Patience in Waiting for the Lord
Wade E Taylor
The purpose of the written Word of God is not just being a record of past history, but rather, to guide us into a present, active relationship with the Lord, and also as an admonition, to enable us to learn the “ways” of the Lord.
When Jacob and Esau were born, a word was given to the mother that the elder would serve the younger, which was contrary to their culture. Later, this was told to Jacob and he pondered how this could happen. The time came when Esau, who had been out hunting, returned very hungry. Jacob was making “pottage,” and Esau asked for some.
“And Esau said to Jacob, Feed me I pray you, with that same red pottage for I am faint. Therefore was his name called Edom. And Jacob said, Sell me this day your birthright.” Genesis 25:30-31
Esau responded and said: “Behold, I am at the point to die: and what profit shall this birthright do to me?” (Genesis 25:32).
In effect, he said, “What good is the promise of God when I am hungry,” and sold his birth right to Jacob. Later, he realized what he had done and tried to kill Jacob. Therefore, Jacob fled and many years later, he also faced a similar situation. With his two wives, Jacob was returning to his home and was told that Esau, with four hundred armed men, was coming to meet him.
Being a schemer (Jacob means deceiver, or schemer), he had a plan. “I will send out the lesser wife, then wait, before sending the rest. If Esau consumes the first, I will take the best and flee.” So, he sent them out, and began to watch. Jesus appeared in angelic form and wrestled with Jacob (detained him). At the critical moment, Jesus said, “Let Me go, for the day breaks.” Jacob could have said, “We will continue tomorrow, as I am about to lose everything.”
Instead, Jacob said, “I will not let You go, except You bless me” (Genesis 32:26). Fortunately, Jacob had learned. Immediately, the Lord said, “What is your name?” (Genesis 32:27). In Jacob’s time, names were given as an indication of a character quality. Jacob confessed, “Jacob” (I am a deceiver). Then the Lord said, “Your name shall be called no more Jacob, but Israel; for as a prince, have you power with God and with men, and have prevailed” (Genesis 32:28).
Jacob should have waited for the Lord to fulfill the promise that Esau would serve him, but he did not wait, and instead, he sought to fulfill this promise - in his own way. Yet, the very fact that he had failed was used by the Lord to deal with his nature, and bring him to a point of victory.
The Lord may bring many circumstances or things into our lives to prepare us for the outworking of the promise that we have been given. These dealings are corrective, as the Lord desires to build both us, and the outworking of His purposes through us, on a firm foundation. Therefore, there must be a correction of our past failures, which will result in a recognition of our true need (our having a single eye toward the Lord, in total dependence on Him).
The life of Moses was preserved when he was left in the river. He was found by Pharaoh’s daughter and raised in the palace. At some point during this time, Moses received a word that the Lord would use him to deliver Israel out of Egyptian bondage.
And Moses was learned in all the wisdom of the Egyptians, and was mighty in words and in deeds. And when he was full forty years old, it came into his heart to visit his brethren the children of Israel. And seeing one of them suffer wrong, he defended him and avenged him that was oppressed, and smote the Egyptian.” Acts 7:22-24
When Moses saw an Israelite being abused by an Egyptian, he avenged his brother because he knew he was to bring deliverance. However, he sought to bring it through his own means.
“For he supposed his brethren would have understood how that God by his hand would deliver them: but they understood not. Then fled Moses…. And when forty years were expired, there appeared to him in the wilderness of mount Sinai an angel of the Lord in a flame of fire in a bush.” Acts 7:25, 29-30
Moses knew that he was called to deliver Israel. In the meantime, he kept the flock of Jethro, his father-in-law, and was leading them toward the mountain of God. He was far from where he should be, but he was not in any way saying, “Lord, if this is the way You are going to treat me, I quit. It has been 40 years and the promise has not been fulfilled.”
When the angel of the Lord appeared to him in a flame of fire out of the midst of the bush, Moses said, “I will now turn aside, and see this great sight, why the bush is not burned” (Exodus 3:3).
We may say that we are waiting for the Lord. The better statement is, “The Lord is waiting for us.” It took Moses forty years to come to the end of His ability, and turn aside to stand in the presence of the Lord to receive His enabling grace and ability.
“And when the Lord saw that he turned aside to see, God called to him out of the midst of the bush and said, Moses, Moses. And he said, Here am I.” Exodus 3:4
The Lord saying, “Moses, Moses” reveals a much higher realm of relationship (double portion). When the Lord said, “put off your shoes from off your feet,” He is saying in effect, “Moses, you are to go no further in the ways that you walked in the past. Now, I am going to take control and I will sovereignly guide you.”
