“So much of the world’s troubles could be avoided if man could just learn to sit a room quietly.” ~Blaise Pascal
When I have waited on God’s perfect timing I have known He was directing me. Then, if I encounter troubles, I’m confident I’m still in His will, and that whatever this is, it is nothing more than a diversion, a temporary obstacle. But when I haven’t waited, I have been unsure of myself: “Did I move too fast? Am I out of God’s will? Did I make a bad decision?”
Eleven years ago this week we started 721 Ministries. The final decision to shut down Hunter and Associates after 25 years and to pursue what … a men’s ministry? What would that even look like? With no income? Are you kidding me??? … was not automatic, nor was it my idea, or even my desire.
But after a prolonged year-plus of waiting on the Holy Spirit’s clarity, He made it absolutely clear it was God’s will. He made it clear through a variety of different friends and circumstances. Crystal clear. So a few months later, with financial giving not exactly robust, and therefore thousands of dollars in debt living off my credit line, I was a tad uneasy, yes, but nowhere near shaken. I knew I was in my Father’s will. So why would I worry?
I am often asked, “How can I know God’s will for me in this …decision, issue, area …in my life?” And the next question is, “And how will I know if it’s God speaking to me, or just my own wishes, or even Satan?” The answer will often be the same as the answer to the often asked question, “How will I know if he or she is the one to marry?”
“You’ll just know.” If you want to know Him.
The one constant in this arena of knowing and discerning God’s will seems to typically involve waiting. This is not about waiting because you are a little more mature, and can conjure up a little more patience, but because you have complete confidence the Holy Spirit will guide you, and often to even move ahead of you.
Admittedly there are times when prolonged waiting is not an option, because a deadline is approaching. In these, as in all cases, our Father wants us to seek His will through prayer, his Word and seeking wise counsel from mature Christians. I have found he can and does speak to me through casual, unrelated comments from others, even a billboard once, and a host of other unexpected ways.
I then make a prudent decision, and I, don’t miss this: I abandon the outcome to Him.
But typically, we really can wait. We just don’t want to wait. Because we want our way.
The Father can seem slow as molasses, but He’s always right on time. Wait patiently on the Holy Spirit in every circumstance and you will be amazed at his movements.
If You Want a Little More:
Charles Stanley has this to say about waiting on the Lord:
“Right timing is critical. It is crucial for success in warfare, in science, in sports, in business deals, and in relationships. But did you know that right timing is equally significant in your spiritual walk? And did you know that God requires your timely cooperation with him to fulfill his plan for you?
“Almost invariably, discovering and cooperating with God’s perfect timing requires waiting on Him. We are impatient creatures. We become easily frustrated, irritated and often discouraged when we encounter obstacles that delay or hinder us. But God is always on time, never late. He is never thwarted by any circumstance; and when we choose to wait for His timing, we position ourselves for His maximum blessing.
“Waiting on God is not an irksome, boring task. It is one of the most exciting activities a believer can participate in because the rewards are so incredible. It is not a passive attitude, but a dynamic expectation, as we focus our attention through persistent prayer and meditation on God’s word. It is a matter of rejecting our fear of failure, refusing to yield to the unwise opinions of others and steadfastly resisting the urge to move recklessly ahead when we are unsure of God’s plan.” ~Charles Stanley