Thoughts from the Lake 5 by Dave Cornelius

How Are You Waiting on God?

As Christians we are taught that waiting on God is an act of faith but let’s face it. Waiting on God isn’t easy.

It isn’t easy for church officials, spiritual leaders, administrators, committee members or members of a congregation.

For me waiting is particularly difficult because I firmly believe God expects me to do my best as a steward of the gifts and graces He has provided. My problem (perhaps yours as well) is getting too caught up in the “I have to make something happen” rather than “I have to do the best I can and trust God to make things happen.”

Too often, like me, many of us forget the “not my will but thine” part of the equation. In fact waiting on God is slowly becoming a more significant challenge for people. Whether it’s streaming a video to watch, purchasing a product online, or standing in line at the grocery store, waiting for anything or anyone can be frustrating.”

The folks at Church Fuel recently reminded me of this whole process and suggested that we need to “take a step back, hit the pause button and reevaluate our priorities and expectations.” While this was initially directed at church leaders I think it is important for all of us to remember.

God is at work in our church

God is at work in our community and He is working through us.

Waiting on God isn’t the same thing as not doing anything. In fact, it is quite the opposite.

So how do we expectantly actively faithfully wait?

#1 – Trust in God

Do you share your faith? Do you help people work through their struggles?

Then lean into these words from the Apostle Paul:

“Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain” (1 Cor 15:58).

If we are doing God’s work, then our work is not in vain.

The work we do in our church is important in the kingdom of God.

Without someone sharing the gospel, how can anyone believe?

Without someone giving sacrificially, who will support the local church?

Without someone providing food, clothing, and shelter, how will those in need be cared for?

While we wait on God, trust that he is working through us to accomplish his plans.

#2 – Continue to pray

God didn’t call us to serve alone.

He called us to participate in his work with him.

Practically speaking, there’s no way we can do spiritual work without God’s strength. Serving our church without God would be like trying to drive a car without gas—it’s not going to work.

Without God’s help, we experience moments of energy, positive momentum, and seasons of flourishing. But eventually, we get tired, hit a wall, and burn out.

Our primary problem isn’t stress—it is a lack of strength. A lack of fuel to keep doing what we’re doing.

Our lack of strength isn’t physical, and it can’t be replenished by an extra cup of coffee or a four-pack of energy drinks.

The strength we need is spiritual. We can’t buy it online or from a convenience store. The only place—or better yet, Person—we can get spiritual strength from is God.

How do we draw strength from God?

One of the best ways to receive God’s strength is through prayer.

When we pray, we may not experience a booster shot of energy. But that’s not the point.

We receive an inner strength and a renewed commitment to keep pressing on.

Here are several Bible verses about strength we can pray:

  • Nehemiah 8:10
  • Psalm 22:19
  • Psalm 28:7–8
  • Psalm 119:28
  • Isaiah 40:28–31
  • Ephesians 6:10
  • 2 Corinthians 12:9–10

#3 – Keep doing good work

There’s one thing you can’t stop doing while you’re waiting: Working.

Now isn’t the time to stop preaching the gospel, sharing biblical truths, or spending time with people. Ceasing from our work as Christians would be like a farmer not doing two things:

  • Protecting their seeds
  • Preparing to reap a harvest.

While we wait, we have to protect the seeds planted in the life of our people. As Christians, we don’t labor alone. We’re up against spiritual forces.

In the words of the Apostle Paul, we’re fighting “… against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms” (Eph 6:12).

The people in our church (members and visitors) are struggling with sin, facing temptations, or simply navigating a difficult season. Neglecting our church at these crucial times can set us up to be overtaken by whatever we are facing.

Instead of sitting on our thumbs and watching the weeds grow, prepare to reap a harvest.

Continue to spend time with our people. Know what’s going on in their lives, and most importantly of all, continue to share the gospel and point people to Jesus.

Working while we’re waiting isn’t usually what we want to hear.

So, let me leave you with these encouraging words from Galatians 6:9:

“Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.”