Just Announced: Philippians Sermon Series

Summary: Waiting for God is not laziness. Waiting for God is not going to sleep. Waiting for God is not the abandonment of effort. Waiting for God means, first, activity under command; second, readiness for any new command that may come; third, the ability to do

Opening illustration: A professor in a world-acclaimed medical school once posed this medical situation - and ethical problem - to his students: "Here’s the family history: The father has syphilis. The mother has TB. They already have had four children. The first is blind. The second had died. The third is deaf. The fourth has TB. Now the mother is pregnant again. The parents come to you for advice. They are willing to have an abortion, if you decide they should. What do you say?"

The students gave various individual opinions, and then the professor asked them to break into small groups for "consultation." All of the groups came back to report that they would recommend abortion.

"Congratulations," the professor said, "You just took the life of Beethoven!"

We believe this was first reported in an Ann Landers column.

Not waiting and believing can cause a great mishap and blunder in our lives. Let us exemplify that in each one of our lives and not be in a hurry for it causes a lot of worry and ends up being a curry. One can just mess it up and blow it apart.

Just think about the process it takes for a caterpillar to become a butterfly. If the process of the pupa was avoided, you would not have a butterfly but possibly a cater-fly ~ something obscure that would apparently have no real functionality.

That is why the process of waiting is very important in a life of a Christian. Trying to go ahead of God’s plan will only cause trouble, chaos and ruin. Let us learn to survive the waiting game and there are no two ways to it. No short cuts either ~ just wait patiently. Let us not forget that waiting (patience) is also one of the fruit of the Holy Spirit.

Let us turn to Psalm 27 and Isaiah 30 in our Bibles.

Psalm 27: 14 “Wait on the LORD; Be of good courage, And He shall strengthen your heart; Wait, I say, on the LORD!”

Isaiah 30: 18 “Therefore the LORD will wait, that He may be gracious to you; And therefore He will be exalted, that He may have mercy on you. For the LORD is a God of justice; Blessed are all those who wait for Him.”

Introduction: No matter what God has called us to do, one of the most difficult things we will face is the in-between time. In the beginning, He prepares our hearts for the calling. He gives us a glimpse of His plans for us, and it births great hope within us.

The difficulty is that there is always a time lag between the initial preparation and the outcome.

The beginning often carries a great emotional surge. We know what God said, and we know we will see it happen, no matter what the enemy may throw at us in the process. Our faith is as tall as the mountains. We feel invincible in God’s promise. We take the initial steps and are excited to see the fruit of our labors.

But then comes the waiting.

The days become weeks and months, and we have to wait for what God has promised us. Many of us don’t handle the waiting very well. Our hope begins to waver. We begin to forget the glorious promises God gave us and how it felt when we heard His voice. So many of us lose heart during the time lag.

How to survive the wait?

1. Willing to REST (Psalm 37: 7a)

“Rest in the LORD, and wait patiently for Him …”

Hearing God’s voice is like finding a well in the desert. We do not survive on our own thoughts or strength or goodness, and as we discover this we discover reality and true freedom in Christ. His presence is our lifeblood, and He is our peace, which is the foundation for hearing His voice. It will be very difficult for us to stir up our hearts and keep them passionate and alive without being willing to rest in His presence.

So in the midst of waiting for change, we need to be willing to rest. In the NASB of Psalm 24: 17, it reads, “Let your heart take courage” (emphasis added). If we are worrying and striving and trying to make things happen, it will be very difficult for us to find our peace in God. It will be difficult for us to remember Him.

Today, if you find yourself brought low by anxiety, despair or the apparent lack of movement in your life, let your heart take courage by being quiet in His presence. This is the starting point for everything we do. There, God will prepare us for the change He is bringing and for the next step in the promise He has given us.

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