Israel received a promise that they would be given a land that flowed with milk and honey, when they came up out of Egypt. But, they were not willing to wait and acted on their own, coming short of the promise. Now, they are questioning God and His veracity because the promise had not yet been fulfilled.
“Why say you, O Jacob, and speak, O Israel, My way is hidden from the Lord and my judgment is passed over from my God?” Isaiah 40:27
Those who are being called for the end-time purpose of the Lord also have a promise.
“But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength….” Isaiah 40:31
We wait “upon” the Lord that we might have the strength to wait “for” the Lord. As we wait, we are touched by His presence, and we are encouraged that we might further wait for the fulfillment of the promise.
“As newborn babies, desire the pure milk of the word that you may grow thereby. If so be that we have tasted(the written word becoming a personalized experiential word) that the Lord is gracious.” I Peter 2:2-3
We are called to come into a higher level of direct involvement with the Lord. This promise is to become a personal reality, but we must wait out the Lord’s time and His way for this to happen.
“To whom coming, as to a living stone, disallowed indeed of men, but chosen of God and precious” (this is us). I Peter 2:4
We have the promise of a greater empowering and enabling, as Jesus is coming to be glorified through us (Parousia). In so many ways, we appear as being weak, and yet, the Lord is doing a powerful work that is hidden from most. A pivotal verse concerning the purposes of God at this present time is Acts 1:8. “But you shall receive power after that the Holy Spirit has come upon you.…”
After what? After we have waited for the appointed time. The word “after” tells us that there is a time of preparation. Thus, the fulfillment will come, after we have been made ready.
“But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world to our glory. But God has revealed them to us by His Spirit: for the Spirit searches all things, yea the deep things of God. Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God. Which things also we speak, not in the words which man’s wisdom teaches, but which the Holy Spirit teaches; comparing spiritual things with spiritual.” I Corinthians 2:7, 10, 12-13
The outworking of the “promise” that we have been given may be delayed beyond what the Lord originally intended.
In 1959, suddenly, I was standing in heaven facing God, who was seated on the throne. I could not see anything, as I was blinded by the glory, but I knew that I was facing Him. Off to my left, waves of light were coming into me, one after another. And at the same time, I received a promise that the Lord would give me a place, and a ministry to prepare those whom He was calling apart to Himself for His end-time purposes.
Like Jacob, I sought ways to make it happen. Like Moses, it did not happen the way I thought. I spent so much time wondering, “Lord is this really You? How? Where? When? - that when it actually happened, I was not ready, and I came short of the Lord’s intention. Now, at this present time, it is about to be fulfilled, as the Lord originally intended. I had not taken the time to wait, but now I have learned to “wait on the Lord” for the fulfillment of His promises.
David received a promise from the prophet, Nathan.
“According to all these words, and according to all this vision, so did Nathan speak to David.” I Chronicles 17:15
Then he received another confirming word from Samuel, when he was ordained. What did David do?
“And David the king came and sat before the Lord, and said, Who am I, O Lord God, and what is my house, that You have brought me thus far?” I Chronicles 17:16
Later, while faithfully serving Saul as he sat on the throne of Israel, David considered what it would be like when he sat on this throne. Then Saul threw a javelin at him and ordered him killed. David fled into a dark cave to hide. In this place of intense pressure, David said:
“The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear…? One thing have I desired of the Lord, that will I seek after; that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life….” Psalm 27:1, 4
Suddenly, the throne had no value, as David is hiding in fear for his life. This “cave” then became “the house of the Lord,” as David was reduced to utter dependence on the Lord. Now, he was qualified to sit on the throne of Israel.
In the fullness of time, the Lord removed Saul, and David became king. Unlike Jacob or Moses, David waited, and the Lord opened the door to the throne - at the right time.
Many of us have a promise that has not been fulfilled. We are living during the end-time, in which these promises will be acted on by the Lord. Our part is to recognize His voice and presence. As we respond, the Lord will respond to our response.
At this present time, I have a sense of standing on a gangplank with something telling me to walk off the end. I have been there several times, and each time, the Lord was right there, as I landed in His waiting arms. The way down became a step up.
The outworking of this experience of coming to the total end of any ability that I thought I had, is that now I am in a better place and position than I had been, through the direct intervention of the Lord, when I put Him first and refused to make a way for myself.
“Patient waiting” is truly a work of faith that is not easily recognized. Only a living faith can enable us to do the work of patiently waiting for the Lord. No one can patiently wait like God. For us to be made one with Him, we must become “patient waiters.”
“They that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength.” The Lord is waiting for us. When we begin to trust Him and lay aside our attempts to work out our own destiny, and place it in His hand, He will bring us through.
Then, we will discover that what He has for us is far better than anything we could have arranged for ourselves.