministry.
So many who read this are like Elisha. We’re plowing fields day in and day out. We’re waiting on God to come get us and put us into full time ministry. We’re waiting on God to give us the green light. But as we put our hands to the plow each day, it’s easy to begin to wonder if God has forgotten us or if we ever heard Him in the first place. We look at the calendar and wonder, “How much longer, God?” We start thinking the “what if’s” and “how come’s”. Our faith can weaken in the times that it’s intended to grow stronger.
If we aren’t doing the things it takes to grow our faith while we are plowing, how will we ever do it when we aren’t? God uses the times of preparation to grow our faith, to increase our prayer life and to build our trust in Him. He expects us to be people of prayer while we plow. He expects us to plant seeds in people who are already doing ministry. He expects us to be ministering to people around us before he instructs us to minister to the masses. We have to prove to Him that we can be faithful in the little things while we are plowing before He can trust us with more.
If you are plowing today and are waiting for the cloak to be thrown over you, don’t lose heart. This time of plowing and preparation is essential to your growth and necessary for you to be able to perform later. God has not left you in a field and forgotten you. Be a person of prayer while you are plowing. Build up your faith now that when you have to really walk by faith, you have a sufficient amount. Keep your eyes open and be ready for God’s tap to put you in. Be ready to walk away from the plow and to step into that life of faith at any moment. Until then, keep plowing.