Tag Archives: waiting on God

Exodus 32-34; Acts 2; Psalm 16

15 Moses turned and went down the mountain with the two tablets of the covenant law in his hands. They were inscribed on both sides, front and back. 16 The tablets were the work of God; the writing was the writing of God, engraved on the tablets.

17 When Joshua heard the noise of the people shouting, he said to Moses, “There is the sound of war in the camp.” (Ex. 32:15-17) NIV

This story is one of the great stories in the bible. Moses has been in God’s presence for 40 days and 40 nights. God has given him all kinds of instructions—from the Ten Commandments, to the building of the tabernacle. There were rules of how the Israelites were to worship Him, what the priest were to wear, how to sacrifice animals, etc. After God had finished, Moses heads down the mountain with the tablets written by God Himself. But something caught my attention this time: “When Joshua heard the noise of the people shouting, he said to Moses,” It occurred to me that Joshua had been waiting for Moses the entire 40 days and 40 nights. He did not give up hope, he waited! Yet Aaron, who along with the Israelites, did not. Both men had been with Moses at the parting of the seas. Aaron had been with him when the elders met with God!

Moses and Aaron, Nadab and Abihu, and the seventy elders of Israel went up 10 and saw the God of Israel. (Ex. 24:9-10a)

13 Then Moses set out with Joshua his aide, and Moses went up on the mountain of God. 14 He said to the elders, “Wait here for us until we come back to you. Aaron and Hur are with you, and anyone involved in a dispute can go to them.” (Ex. 24:13-14)

 Both Joshua and Aaron have been walking with Moses, they have encountered the same God. Yet one remains steadfast in his waiting and the other is swayed by the demands of the loudest of the Israelites. Joshua waited in silence, in isolation, as Moses spoke with God. Just as the others waited below the mountain, Joshua waited ON the mountain—close to God. He could have decided it was taking too long; he could have given up and gone back down the mountain to join the others. Yet he did not. He was trusting that God was working and waited. Aaron, and the 70 elders who had been in God’s very presence, let themselves be convinced that God was not working, that Moses was not going to come back, and instead of leading the Israelites TO God, they listened to the voices pulling the people AWAY from God!

Oh my—aren’t there times that is me! God is there—I’ve seen miracles in my own life. He’s revealed Himself to me in so many ways. I know that I know that I know—my Redeemer lives! And yet . . . “God, why is it taking you so long to answer my prayer?” I begin to doubt. Those voices begin to beckon me AWAY from God, from believing what my very own eyes have seen Him do!

Maybe the difference between Joshua and Aaron was what they chose to do in the waiting. Joshua chose to stay on the mountain, close to God. Our proximity to God has a whole lot to do with our faith. The closer we remain to God, the easier it is to stay strong. Joshua kept looking up while Aaron looked out! They had an entirely different focus.

I keep my eyes always on the Lord.
With him at my right hand, I will not be shaken.

Therefore my heart is glad and my tongue rejoices;
my body also will rest secure,
10 because you will not abandon me to the realm of the dead,
nor will you let your faithfulone see decay.
11 You make known to me the path of life;
you will fill me with joy in your presence,
with eternal pleasures at your right hand. (Ps. 16:8-11) NIV

It is easy to lose focus when I am going through a trial. My emotions can get the better of me; fear can turn my attention away from the Lord. I can see the obstacles, I can succumb to what others think I should do that draws me away from God. But I must be intentional. I must choose to stay focused on God. It may require isolation, time away, time set apart to devote myself to the One I know is working on my behalf.

The Israelites had no clue what was going on between Moses and God over the course of those 40 days and 40 nights as they waited for his return. God was imparting so much wisdom and direction to him about how to lead this nation in the way He wanted them. Likewise, I have no idea what God is doing while I wait.

Perhaps this devotion, this choice to wait on God no matter how long it takes, this characteristic we see in Joshua, is why God chose him to lead the Israelites after Moses death.

