I am going to take a break in the testimony series to write on a topic that God has been speaking to me over the last couple months. Waiting!
Earlier this year, I stepped down as associate pastor at Servanthood Fellowship to start Truth Pastor Ministries. I had clearly heard God asking me to step down, but I assumed that it was for the purposes of taking the ministry full time. We all know what happens when we assume right???
In the following months God revealed many profound things to me. Out of them all there was one that I refused to listen to; wait. I argued that this was not of God. I disregarded the multitude of sermons that all seemed to be telling me to wait.
God even used Dani to speak this to me. I argued that I had been waiting for 10 years already. I came up with every logical reason and excuse that I could to defend my position. “People are dying and going to Hell right now, why would God want me to wait longer?”
I even told Dani that she wasn’t hearing from God. Such arrogance! I was at the point where I needed a talking donkey to feed me a serving of humble pie. I did not get the talking donkey though. Instead, God softened my heart with a sledgehammer. I mean that figuratively.
The first blow to my arrogance came through our marriage counselor, Hans Molegraaf. He told me I was clinging to God’s promise as if it depended on me for its fulfillment. Immediately God brought Abraham to mind. We all know the story, God would give Abraham Isaac and then later ask Abraham to sacrifice him. I failed this test of faith. I was more like Sarah saying, “maybe God wants me to do things this way or possibly that way.” Instead of being like Abraham saying, “God will make a way.”
It all came to a head this past Sunday after a very “eventful” Thanksgiving. The sermon, preached by Pastor Jason Shepperd of Church Project, was based on Nehemiah 2:1–4 and entirely focused on the concept of waiting for God. I sat completely mesmerized as if I was the only one in the room and God was literally speaking only to me.
Every great movement of God began with a vision or promise. Adam was promised reconciliation for his sin through a savior. Abraham was promised a son that will be the father of many nations. Joseph was to be the deliver of his family. David was to be king. Nehemiah was to rebuild Jerusalem. All of these visions and promises were followed by a time of waiting. Some seasons were only a couple months. Others spanned thousands of years. This waiting period was necessary for those whom God had called. We wait so that God can cultivate passion and integrity while also building our faith and trust in Him.
Strangely enough, I have preached a sermon on this. The Hebrew word for wait is qawa. The word literally translated means to bind together perhaps by twisting or braiding. It can be found in verses like Isaiah 40:31 that says,
But those who wait for the Lord’s help find renewed strength;
they rise up as if they had eagles’ wings,
they run without growing weary,
they walk without getting tired
Need I say more????
In my zeal for God, I have been like Peter, getting in front of the will of God. As a result, I have sown bitterness and resentment into my family and marriage. I have left my family feeling secondary and tossed to the side. Some would say that if my wife and family are not willing to follow they are being disobedient. I would have to disagree. My ministry, family and marriage are not separate. Each of them come together as a whole to form my complete purpose and calling. Given to me by God to fervently fight for and passionately chase after. Neither is greater than the other. Each part working together in unity and balance. When one is off, then they are all off.
It hurts to admit it, but I was the disobedient one. Maybe you are too???
I must wait because most importantly wife and kids need me. God also wants to teach me and mold me. He wants to strip me of certain sins and open my eyes to the things that are hindering me from being a usable vessel. Once again the tattoo’s on my wrists ring true. God is faithful! He will fulfill His promises to me. I just need to trust Him.
Is God asking you to wait? Maybe you can relate with my story. I would love to hear from you. If you would like to listen to the sermon I referenced above, you can listen to it below: