Luke 10:38-41 “As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him. She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what he said. But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, ‘Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!’”
‘Martha, Martha,’ the Lord answered, ‘you are worried and upset about many things, But one thing is needed, and Mary has chosen that good part, which will not be taken away from her.’”
We need balance in all that we do. We need ‘to be’ like Mary more often sitting at the feet of Jesus and listening to what He is saying, along with the work of each day like Martha. This is why I like the early morning when I get up and sit at the feet of the Lord to hear what He has to say, giving me instructions for the day. When I miss this time it is to my own detriment. We are always wanting ‘to do,’ but God is often wanting us ‘to be.’
In Psalms 37:7 King David gave us some good advice: “Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for Him; do not fret because of him who prospers in his way, because of the man who brings wicked schemes to pass.”
The Hebrew word for “rest” is daman: to be silent, still, dumb. Calmly resign and leave all things in the hands of God. This is a sure cure for dissatisfaction. The idea in back of the word ‘wait’ is to set yourself to expect God to answer.
A danger of not waiting on the Lord is that we will run ahead of Him and do the work of the Lord in human energy and not in the Holy Spirit. Not only do we build on wood, hay and stubble, but we can put into effect circumstances that have far reaching consequences. We see with this Abraham’s wife, Sarah, when the promise of God was late in coming, so she thought. What she put into motion is now affecting Israel and all of us today.
In our Western culture, we find it difficult to wait. We live in a world where success takes on the form of doing, what we achieve, being super busy, etc. and when this is not happening there is that feeling of not accomplishing anything. When it comes to sitting at the feet of Jesus, waiting on Him we find hard to do because we cannot measure what is being done. It is not something that we can see. This is where faith comes in because “faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” (Hebrews 11:1)
Yet the idea in back of the word ‘wait’ is to set yourself to expect God to answer.
Faith is being in God’s waiting room and while there – God is teaching us some precious lessons. We find that we are being:
- Tested by uncertainty. We know that something we have been waiting for, praying for, is coming, but we do not know when. Faith is trusting God in the uncertainty. When we have been praying about something and it does not immediately manifest we will go through a time of uncertainty. This is where real faith comes in. Do we trust God during these times?
- Tested by fear. Fear is what paralyzes us from doing and being all that God wants. It was fear that kept me from responding to God’s calling for almost three years. There was a fear that He might call me do something that I did not want to do or felt incapable of doing. I was afraid that if I surrendered to God that He would call me to preach, the one thing that I hated was public speaking. God had given me a promise in Matthew 28: 20 “I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” 2 Timothy 1:7 “For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline.” It was also through 1 John 4:18 that God spoke to me: “There is no fear (fobos, fobou, fear, dread, terror) in love. But perfect love drives out fear.”
- Tested by disappointment. We live in a fallen world and there will be disappointments. What we thought would happen did not; people that we depend on can let us down.
- Tested by delay. God keeping His promises. This is probably the biggest test and that is delay. It ties in with uncertainty, because when something does not happen that we thought would, we begin to doubt if what we were believing and working towards was really of the Lord to begin with. Satan is very clever coming in at this time to throw doubts and discouragement our way. We may also begin to manipulate and in our strength try to bring the desired result.
- Tested by blessings. In Genesis 22:1 we see that Abraham after waiting for a number of years is finally blessed with what God had promised that he would have the son of Sarah as promised in her old age: Isaac (whose name means laughter). It was a few years after this that Abraham was tested when God told him to take his son to a certain mountain and there sacrifice him. What thoughts must have gone through Abraham’s mind at the time; what a battle, but he obeyed and Isaac was replaced with a ram. What was happening here was to establish priority. God must be first.
If we will seek FIRST the kingdom of God and HIS righteousness, God will add all good things to us. Nothing good will He withhold from them who walk uprightly.
Psalms 27:14 “Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord.”