God’s Perfect Timing is, well, perfect, right? Last week we talked about why God makes you wait for His answers or His provision. If I could summaries the message it would simply be this… God has a perfect time for everything and you need to trust Him and wait.
After all, every Bible character had a period of waiting for God’s perfect timing. David, for example,
HIS TIMING IS PERFECT
How long, O Lord? Will you forget me forever?
How long will you hide your face from me?
How long must I take counsel in my soul
and have sorrow in my heart all the day?
How long shall my enemy be exalted over me?
EVERYBODY HAS A WAIT PROBLEM
Sometimes when we pray long and hard about a situation in our life without receiving any answers, we just learn to live with it. We go on about our business, wondering if or when God will send the answer. We wonder if He even hears, or maybe He is too busy to bother answering us.
But God does hear those prayers, and He’s working out the answers even though we may not know all the details. He’s going for God’s Perfect Timing, and so should you!
Waiting for answers is a fact of life—nobody gets out of it. The young are waiting to grow up, the old are waiting to go home. So the question is not if we’ll wait, but rather how we’ll wait. And I believe how we wait can actually determine how long we’ll wait. Or at least, how long we seem to wait!
TWO WAYS TO WAIT
All of us will wait in either of two ways… passively, or expectantly.
A passive person hopes something good will happen and is willing to sit around waiting to see if it does. After a short time, he gives up, saying, “That’s it! I’ve waited and waited and nothing’s happened.” The passive person has a lot of wishbone but not much backbone!
The active waiter is an expectant person, hopeful, believing the answer is just around the corner, due to arrive any minute. His belief is not a passive thing. His heart is full of hope, expecting his problem to be solved at any moment. He wakes up every morning expecting to find his answer. He may wait and wait, but suddenly what he’s been waiting for happens.
In the Bible, the word wait is always an active word, never passive…
Wait for the Lord;
be strong, and let your heart take courage;
wait for the Lord!
The Greek word for wait is “qawa”, which means to bind together, wait for patiently, expect, hope for or trust for. So waiting is not sitting still waiting for God to lay it all out on a red velvet carpet for you, but rather keep on doing what you’re doing fully expectant that, at any time, God is going to breakthrough and do something miraculous! It’s all about God’s Perfect Timing
It’s just like when a woman is pregnant; it’s said that she is expecting a baby. She carries inside her that little child. She cannot see it, she can feel it later on in the pregnancy, but she knows the baby is there.
When she learns of her pregnancy, the mum to be begins to plan for her baby’s arrival. She starts collecting items she’ll need and busily gets the nursery ready.
She’s waiting for the big day, but she is waiting expectantly… She actively prepares for the arrival of the baby because she knows the promise will be fulfilled—it’s just a matter of time. It’s not if, it’s when. She is expectant and she’ll wait as long as it takes, knowing that the result is a foregone conclusion.
Wait means “to expect” or “to look for.”
One episode of “Faulty Towers”, Manuel the winter climbed onto a table. Faulty asked him what he was doing, he replied, “You told me to go wait on table. I’m waiting.”
This week I took Fiona out for her birthday. We had a waiter. Waiting also means “to serve” — just like the waiter waits on your table at a restaurant. Our act of waiting isn’t supposed to be spent sitting around passively hoping that something will happen sometime soon. It is to be spent actively pursuing expectantly.
For in this hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what he sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience.
HOW TO WAIT FOR GOD’S PERFECT TIMING
Like you, I hate to wait. If you have sold a house and bought another, the wait to leave is hard. If you have ever given notice at a job, you’ll know the wait to leave is horrible. You can’t start anything new, you cannot put your heart into it. You’re leaving, and the wait is torture!
Waiting is especially difficult when there are no guarantees that the wait will ever end in this lifetime.
Desires we long for, prayers we’ve been praying, and news we are waiting to hear can tempt us to be impatient, discouraged, to worry, and even to wonder if God really cares.
As we have seen, waiting for the Christian needs to be active. God wants us to keep living for Him, keep serving in our church, keep believing His promises.
Waiting strategically can cultivate good fruit in in our lives such as patience, perseverance, and endurance. It also draws us closer to our Savior and points those who are watching us to the gospel.
