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What does it mean to wait on the Lord? We hear an awful lot out there about the importance of waiting for God to move! We say it to people all the time! Wait and see what the Lord says to you! Wait, God will bring the right person into your life! But what does it REALLY mean to wait on the Lord in faith and with expectation, especially in 2020?
The Bible speaks often about it, especially in the Psalms. For example, Psalm 27:14 says:
“Wait for Adonai.
Be strong, let Your heart take courage,
and wait for Adonai.” TLV
What we often don’t realize however, is that the various words for “wait” or “waiting” sometimes have different meanings and are in fact different words in the original languages.
So let’s explore what it really means for the believer in Yeshua to wait for the Lord without fear and not worry?
What Does it Mean to Wait on the Lord…Really?
We have had to do an awful lot of waiting in 2020, haven’t we? We have grappled with shutdowns and all kinds of chaos all over the world. We have prayed and prayed some more, waiting for vaccines, for treatments, for peace, for equity.
We have waited to go back to work! Waited for kids to return to school! Waited to just be able to sit together with friends and family again!
Waiting has definitely become a pro sport in 2020…and in many cases the ONLY one!
In our earlier reference of Psalm 27:14, the word “wait” is translated from the Hebrew word “qavah” and it means, according to Strong’s Concordance:
To hope in, look for, expect, eagerly look for, lie in wait for
The most important and frequent use of the word “wait” is to define the attitude of a soul God-ward. It describes eager anticipation and yearning for the revelation of truth and love as it is in the Father.” (Emphasis Mine)
This ‘waiting on the Lord’ is not a ‘sitting around, twiddling your thumbs’ kind of waiting. It is not the kind of anxious waiting when you fear an unfavorable outcome.
This is a waiting with eager expectancy. This is a waiting that has action behind it. That action is the exercise of faith in eager anticipation!
The various words for “wait” or “waiting” sometimes have different meanings and are in fact different words in the original languages. So what does it really mean for the Christian to wait on God?
When a woman is pregnant we say she is “expecting”. She has to “wait” for nine months but she does so actively, expecting a specific result; a baby.
She prepares for this little one’s arrival. There is a knowledge that in due time her baby will arrive. She is not just passively sitting around thinking “well, I will just sit here and see if it happens or not”.
Are we waiting with anticipation or are we waiting with a “we’ll see” kind of posturing?
Let Your Heart Take Courage as You Wait on the Lord
In Psalm 27:14 again we see it says:
“Be strong, let Your heart take courage,
and wait for Adonai.“
The Hebrew for take courage or strengthen (as it says in some translations) here is “‘amats” and Strong’s Concordance defines it as:
Be strong, alert, courageous, brave, stout, bold, solid, hard
Be alert and courageous! Be brave, strong and solid!
It says to be alert! It implies without fear!
Are we waiting with anticipation or are we waiting with a “we’ll see” kind of posturing
In other words, when you are waiting on the Lord are you doing it with faith, knowing God will act on your behalf, whether that results in what YOU want or not?
Yes, you see that right there is the reality of the situation. We wait with fear or worry because we have OUR own idea of how we want something to work out, not necessarily trusting in the Lord’s plan for how it should work out. We have envisioned our ideal outcome and we fear God won’t line up with OUR will.
If we trust and put our faith in the fact that if God acts according to His will it is always best, we won’t fear the outcome.
What does it mean to wait for the Lord in faith?
It means we need to wait expectantly, knowing God WILL act and in faith without fear knowing He will act according to HIS will.
God’s Will, Not Ours
We should always align our wants and our will with God’s. Yes, we are human and that doesn’t always happen but that should be the goal.
If we have studied His Word, we should know what He wills. We should know if something we are asking for is right or not. And when we don’t have that clear guidance, we need to trust Him with our situation.
When we do that, we can wait with expectancy!
It is then we can be waiting on the Lord with expectancy and in faith knowing what we are waiting for is not out of alignment with His will and His Word!
And if things don’t turn out the way we envision it, we need to trust that He knows what we need far better than we do.
Isaiah 55:8-9 says:
“For My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways.”
It is a declaration of Adonai. “For as the heavens are higher than earth, so are My ways higher than your ways,
and My thoughts than your thoughts.” TLV
Benefits of Waiting Upon the Lord
There are definitely some clear-cut benefits to waiting upon the Lord, that is for sure.
- We avoid having to go through further pain – When we take matters into our own hands instead of waiting on God, we can end up experiencing more pain and hurt than we would have otherwise. Sometimes God has us wait to avoid situations and circumstances that are not good for us.
- We can experience the fullness of His blessings – When we wait for His best, we can experience what He intends for us. As I mentioned earlier, we may THINK we know what we want but it doesn’t mean it’s what is right. How many of us, when we were kids, would have loved to have eaten as much candy and cookies as we wanted? Our parents or guardians were there to make sure we don’t harm ourselves by indulging in things that aren’t good for us.
- It increases our faith – When we wait on the Lord and see how He works in our lives, it helps to grow our faith in order to trust Him even more the next time and the next. As our faith grows, so does our relationship with Him.
- It serves as a witness to others – When people see us quiet our own flesh and wait upon the Lord, AND see how He works in our lives as a result, it helps to set an example for them and helps to increase their own faith. People are always watching, especially new believers. This is a discipleship opportunity for all of us!
How are you practicing exercising your faith to wait on the Lord in 2020? What ways have you found that help you to trust Him more in the midst of all we are experiencing? Share in the comments!