Waiting for God

Waiting is a powerful habit. I call it a habit because the way the Bible refers to it shows that it should be a regular practice. Waiting should not happen occasionally. We should be used to it. Nowadays we are more used to getting everything so fast. There isn’t much waiting happening. It might look like it is progress and it surely is when it comes to technology and daily services but getting everything so quickly can be detrimental to our spiritual health. Waiting is a great spiritual habit. The Bible indicates in the book of Isaiah that those who wait on the Lord renew their strength. There is a certain power associated with waiting. Why? One of the fruits of the Spirit is patience. The Lord embodies patience. He promotes it and He is lives it out every day with us, when you think about it. Being patient is being Christ-like. Being Christ-like is an honorable goal. It is more than a recommendation. It is a Christian expectation. We live the Christian life so we can be more like Christ and share Him with others. I strive to be more patient. I want to wait on the Lord more. I want to wait for the Lord to act in my life more. Today I want to encourage you to take patience as one of the most important traits you should develop and maintain.

 

 
I like Amazon a lot because it allows me to get items within days or sometimes the next day. I don’t have to wait long when I buy something now. I put in my request, I pay online and I get my purchases in no time. I just know that every time I need something, I will get it without even leaving my house. There is no effort involved. It takes money and a few minutes to put in the order. When I pray to God, I put in a request, I place an order so to speak but I have to get out of the “Amazon mentality.” I can’t ask for a delivery date and I can’t expect to get it all in the next few days. God’s delivery date is unpredictable. He knows when but we are not always supposed to know. Why? He wants to see our faith in action. Being impatient and wanting it all now is not demonstrating faith. Faith doesn’t mind not knowing when the answer will come. It knows it will come and it doesn’t worry about the delivery date. Faith says “Don’t wait around for it. Live your life and enjoy the moment.” Faith says, “Waiting on God for the answer is waiting for Him with patience, joy and confidence.”

 

 
The waiting process is very important. When we wait for the Lord, we renew our strength. What does waiting look like? Waiting for the Lord implies spending time with the Lord. It doesn’t mean focusing on how long the process is taking but it means enjoying the process. It means praising and worshiping while waiting. The wait should be a consecrated time when we dive into adoration and contemplation of the Lord. Let’s rejoice in hope and be patient in the hard times. The hard times might feel like they will never end but the Lord has a set time for the end of our misery and it will come to pass. Let’s wait on the Lord and show Him that we trust in Him. Let’s not worry while waiting. He holds all the keys and all the answers. The wait is never in vain. The Lord fights for you and me. Waiting will produce great fruit that we will harvest and we will share with others. You are blessed just by waiting on the Lord. Enjoy the blessings!

Suggested reading: Isaiah 40:31; Psalm 27:14; Romans 8:25

Love your neighbors as yourself

God has become so politicized, so divisive, so exclusive and so separatist that He has lost His identity. Part of the Church has redefined God and has given Him a manmade identity that many people have accepted and have loved. God is being brought down to a human level in the media and in some churches. If you belong to the “wrong political party” you can’t possibly be a Christian according to many believers. Since when is God meant to wear a political hat? Since when is God meant to exclude and divide people? Jesus’ central message is about love. We can’t know Jesus if we don’t know love. Being theological savvy shouldn’t equate with knowing God if love is out of the equation. “Love thy neighbor as yourself” is a command that will never go away. There shouldn’t be a 2018 version of that command with a twist. In 2018 the command sounds more like “Love the neighbors that are just like you” and that is such a perverted version of the love command. If love can’t start with the Church today where are we supposed to find it? Love started with the Head of the Church, our Lord, and it continues with you and me. Let’s not stifle the flow of love by filtering it through our human prejudices and our personal views. Let’s learn to love our neighbors again, any neighbor, and teach the world how to love again.