Heavenly Father, I know I do not always wait well. But if I’m honest with myself, it is because I choose to look out instead of up. That is not how I want to live my life. I want to keep my focus on You. There are so many times I feel isolated but that is my own choice as well. I let feelings speak louder than Truth. I want to wait well, like Joshua. In Jesus name, Amen

Cindy (gardnlady)

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Ezra 5-6; Psalm 95; 3 John

My first impression reading of the prophets speaking over the people was of God’s sovereignty.

At that time the prophets Haggai and Zechariah son of Iddo prophesied to the Jews in Judah and Jerusalem. They prophesied in the name of the God of Israel who was over them. Zerubbabel son of Shealtiel and Jeshua son of Jehozadak responded by starting again to rebuild the Temple of God in Jerusalem. And the prophets of God were with them and helped them (Ezra 5:1-2, NLT, emphasis added).

I thought about God’s sovereignty in the wait. When rebuilding was questioned and archives were searched to verify permission, I thought about what their life might have felt like in the wait. (I thought of what my life has felt like in times of wait.)

Then I saw his abundant provision. The prophets of God were with them and helped them. King Darius responds to the query, confirming permission and payment in full from the taxes collected so that their work wouldn’t be interrupted, and he adds:

Give the priests in Jerusalem whatever is needed in the way of young bulls, rams, and male lambs for the burnt offerings presented to the God of heaven. And without fail, provide them with as much wheat, salt, wine, and olive oil as they need each day. 10 Then they will be able to offer acceptable sacrifices to the God of heaven and pray for the welfare of the king and his sons. (Ezra 6:9-10, NLT, emphasis added)

Father God, you remind me: You are sovereign. You are my provider. You are my portion. I keep my eyes fixed on you, seeking your kingdom, listening for your voice.

Come, let us sing to the Lord!
    Let us shout joyfully to the Rock of our salvation.
Let us come to him with thanksgiving.
    Let us sing psalms of praise to him.
For the Lord is a great God,
    a great King above all gods.
He holds in his hands the depths of the earth
    and the mightiest mountains.
The sea belongs to him, for he made it.
    His hands formed the dry land, too.

Come, let us worship and bow down.
    Let us kneel before the Lord our maker,
    for he is our God.
We are the people he watches over,
    the flock under his care.

If only you would listen to his voice today! (Psalm 95:1-7, NLT)

God affects life in his big-picture way, and allows us to be agents on his behalf in the details, rolling up sleeves like the prophets did in Ezra, supporting others in ministry, using gifts and talents for God’s kingdom.

Dear friend, you are being faithful to God when you care for the traveling teachers who pass through, even though they are strangers to you. They have told the church here of your loving friendship. Please continue providing for such teachers in a manner that pleases God. (3 John 5-6, NLT)

And, in response to Diotrephes’s pride and motivation:

11 Dear friend, don’t let this bad example influence you. Follow only what is good. Remember that those who do good prove that they are God’s children, and those who do evil prove that they do not know God. (3 John 11, NLT)

Lord, thank you for meeting me every morning for a sunrise walk, for speaking into and over my life, for changing my heart and changing my vision. Thank you for letting me show your love when I serve others. This is a sweet privilege.

Courtney (66books365)

 

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Judges 17-18; Psalm 21; Acts 1

What to do while waiting on God?

If you’re like me, you’re finding that making an appointment for most activities lately requires including a new dimension of time that is growing worse… extra wait time! You probably know what I’m speaking about… you rush to get to your 3 o’clock appointment, you sign in and you’re told “the doctor will be right with you…” and your name isn’t called until 3:42pm! I’ve stopped asking why because I’ve heard all the reasons before, but isn’t my time worth something? I will be honest that there have been times when I’ve wanted to hand the doctor a bill for MY time because I could be doing so many other things other than waiting for no apparent reason!

