Have you ever been sick, gone to a doctor, been given meds and never taken them? I did once. I was still sick two weeks later.
I think often as Christians we can muddle our understanding of God’s grace and our expectation for specific outcomes. So often I have heard people say things like ‘im believing for a new job’; or ‘im believing for the right group of friends; or ‘im believing for financial breakthrough’ yet they are choosing to just sit and do nothing about it.
Now don’t mistake what I am saying, believing God is going to keep is promises and answer pray in His time is crucial. However, I think as Christians often we can take the word ‘waiting’ too literally. Waiting does not simply mean sitting and doing nothing, hoping for something to magically fall out the sky.
The Hebrew word ‘yacha’ means to wait but also used interchangeably with the word hope. This means that the attitude of ‘waiting’ is one of expectation not complacency. So often I think, this is where we stop. We take waiting as having an expectant heart and that’s it. However, faith which is required in the wait requires us to come with more than an expectant heart.
What’s up with waiting?
Most commonly, I think we can treat the wait as something very stagnant. The word wait is used as both a substantive and a verb in the bible. It baffles my mind to think that the word wait, something that seems so static, unmoving is actually a doing word, it’s a word attached to an action. Now that action doesn’t have to extreme but it means there needs to some form of intention behind it.
We can be expectant and yes ‘yes I believe God will do this’, yet we can choose to do nothing about our situation. However faith is believing but it is also doing. Even James understood that ‘faith without works is dead’ (James chapter 2, verses 14-26)
The wait, If we treat it our lives as a play, can resemble an ‘interlude.’ We need to remember that time doesn’t just pass in the interlude, but there is action there too, minor action that prepares the characters for what’s coming in the next scene.
Now im not asking you to go try play God in your circumstances. However, I think we need to meet God halfway. If you want a new job then apply for jobs and God will provide you the best one in His timing, if you want new friends then go and meet people don’t sit in your room, if you want financial breakthrough then sit down with someone who is good with money and see where you can save.
Resting in Gods timing and simply not doing anything are not the same thing.
The word ‘wait’ biblically shows a balance of things. Whilst it does show people expectantly waiting for things to happen miraculously, it also shows people taking the right action and avoiding the wrong actions, during the wait.
But what about miracles?
Now I know that are some cases in which God does drop things from the sky as such where we hear stories of radical healing, or surprise provision. So don’t discount that, however for the majority I think we forget to recognise God’s miracle in the mundane. Just because you didn’t get what you need overnight does not mean that there haven’t been miracles happening.
It’s about knowing when to rest in God’s timing, when to take action and in the midst of it all choosing to stop, be still and count little yet extraordinary blessings in the mundane.
The wait should be an ultimatum free zone
Faith is a unrelenting belief that God is a good father who will fulfil his promises to us. It is trust. Now going to God and saying ‘if only you give me a sign’ or ‘if only you do this God’ is not faith, it is ultimatum. Ultimatums show a lack of trust, they are requiring a confirmation of authority and power.
Instead, the wait requires pray, praise, and petition. It is the time to lean on God not question his authority. Watch Jesus in the wilderness… he waited, he worshipped- he did not stop to question Gods authority, instead he spoke against doing that very thing (Matthew chapter 4, verses 5-7)
Right action at the right time
Action based faith looks a lot like obedience. It is being attentive in our devotional time, seeking wise counsel and taking practical steps to get to where we need to be. It’s being expectant but knowing that it’s going to require something of you too.
You can’t go to a doc, not take the meds, and then complain to the doc that he didn’t do his job. So why is it then that so often that’s what we do to God?
Araina Kazia Pereira from Wellington, New Zealand is a published writer having written for various outlets and most recently joining as a Press Service International young writer. She enjoys asking the big questions and writing about the challenging questions that she has wrestled with in her own journey, as well as her learnings along the way. You can contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org