LOVING THE “UNLOVABLE” IS NOT A CRIME

Too many crimes have been committed in the name of love. Too many lives have been destroyed because of a false representation of love. Our society has categorized people and ranked them according to world standards. We tend to love those who are just like us and we ostracize those who are different. We put groups of people in an “unlovable” category because of a sin we can’t forgive or simply because we don’t understand what makes them different from us. I am generalizing here and it sounds wrong but it doesn’t appear to be that wrong when gratuitous violence is rampant. Rejection of others should make us sick. Discrimination should make us sad. Segregation of any sort should not be Ok. Hate of any form should be loathed. Loving those that the masses hate should never be a problem. Love is never a crime. No one should ever be shamed for loving the unwanted ones or the different ones!

ALL OUR NEIGHBORS DESERVE LOVE

When Jesus healed the sick, He didn’t discriminate. He let everyone come to Him. His love was so strong that it was and still is universal. God’s love is color-blind. God’s love is gender-blind. God’s love is religious-blind. God’s love is difference-blind. God’s love gives everyone a chance. It is available for every single person who has ever walked the earth. The neighbor that you can’t stand is entitled to God’s love. The person whose preferences you can’t understand is entitled to God’s love. The neighbor whose language sounds like gibberish to you is entitled to God’s love. The fellow who sins differently from you is entitled to God’s love. As a believer you have God’s love. It has been shed in your heart and you are to be a fountain of that love. Distribute it selflessly. Be generous with that love. All your neighbors deserve that love. Start a love movement in your neighborhood. Start a God movement in your neighborhood. Let your love rewrite the definition of God and help bring down the walls of separation that were never built by the Lord. Love your neighbors as yourself!

Suggested reading: Matthew 22:39; Mark 12:31; 1 Corinthians chapter 13

Ok…wait

Technology has taken off in the past years and it makes things readily available to the point where we have gotten used to getting what we need instantly. Emails replaced snail mail. Skype transcends physical boundaries and gives you immediate face-to-face time with anyone. With streaming, there is no need to go to the store or to have DVD’s mailed to your house anymore. iMessage was created in 2011 and it allows people to chat around the world as long as they have a wifi connection. We live in a world where instant gratification is king. We decide when we want something and we usually want it now. God loves progress and innovation but instant gratification goes against what He suggests in His Word. The Bible is filled with mentions of patience and waiting for the Lord. Proverbs 14:29 says that “whoever is patient has great understanding, but one who is quick-tempered displays folly.” Psalm 37:7 advices to “be still before the Lord and wait for Him patiently.” We ought to develop patience and not give in to instant gratification. How can we wait patiently for the Lord if we always want things right now? If being connected all the time is going to stand in the way of cultivating patience, we need to unplug. Let’s find time to unplug. Better yet let’s unplug from the world and plug into the Word with no interruptions. Let’s set some time aside just for the Lord. Cell phone out of sight, tv and computer off, just you and the Lord. We can start in small increments. Every minute counts. We are so “right now” driven that it is high time we took time to slow things down. Because technology is so advanced, it doesn’t mean that God has changed His ways. The world needs to adapt to God and not the other way around. Our society nowadays shouldn’t dictate God. God dictates our society. If we start sending instant messages to God, we shouldn’t expect instant replies. It hasn’t worked that way and it is not going to work that way. For sure there are times when God responds right away but He is in favor of delayed gratification. He wants us to search His face and wait and wait. He loves things to unfold naturally at times even though He is the King of the supernatural. He won’t force things to happen overnight or people to change their mind in an instant (most of the time). When I was in college I used to fast tv on Thursdays from time to time. I am now working on ways that I can “unplug” and focus on the Lord. I encourage you to do the same. Show your instant desires who is truly in control. Nurture and cultivate patience. If we get used to instant gratification in every area of our life, we can miss out on God’s best. The enemy can whisper in our ear that we need answers now, healing now, deliverance now. Then when we don’t get it now we become disappointed and feel like God doesn’t want to bless us or we believe some other deceitful ideas. Friend, technology can definitely be a blessing and it is great but we shouldn’t let it change our expectations from God. The Lord doesn’t change and He won’t change. In Genesis, Jacob waited patiently for Rachel for seven years. Times have changed but God’s desire to see us wait patiently won’t change. Happy waiting!

Suggested reading: Genesis 29:20; Psalm 27:14; Romans 8:24-30; Ephesians 4:2; Galatians 6:9