I read the above verse one morning, five days before we were due to move from the north to the south of England. Later in the day we received a phone call to say that our house sale had fallen through. The future was not altogether clear, but we knew God had called us to leave our comfortable lifestyle and move into the new thing which He was calling us to. We moved, trusting God to keep His promise to act for us and sell the house in our absence. After other major moves since then, and countless waiting times in different circumstances, God has proved abundantly faithful and not one of His promises has ever failed.
Scripture gives many examples of people God chose to fulfil His purposes. Some of them had to wait many years from when the promise was given to when it was fulfilled. Moses was aware of God’s call upon his life when he killed an Egyptian who was oppressing an Israelite. Fearing reprisal, he fled to Midian and had to wait forty years for God to speak to him and sent him out to fulfil his calling (Acts 7:25-30).
Abraham and Sarah were old and childless when God promised them a son through whom He would fulfil His purpose for the world. ‘Against all hope, Abraham in hope believed and became the father of many nations’ (Romans 4:16-20). From receiving the promise to its fulfilment Abraham waited twenty-five years, until he was a hundred, for Isaac to be born. Moses and Abraham didn’t wait passively. Their faith was active and alive. Like the many heroes of faith they believed that God would fulfil what He promised. Their faith didn’t waver.
Maybe you are waiting for a promise to be fulfilled – for your life, your family, job opportunity, healing, for the salvation of a loved one, visitation of the Holy Spirit in your church or for a complete reorientation of your life into what you believe is God’s calling you. Waiting is not usually welcomed in our instant world. It’s not something we would choose, but even in the silence God is at work.
Sometimes, before He can do a work through us, He has to do a work of refining us, to purify our motives and show us sinful attitudes and reactions which dishonour Him. The waiting time can be a time of growing in trust, confidence in God and obedience to Him, bringing us to the place where we can truthfully say, “Lord, I desire your will and not my own.” This is a place of true freedom and security.
God will always fulfil His promises in His way and His time. He speaks to us in different ways, but I have found that He always confirms it through scripture spoken directly to my heart. Prophecy is a spiritual gift and we’re told, ‘Do not to treat prophecies with contempt but test everything’
(1 Thessalonians 5:19-20). Some Christians have had prophetic words spoken over their lives and have placed their faith in these words without them being confirmed in any other way, resulting in frustration and disappointment and sometimes resentment towards the Lord Himself.
Relying on our own understanding of how the Lord will act can lead to a sense of doubt and confusion. We must rest on His word and His character and wait for His time, standing against negative thoughts and feelings and introspection. There is no safer place to be than in God’s will.
Waiting involves trusting. God expects us to trust Him, just as He expects us to love Him. Being willing to wait for Him to act can be evidence that we really do love Him and desire His will and not our own. Surrendering our will to Him means that we stop fighting, striving or wanting to change things. We simply trust Him in utter confidence, as a child trusts a loving father. This kind of trust enables us to live free from burdens. It saves us from trying to work things out for ourselves and opens our eyes to the trustworthy nature of the One who calls us.
Prayer: Thank You for Your abounding love and faithfulness. You are great and worthy of praise. Thank You that You have plans for my life linked with Your eternal purposes. I ask You for the gift of faith to live day by day as Jesus lived in the power of Your Holy Spirit and for Your glory. Amen.
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