Most of our time serving God is spent in the unknown and waiting.   God wants it to be patient waiting, but that is not often the case in our lives.  I do not know about you, but I often (even today) find myself so impatient.  I remember when I pastored in Germany, God was doing so much in our lives and in our church yet I became so impatient. I wanted time too quickly pass so God could bring things He spoke to us to pass.  But my friend, waiting on God is the place of receiving.  If we never come to enjoy the waiting on God (the patient waiting) then the receiving will not be as glorious. It is not the receiving from God that is glorious, but the waiting and then the seeing Him move.  God’s greatest things are not to be touched, but experienced in Him.

But the most difficult task that we are called to do is patiently wait. We would rather be busy than to be waiting. This is our nature, to do.  Today in the church we have a working heart instead of a waiting heart.  Who wants to wait?  No, we would rather be doing something for God (even if it is the wrong thing) instead of patient waiting, allowing God to conform us into the character and nature of His dear Son Jesus Christ.  We can wait only so long then our waiting is not so patient.  We can go into a doctor’s office and wait 30 minutes, but any more than that our waiting is not so patient.  Or we can go into a supermarket and patiently wait in line three or five minutes, but after that our waiting is not so patient. So God really calls us to this particular area of our life for a particular reason.

In the Psalms David (who was not a very patient man) wrote, “I waited patiently (in the Hebrew, I waited in my waiting for a long span of time) for the LORD; and he inclined unto me, and heard my cry.” (Psalms 40:1)  Our waiting is not to be interrupted or spasmodic it is to be continual. God expects us to have a waiting attitude before Him. In Hosea we read, “Therefore turn thou to thy God: keep mercy and judgment, and wait on thy God continually.”  (Hosea 12:6)  It is like prayer, we are to pray without ceasing, well how can we do that? Prayer, as with our waiting before God, is to be an attitude that continually comes out of us going to the Father.  Back in Psalms 40 we find this place of waiting is in a horrible pit and miry (heavy mud) clay. Waiting is always a very uncomfortable place. It is not wet enough to get a drink or dry enough to be comfortable. So this uncomfortable situation will draw us in to focus on our discomfort and we do not want to wait long when we are uncomfortable.  However, often this is the place God calls us to wait in. But, usually the reason for the uncomfortable situation is that we do not have the patience in us to wait. We cannot wait patiently therefore the uncomfortable situation.  In Romans Paul shares with the Church in Rome who were being used as sport for the masses in the coliseum and target practice for the Romans soldiers, “And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience waiting;” (Romans 5:3 (Greek)

The uncomfortable situations in our lives is the thing God has designed and uses to produce the patient waiting in us. It is in these tribulations, trials, and tests that God personally brings into our lives that creates the ability to develop our waiting. No tribulations, trials, and test, no ability to waiting. Waiting, as God works all things for our good and works in us which allows us to patiently wait.  God must be able to work in our lives so that we can learn how to wait if we are going to see the end that God has for our lives. We are brought into this place of waiting where we are put (by God) and must stay under a specific set of circumstances to be raised up in victory. God does not want our lives to be too attached to our circumstances this is why He allows what we call bad things to happen to us. Our lives are really centered around our situations, circumstances, the economy, etc., but God does not want us to be attached to the world system or our affections, even though in the world we are not to be a part of it.  We are not to take our cues from the situations and circumstances in our lives. We are not to serve the monetary systems of this world. We are not to serve the material situations and circumstances in our lives. We are not to look, talk, and act like the world.  We are to serve God, we are to be attached to Him, and take our cues from Him. We are to bow down before God and not our circumstances and situations. We often allow our circumstances and situations to get us down.

I find it amazing when a preacher or teacher takes the pulpit and says, “how are you all doing today?” Who cares how everyone is doing today?  Open up the word of God and share thus saith the Lord!  Do we fall and wallow at the feet of our circumstances and situations or our heavenly Father?  Unless we have allowed God to strengthen us with might in the inward man through His dealings and judgments (and develop this ability to patiently wait in us) we will allow our circumstances and situations to rule our lives.  Now make no mistake my friend God knows just how to make a horrible miry pit for us.  God knows just the thing that gets our goat. In Job (I would think Job knows something about bad situations and circumstances) said, “When I looked for good, then evil came unto me: and when I waited for light, there came darkness. 27My bowels boiled, and rested not: the days of affliction prevented (Strong’s #6923, to meet, come or be in front, confront, go before) me. 28I went mourning without the sun: I stood up, and I cried in the congregation. 29I am a brother to dragons, and a companion to owls.  30My skin is black upon me, and my bones are burned with heat. 31My harp also is turned to mourning, and my organ into the voice of them that weep.”  (Job 30:26-31) Job hoped for “light” (good) in his waiting, but only “darkness” (bad) came his way. Look at these circumstances, how would we like to endure such things? I think not. But after patiently waiting, we see Job learned the lesson and God lifted him out of his horrible pit and restored him not to what he lost, but twice what he lost. At the beginning of the Book of Job (Job 1:1-3) he lost all that he had even his sons and daughters, but at the end of the Book of Job (Job 42:10-13) God restored back to Job twice what he lost.  It is amazing what God can do for us if He can teach us to keep our mouth shut.

What a holy place in God when we learn to keep our mouth shut.  As I travel the world I see and hear many Christians who never shut up, they talk and talk while saying nothing. This is an outward manifestation of them never allowing God to deal and judge in their lives. Little do they know their talkative and opinionated nature has disqualified them for service by God.  Unless God can get us to control our mouth and keep it in the dust (shut) God cannot use us.  There is not a lot of talking when we have our mouth in the dust. Jeremiah “It is of the LORD’S mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. 23They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness. 24The LORD is my portion, saith my soul; therefore will I hope in him. 25The LORD is good unto them that wait for him, to the soul that seeketh him. 26It is good that a man should both hope and quietly wait for the salvation of the LORD. 27It is good for a man that he bear the yoke in his youth. 28He sitteth alone and keepeth silence, because he hath borne it upon him. 29He putteth his mouth in the dust; if so be there may be hope. 30He giveth his cheek to him that smiteth him: he is filled full with reproach.”  (Lamentation 3:22-30) The condition to see whether or not we are patiently waiting is seen if we are keeping our mouth shut and in the dust when going through tests, trials, and tribulations.

We are to be living in the overcoming power of God, but this power comes by way of us allowing God to work in our lives to such a degree that it grips our heart to the reality.  When we learn the lessons God has for us to learn in the horrible pit God then and only then will bring us up.  We must willfully submit and humble ourselves to those in authority over us and God to be raised up from our horrible pit or exalted. Peter taught, “Likewise, ye younger, submit yourselves unto the elder. Yea, all of you be subject one to another, and be clothed with humility: for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble. 6Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time:” (1 Peter 5:5-6) I wonder what the mighty hand of God looks like?  Make no mistake my friend, God’s mighty hands takes on many different forms and shapes.  What in your life is causing you to patiently wait?  In reality it is the “mighty hand of God.”  David said, “He brought me up also out of a horrible pit, out of the miry clay, and set my feet upon a rock, and established my goings.  3And he hath put a new song (words spoken of the heart not singing) in my mouth, even praise (words of thankfulness not singing) unto our God: many shall see it, and fear, and shall trust in the LORD.” (Psalm 40:2-3) David learned the lesson God had for him in the pit and now he was developed to the point in this area God could trust him to be delivered. Apparently good and religious works (singing, dancing, working for God, paying tithes, praying) was not enough to deliver him. “Sacrifice and offering thou didst not desire; mine ears hast thou opened: burnt offering and sin offering hast thou not required.” (Psalms 40:6)

Apparently David tried all of the traditional religious customs of his day (like most Christians today), but they did not work for David nor will they work for us today. God’s work in our lives is a heart issue.  Remember at the heart of every issue is an issue of our heart.  If we do not allow God to work in our heart then our approach to Him will be temporal, mental, or emotional which will never get us to Him.  God desires us to willfully open our heart in truthfulness, integrity, and honesty allowing Him to reveal the innermost secrets and failures of our lives. God desires to strip us naked of our selfishness, self-seeking, and ambition.  God desires (but our choice to make it happen) to be able to bring us face-to-face with whom we really are, not who we want to be or think we are, but who we really are.  This revelation my friend will kill us, but if God can kill us then He can bring us back to life like He did with His precious Son Jesus Christ; the divine spiritual principle is:  death before glorification.

But when it was all said and done to be brought up from his horrible pit David learned, “Then said I, Lo, I come: in the volume of the book it is written of me, 8I delight to do thy will, O my God: yea, thy law is within my heart. 9I have preached righteousness in the great congregation: lo, I have not refrained my lips, O LORD, thou knowest. 10I have not hid thy righteousness within my heart; I have declared thy faithfulness and thy salvation: I have not concealed thy lovingkindness and thy truth from the great congregation.” (Psalms 40:7-10) Unless we allow God to write His words on our heart we will never be able to say like David, “I delight to do thy will, O my God.”  Where do we learn this lesson?  In the horrible pit not in the land that flows with milk and honey.  Not in the time of plenty and excess, but in the valley of the shadow of death.  In the place in God where we learn patient waiting is the key to being raised up and exalted.