Wednesday, September 4, 2019

The Wait: Act Like You Know

Over the past three days, I read a Bible plan on the YouVersion Bible app called "Waiting Well."

Image Source: YouVersion

If you’ve been following this blog for any length of time, you know that I’ve spoken candidly and extensively about “the wait” in the past. It’s become sort of a series, beginning with my thoughts on saving sex for marriage, and continuing on how to wait for pretty much everything. Since this plan is called “Waiting Well,” I figured it would be the perfect way to jump back into the topic, and the principles here can apply to whatever you’re waiting for. I took notes each day as I read and compiled them into one post. After you sift through my major takeaways, I encourage you all to walk through the plan on your own time. It’s definitely worth the read.

Day one of the “Waiting Well” plan requires us to read Psalm 27:7-14 and 1 Samuel 1:1-11. Here’s what I got from it: Take your burdens to God. Just because you don’t have the thing you want right now doesn’t mean you won’t ever have it. Trust God’s timing and stand on His promises. He has not forgotten you. God remembered Hannah and gave her the son she longed for—in His timing, not hers. God rewards us with the desires of our hearts when the posture of the heart is bowed down to Him. 

And this was, in my opinion, the most important thing to remember: There was no guarantee that God would answer Hannah’s prayer and she believed for it anyway. We have to have faith in the midst of uncertainty even when our preferred outcome isn’t guaranteed—because even if He doesn’t do the thing we want Him to do the way we want Him to do it, He’s still good. 

Day two’s required reading was 1 Samuel 1:12-28, and I was getting revelation after revelation. In these verses, Eli initially thought Hannah was drunk until she clarified that she was praying. Don’t let people make you think that your praying is silly just because they don’t understand it or because it doesn’t look like what they think prayer should look like. Everyone communicates with God differently. No matter what, stand on what God promised you! 

This plan links directly to a sermon I’ve been binge-watching for the last few days called “Crazy Faith” by Pastor Mike Todd. He breaks down the definition of “crazy” as it pertains to faith in part one of the sermonic series. Watch the clip below (source: YouTube):

Secondly, Hannah promised that if God gave her the child she desired, she’d give him back to God—and she did. Maybe the reason why God is making us wait for what we want is because He wants to make sure that when He gives it to us, we’ll give Him the credit, the recognition, the acknowledgment, and the tithes that He deserves. Nothing we get belongs to us. Everything we have should bow in reverence to Him. If He’s holding out on the promise, perhaps He wants to make sure not only that we can trust Him, but also that He can trust us.

This led me to one of my go-to scriptures, Hebrews 11:1, “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” I read that verse whenever my faith needs a pick-me-up, and even though it wasn’t required for this particular reading plan, I thought it was fitting. Pastor Todd referenced it in yet another excerpt from part one of his “Crazy Faith” sermon (source: YouTube):

If we don’t believe the promise itself is substantial, tangible, attainable, our faith will be more prone to waver. If your hope is not SUBSTANTIAL; if it bends in the face of adversity, if it can’t stand up to uncertainty and doubt, then it won’t hold up long enough to see the EVIDENCE of the promise!

Day three focused on several verses (1 Samuel 2:1-10; Jeremiah 29:11; Philippians 1:6; 1 Corinthians 1:8; 2 Timothy 1:12), and taught us that in order for your faith to be substantial, in order to see the physical evidence of what you hope for, you have to act like you KNOW! Even if you don’t know how or when things will turn around for you, you know Who you believe in, and you know He always causes His children to triumph. Ironically, today’s “verse of the day” in the Bible app is Deuteronomy 31:6, “'Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you'” (NIV). Faith moves its feet. Fear stays stagnant and stuck. Neither one knows what’s next, but only one chooses to move forward. One holds you back, the other takes you in the direction of your purpose. Which one will YOU choose? Everybody’s waiting for something. Whatever you’re waiting for, wait well.