Click bait! Our feeds are flooded with click bait — shameless attempts to lure us to a sketchy website with the promise of frivolity. Often baited with interminably uninteresting videos captioned with ‘Wait for it.’ Well, I never make it to ‘it.’ My patience expires at the minute mark. I refuse to endure two minutes of a duck floating on a pond in hopes that an ‘it’ will appear bringing joy and satisfaction. Wait for it? I think not.
No one likes to wait. Waiting for a test result, a customer service agent, or the next season of your latest streaming binge is agonizing. Waiting has always been hard, but the modern world has attempted to train it out of us. Everything must be immediate. Fast food, same day delivery, on-demand entertainment. Waiting is not on the schedule. Our devices offer us a retreat during our waiting from the virtue of patience or the value of conversation with an actual person.
Modern life waits for no man and no modern man waits for life. The vacuum demands filling. The idle moment screams, ‘don’t just stand there, do something.’ But God often says, ‘don’t just do something, stand there.’ That is solid advice. ‘Wait!’ is often God’s plan for us. Twenty-five times the Psalms counsel us to ‘wait upon the Lord.’ And eleven times Isaiah catalogues the benefit of waiting upon the Lord. And the rest of the Bible takes up the theme. From Genesis to Revelation, waiting is on the docket.
But what does waiting look like? And what do we do while we wait? David Giarrizzo, in his article, Nine Ways We Wait Upon the Lord observes,
When we think of waiting, we often think of passivity. Waiting is practically synonymous with doing nothing. When the Bible speaks of waiting, it’s an entirely different thing than what we do after we take a number at the motor vehicle department. Biblical waiting is not a passive activity, but is demonstrated by active dependence upon and obedience to God. Thus, waiting upon God is a spiritual discipline that we should seek to practice in our lives.DAVID GIARRIZZO
Learning the spiritual discipline of waiting is critical. But failing to do so is catastrophic. In Samuel 13, Saul’s stunning failure to wait for Samuel to offer sacrifices before a battle costs Saul his kingdom.
And Samuel said to Saul, “You have done foolishly. You have not kept the command of the Lord your God, with which he commanded you. For then the Lord would have established your kingdom over Israel forever. But now your kingdom shall not continue. The Lord has sought out a man after his own heart, and the Lord has commanded him to be prince over his people, because you have not kept what the Lord commanded you.”1 SAMUEL 13:13-14
Refusal to wait upon the Lord brings grief. Saul learned this. And Moses had to learn this too. Moses’ birth was remarkable. God saved him to be Israel’s deliverer. But at the outset, he fails to wait on God’s calling and instruction. And in one foolish act, forty years of hopes for Israel’s deliverance go up in smoke. In Exodus 2 we read.
One day, when Moses had grown up, he went out to his people and looked on their burdens, and he saw an Egyptian beating a Hebrew, one of his people. He looked this way and that, and seeing no one, he struck down the Egyptian and hid him in the sand. When he went out the next day, behold, two Hebrews were struggling together. And he said to the man in the wrong, “Why do you strike your companion?” He answered, “Who made you a prince and a judge over us? Do you mean to kill me as you killed the Egyptian?” Then Moses was afraid, and thought, “Surely the thing is known.” When Pharaoh heard of it, he sought to kill Moses. But Moses fled from Pharaoh and stayed in the land of Midian.EXODUS 2:11-15
Moses ran ahead of God’s timing and planning. He had not learned to wait upon the Lord and it cost him. And it cost the people of Israel forty more years of suffering and death. Yet God was not done with Moses. The gracious truth of Moses’ life is that our failures are not a failure of God’s plan or His plan for us. Join us as we examine Exodus 2:11-22 and consider the spiritual discipline of waiting on the Lord.
We meet from 5:00 – 6:30 pm in The Commons at St. Andrews Anglican Church at 8300 Kanis Rd in Little Rock for worship. Get directions here or contact us for more info. You can also join us on Facebook Live @RiverCityARP or on YouTube.