As a child, I was taught to make good decisions. I was taught to consider the consequences of my choices, use the principles of the Bible, and then be wise in what I did. This is good training and it taught me to take control of my life in the things I did and the direction I was to go. What it didn’t emphasize was the work of God directly in my life.
If we are really into the word, reading and studying the Bible frequently, it becomes a part of us. Psalm 1:1-2 “Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor stands in the path of sinners, nor sits in the seat of the scornful; but his delight is in the law of the LORD, And in His law he meditates day and night.” As we live our lives and situations arise, scriptures will come to mind to guide us in what we should do and how we should react. While this is true and is one way that God directs us, I believe that God will also take a more active role in our lives if we will let Him.
The apostle Paul wrote in Romans 8:14 “For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God.” The psalmist David wrote about the leading of the Lord in Psalm 23:1-3 “The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me to lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside the still waters. He restores my soul; He leads me in the paths of righteousness For His name’s sake.” Jesus prayed in Matthew 6:13 “And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one. For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.” Each of these scriptures addresses the direct work of God in our lives to lead us and deliver us. God will work in your life if you allow Him to.
When we ask for wisdom and direction from God, and He gives it to us, He is leading us. James 1:5 “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him.” Sometimes I ask for God to show me what to do. I do not expect to hear a loud voice of the Spirit, speaking in my ear. Often it is a small voice or a prompting. Many times, the Spirit has given me promptings – “say this”, “call her”, “help him”, “forgive”, or “speak or write about this”. When you go to God in prayer, do you also have quiet time and listen for the Spirit to speak to you or prompt you? Or maybe things happen in your life where it becomes clear the choice you should make. It may seem as if God has opened a door for you, showing you the way that you should go.
We are taught to wait upon the Lord. Psalm 27:14 “Wait on the Lord; be of good courage, and He shall strengthen your heart; wait, I say, on the Lord!” Isaiah 40:31 “But those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint.” Psalm 40:1-3 “I waited patiently for the Lord; and He inclined to me, and heard my cry. He also brought me up out of a horrible pit, out of the miry clay, and set my feet upon a rock, and established my steps. He has put a new song in my mouth — Praise to our God; many will see it and fear, and will trust in the Lord.” Waiting on the Lord can be a testimony to others who will see our faith and, as a result, put their trust in God.
To wait on God means to expectantly look for the fulfillment of His promises and His work in our lives. Waiting on the Lord requires faith. It requires patient, confident trust in the Lord and in His promises. While we wait on the Lord, we should pray for His answers to our requests. 1 John 5:14 “Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us.” I believe we should be persistent in prayer and ask Him to fulfill His promises.
Sometimes we know the promises of God, but we give up waiting on Him and take matters into our own hands when we don’t see God doing what we want Him to do. God had given Abram a promise. Genesis 15:5-6 “Then He brought him outside and said, ‘Look now toward heaven, and count the stars if you are able to number them.’ And He said to him, ‘So shall your descendants be.’ And he believed in the Lord, and He accounted it to him for righteousness.” But many years went by and Abram still did not have a son. Apparently Abram and his wife Sarai thought they had waited long enough so they took matters into their hands. Genesis 16:2-3 “So Sarai said to Abram, ‘See now, the Lord has restrained me from bearing children. Please, go in to my maid; perhaps I shall obtain children by her.’ And Abram heeded the voice of Sarai. Then Sarai, Abram’s wife, took Hagar her maid, the Egyptian, and gave her to her husband Abram to be his wife, after Abram had dwelt ten years in the land of Canaan.” Hagar gave birth to Ishmael, but he was not the son of promise. Later, Sarai gave birth to Isaac who was the son of promise. Even though God blessed Abram’s son Ishmael, he was a source of problems. Even today there is conflict between the descendants of Ismael and the descendants of Isaac. We should learn from the story of Abram and Sarai. We should not give up on waiting for the Lord. His timing may not be our timing. We may come to think that He will not answer our request so we take things into our hands and come up with a solution that is less than the best.
I encourage you to seek God’s work within you. Look for His leading. Trust in the Lord and wait on Him to fulfill His promises in your life.