But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint. (Isaiah 40:31 KJV)
The Lord says if we wait upon Him, we will renew our strength and soar as eagles. This devotional briefly examines the meaning of waiting upon the Lord and provides guidance on how to wait and reap the benefits.
The Hebrew term “wait” in the verse above means to hope or have trust in someone. Hope is a patient expectation of the desired outcome; trust is counting on the integrity of someone to do what they promised. Therefore, when we wait on the Lord, we wait for something to occur and depend on God to make it happen. Most importantly, the power to make that thing happen is not within our control—sometimes within our power but not our authority!
Consequently, there are three significant aspects of the essence of waiting on the Lord: the thing hoped for, the patient expectation, and the waiting period. Of these three, the waiting period is often the most problematic. It includes the time, the apparent unproductive state, and our activity while waiting.
This essence of waiting on the Lord expresses itself differently depending on what we are waiting for. Although there are potentially many expressions of waiting, I will briefly review four: salvation, prayer, faith, and divine interventions. As believers, we are all waiting for the Lord to return. While waiting for His return, we are actively involved in living for Him and serving Him.
Besides waiting on the Lord’s return, we also wait for Him in prayer. By default, prayer is waiting; to the one watching, it appears we are doing nothing! But there is a place in intimate prayer where you are still, saying and doing nothing while just waiting on the Lord to speak to you, touch your life, quicken your body, or just fellowship with you. This form of waiting in prayer is one of the rare instances of waiting when we do nothing—I mean nothing—but just sit there as though we are wasting our time. But if you wait on the Lord in prayer, as stated here, you come out of that place a brand-new man or woman!
Abraham’s life best demonstrates the waiting in faith. Though God had promised a child to Abraham, he waited many years before he received the promise. As he waited, he had to deal with the internal struggles of doubts, provocation from neighbors, natural conditions contrary to God’s promise, etc. Despite all these challenges, Abraham stood firm on God’s promise and did not waver during the waiting period.
Similar to the waiting of faith is our general waiting for some divine intervention, miracle, or breakthrough. For instance, David was anointed king of Israel and knew nothing about the ordeals that were coming his way as he waited for the fulfillment of God’s calling on His life.
In summary, waiting upon the Lord is a crucial principle that permeates almost every aspect of our walk with Him. The essence of waiting is patiently expecting Him to do something; this essence can be expressed in different forms. Most importantly, while some forms of waiting, like prayer, will require us to do nothing and just be still in His presence, other forms will require us to continue to faithfully do what God commanded us to do while waiting for Him to show up.
What is waiting on the Lord? How would you put this devotional to work in your life?
Apply the Word
How are you waiting on the Lord in the four forms mentioned above?
Ask the Spirit to teach and strengthen you to wait upon the Lord.