Wait for the Lord; be strong, and let your heart take courage;
wait for the Lord!
~ Psalm 27:14
We learn early on in Geometry that the shortest distance between two points is a straight line, maybe one of the only things from math we remember and continue to use today. When traveling we look for the shortest route; when planning out goals we want the easiest and quickest way possible to obtain them; etc. (your math teacher wasn’t lying when they said you would use math the rest of your life).
The shortest distance being a straight line (or as straight as possible) is great for math homework, or traveling, or even new years resolutions, but what about when you feel the Lord has called you to something or is leading you in a certain direction, and it isn’t happening at the pace you want? The Lord isn’t bound by laws of math, and doesn’t always lead in a short straight line. Think about Abraham, the Lord promised him his offspring would be more than the stars in the sky, then he had to wait 25 years before Issac was born. Or think back to Moses, the Israelites were oppressed by Pharaoh and the Lord heard the cries of His people then sent Moses to Midian for 40 years before bringing him back to Egypt to set the Israelites free. More often than not we see in the scriptures the Lord preparing someone much longer than we would like to see in our own lives today.
So what do we do in the waiting? Continually I find myself having this discussion with people, a lot of brothers in the Lord who feel that call of ministry on their lives and they long (rightly so) to be pastors, church planters, missionaries as soon as yesterday but the Lord hasn’t opened that door yet. So what do they do?
I have been thinking about this a lot and believe we can look at David’s life as a guide on how to actively wait, until the Lord sees fit to open that door we are longing to be opened in our lives. If you remember in 1 Samuel 16, David is anointed as King, but it’s not until much later that he actually receives the position God had called him to. So what did David actively do in the waiting:
- Remained Faithful – For David, being the anointed King, the King in waiting, meant to spend a season where he was still watching over his father’s sheep, and meant that he would serve as a lyre player in the presence of the current King, Saul (1 Samuel 16:14-23; 1 Samuel 17:14-15). For us, we must remember what the Lord asks of us is Faithfulness and Obedience where we are, today.
- Understood all of Life is Preparation – David understood that everything he would face in life would be preparing him for all that the Lord was calling him to do. That when lions and bears attacked his sheep, the Lord was teaching him that He is faithful and able to deliver him (1 Samuel 17:31-37). Also as David was constantly fleeing Saul, the Lord was training his leadership skills, and fighting skills, all skills the Lord would use in David to free Israel from all their surrounding enemies. For us, we must trust the Lord in the process and see that He is molding us a preparing us for all that He is calling us to.
- Remained Who He Was – David, the anointed King, did not seek to be anybody that he wasn’t. He was called to be David, and be King as David, not to emulate Saul (1 Samuel 17:38-40). If God has called you to preach, plant, or be a missionary, He has called you and is equipping you for that calling, we don’t have to try to be someone else.
- Didn’t Seek the Position on His Own – Multiple times David could have killed the one man standing in between him and the position the Lord had called him to, and yet he wouldn’t lift a finger against God’s Elect, instead he honored him and served him (1 Samuel 24; 1 Samuel 26). We can trust the Lord, that if He is leading us in a direction and preparing us, He will use us in His timing.
- Constantly Sought the Lord – Once Saul, the man who was King, died, David didn’t seek to rush to power, like it’s finally my time. The scriptures tell us that David sought the Lord first to see if it was His time to go up. The moment he had been waiting for, he first stopped and asked, “now Lord?” (2 Samuel 2:1-7). This is why David was a man after God’s own heart (Acts 13:22). For us as we wait, seek the Lord at every turn and let us not get out in front of His timing.
Whatever season of life you currently find yourself in, the Lord has not forgotten you, He is at work, trust Him. We can actively wait on Him, knowing that the desires and longings in our lives were crafted and placed in us by Him; and He will use them in His timing, for His Glory, and our joy!
“If the Lord Jehovah makes us wait, let us do so with our whole hearts; for blessed are all they that wait for Him. He is worth waiting for. The waiting itself is beneficial to us: it tries faith, exercises patience, trains submission, and endears the blessing when it comes. The Lord’s people have always been a waiting people”
~ Charles Spurgeon