Do you want the Lord’s will above all else, even if He doesn’t give you what you want when you desire? Here’s what it takes to stay in the will of God in both the good times and bad:
- Trust. If we understand who God is, we can trust Him because He knows so much more than we do, and His timing is always right. He is not depriving us of anything but is doing what is best for us according to His wisdom and knowledge. He invites us to ask, seek, and knock in prayer and promises to answer according to His divine timing and purpose (Matt. 7:7).
Therefore, we must not think that if the answer doesn’t come immediately then God will never provide what we’ve requested. Instead, we should remember God’s power, wisdom, love, and knowledge, and trust that He controls every circumstance and will provide what is good. If His provision doesn’t come immediately, it’s because we really don’t need it, it’s not good for us, or it’s not the right time to have it.
- Patience. Psalm 37:7 says, “Rest in the Lord and wait patiently for Him; do not fret.” Waiting could cause us to be anxious and impatient because it seems like God isn’t doing anything. However, we must remember that He loves us and gives good guidance, provision, help, and strength during the wait.
When David was anointed king of Israel as a teenager, he had no idea that he would have to wait over twelve years before the promise became a reality. What may have seemed like a waste of time was actually God’s perfect plan for his life being worked out. God wasn’t acting against David in the delay, but for him.
- Courage. When an offer or opportunity looks good and seems right, it takes courage to wait on God because we may have to say no. Even if others don’t understand our decision and urge us to go ahead, if it’s not according to God’s will or timing, it’s the wrong choice. We can’t fathom all the difficulties and problems that could come if we move forward in disobedience instead of waiting patiently and courageously for God to make the way clear before us.
- Determination. Because the influence of others has a powerful effect on us, it takes fortitude to wait on the Lord. While the situation may look right on the outside, if the Holy Spirit is cautioning us, we must make up our minds to obey Him rather than give in to others’ opinions and advice.
- Strength. When we are tempted to jump ahead of God, we must remember that almighty God is the source of our strength, and He will provide the power we need to wait patiently. And beyond this, He can even change the desires of our heart to align with His will and give us a strong passion to obey Him.
- Endurance. If the Lord calls us to wait, we need endurance to stand firm when other people give their opinions and offer suggestions regarding what we should do. Although the world is full of tempting offers, and people readily share their thoughts regarding how we ought to live, there is only one supreme Person to whom we should listen, and that is the Lord. Our responsibility is to obey and leave all the consequences to Him. Walking within the will of God is the safest, best, wisest, and happiest place to live.
What requests are you still waiting for God to answer? Although we will not receive everything we desire when we want, we will never miss out on the good things God has for us that are according to His will and timing. Therefore, we should always seek God’s wisdom in prayer, wait for His guidance, and watch how He works.
This article is adapted from the Sermon Notes for Dr. Stanley’s message, “When God Says Wait, which airs this weekend on TV.”