But is *all* waiting a bad thing? I mean when you’re baking a cake, if you pull the cake out before it’s ready, you hardly have a cake. If you attempt to sponge paint over a wall that has a base color coat that is still wet, you end up with a beautiful shade of color called ‘mud’! I know… I’ve tried to push the drying process… it doesn’t work… I need to wait… but I have a hard time with the waiting process. But there are some aspects of life that require a period of waiting… silence, in order for fruit to be seen… and yet, why can’t I apply this principle when it deals with coming to God and asking what is in my heart? I say the words that I know that God has my best interest in mind, but do I believe the words that pass my lips? Perhaps God really has heard my heart and in His Grace, He is working on getting me the desires of my heart… but the people that are needed as part of His plan, including myself, still aren’t ready yet. But when they are, what a magnificent masterpiece God’s gift to me will be! The key, then, is to wait on God’s time and less on our time as we can’t possibly see what God can see and know what God knows

I don’t fully understand God’s ways… but one thing is for sure… sometimes God answers “Yes…”, other times, the answer is “No!”, based on His sovereign knowledge of what is best for us. However, what appears to be more common is His third response… “Wait…”, and when this is God’s response, what do we do while we wait? Besides having a difficult time waiting, I have an ever greater problem… that is, taking back the very things I’ve laid at the cross to I’ve released to God’s care! Why? Because I feel I know me better than anyone… as well as God. I must be one great source of laughter for God!

So, what can we do while we’re waiting on God for His response to our desires? Well, I don’t believe we’re called to remain idle and grow stagnant. In Acts 1, we find the remaining 11 disciples waiting on the promise of the filling of the Holy Spirit. However, they didn’t sit idle… they prayed (Acts 1:14… they continued with one accord in prayer and supplication…”). They studied (Acts 1:16-20… when we do away with the instructions found in God’s Word, we wonder why we get ourselves into problems and situations that require us to back up and try again!) And, they worked (Acts 1:21-26… waiting on God’s potential blessings doesn’t give us permission for complacency in the here and now!)

Heavenly Father, You know us better than we know ourselves… please guide us to wait on Your time and rely less on our own desires that are often based on emotion and not Your wisdom. While we are waiting on You, we will do what we can to honor You, while we can, and to the best of our ability, all while remaining careful not to move ahead of You in our need for answers. We ask this and all things through Your son… Jesus Christ. Amen!

gstefanelli (Greg Stefanelli)

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Leviticus 24-25; Mark 1:23-45

I couldn’t hear God. I had gone to him, rushed and under pressure–sending out SOS prayer.

“God, I can’t hear you. What should I do?”

If I was lucky, I’d get the prayer out in one coherent sentence. Hardly waiting for the response. More often than not, it was a started prayer, interrupted by whatever demands straining for my attention.

“God, I have to give a reply soon. What should I say?”

I had a deadline approaching and an answer to give. I didn’t know what to choose, and my mind was overrun with my own thoughts of possibilities. I felt a little panicked. A little uncertain. A lot of desperate to hear from God. So I started setting up terms.

“Ok, God, how about this: if it’s yes, then how about I hear it loud and clear. Like from a separate source. Or if it’s no, you could do some highly unexpected miracle like (this).”

Still no response. I ended up moving forward in uncertainty. In fact, after my response, I felt a sickening second-guessing.

God, I didn’t hear from you. So I just moved forward because you didn’t tell me not to.

But as I think on it now, after reading about how Jesus spent time in prayer, I see that I was trying to get God to fit into my busy schedule.

35 Before daybreak the next morning, Jesus got up and went out to an isolated place to pray. 36 Later Simon and the others went out to find him. 37 When they found him, they said, “Everyone is looking for you.”

38 But Jesus replied, “We must go on to other towns as well, and I will preach to them, too. That is why I came.” 39 So he traveled throughout the region of Galilee, preaching in the synagogues and casting out demons. Mark 1:35-39 NLT.

Everyone was looking for Jesus. He had things to do. But instead of grabbing prayer like a mid-meal snack, he sat down before his Father to be in relationship with him. No quick, abbreviated text-talk. He made his time in prayer a priority before his lengthy list of to do.

Lord, I didn’t hear your voice. And maybe it’s because I was too rushed with my day-to-day to stop and listen for it. Maybe it was because I was so busy listening to myself and my list of worries and what-ifs. Lesson learned. I think I might have heard you if I had taken the time to listen, instead of trying to have you fit yourself into my days and thoughts. I see now you wanted more for me–that time together, so I would be able to move on with peace and confidence–in you.

Courtney (66books365)

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