So, here’s how to actively wait for God, His way, for God’s Perfect Timing…
WAIT REMAINING IN GOD’S WILL
I want to be absolutely clear about this… To have your prayers answered you must be in the will of God. You can pray, and ask, and beg as much as you like, if you are not in God’s will, it ain’t happening.
Somewhere in our crazy, mixed up Christian doctrines we have lost this simple truth. God does not exist to meet your needs, wants or whims. He is God, He is holy, and He is in control, not you, not the other way around.
I have seen it done many times. Preachers take a verse like…
And whatever you ask in prayer, you will receive, if you have faith.”
If you ask me anything in my name, I will do it.
And build a doctrine of self gratification upon it. Whatever you want, ask in the name of Jesus, and it shall be done. I mean, that’s what the verse says, right?
In fact, if you even question people who have got into this doctrine, you are accused of having lack of faith!
Pastor Keith told me the other night about a woman arrested in Perth for running 6 red lights. She had swallowed this teaching, and as she approached every red light she prayed, “Change to green in Jesus’ name”, and believed. None of them did.
This “blab it and grab it” doctrine is centred not in God, but in self. It completely overlooks verses like…
If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.
Or even this very clear teaching…
You ask and do not receive, because you ask wrongly, to spend it on your passions.
God is not a performing dog! You don’t get to tell Him what you want and He has to go fetch! Beware of this type of teaching, because it is not only self indulgent, but it will destroy your faith totally. I’ve seen people walk away from God entirely because of it.
You decide what you want God to give you. You pray like crazy, believe with everything you’ve got, wait and wait, and nothing happens. Then you blame God for letting you down, because you didn’t get something that God never even promised you! You believe God, and feel He’s let you down because He did not do something you wanted, that He never promised in the first place!
Step 1 in waiting on the Lord is to make sure you are in His will. This means getting rid of sin
If I had cherished iniquity in my heart,
the Lord would not have listened.
It means living a life devoted not to your own desires but to serving Him. Keep your life on track, stay holy, live right. Get to church, fellowship, study God’s word, and soon your will begins to conform to His will, and what He wants for you is actually what you want and are praying and waiting for yourself.
WAIT MAKING SURE YOU HEAR GOD’S WORD
Listen, if God gives you a word, a direct word from Scripture, you can take that to the bank!
Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.
If you have a need, a want, someone who needs Jesus, finances, relationship issues, whatever, don’t just make stuff up and say God told me! He told you only if He told you, not if you told Him and then got out a concordance to try and argue Him into performing for you!
The Lord guides through prophecy, advice, circumstances, the still small voice, but when you get Scripture lining up, your can trust and wait as long as it takes.
I’m so sick of “God told me to go to this church,” then a few months later, “God told me to leave.” Listen, stop blaming God for your own decisions, or your own fickleness and inability to see things through!
God is not man, that he should lie,
or a son of man, that he should change his mind.
Has he said, and will he not do it?
Or has he spoken, and will he not fulfill it?
Jeremiah talks about people claiming God’s message when it wasn’t Him. I love the message translation of this…
But don’t pretend that you know all the answers yourselves and talk like you know it all. I’m telling you: Quit the ‘God told me this . . . God told me that…’ kind of talk.
This is why the daily Bible reading is so, so important. It you are not doing it, you need to start, because without the constant flow of God’s Word into your life, you are flying blind and waiting in vain!
O Lord, in the morning you hear my voice; in the morning I prepare a sacrifice for you and watch.
WAIT WITH EXPECTANCY, BUT BE OPEN TO THE UNEXPECTED
When we pray and wait, God hears us and will answer. But it may not be the way we expect.
as it is my eager expectation and hope that I will not be at all ashamed,
Moses didn’t expect a 40 year journey, Gideon didn’t expect his army to be reduced to 300 men. Joseph didn’t expect to become the PM, the disciples, despite being told, didn’t really expect Jesus’ resurrection.
If God is God, lay your request before Him, and expect an answer, any which way He sees fit. You say you can trust Him and wait for Him by faith, can you, if the answer is different to what you envisaged, still trust Him? Still trust God’s Perfect Timing?
If you have that relationship, if you have that daily walk with Him, you can wait and trust Him in every way! It stops being about the outcome, and starts being about the relationship.
This time last year, I was waiting on God, serving Him (actively waiting). I didn’t see the pastor of Coast Church role coming. I didn’t conceive it as an answer. But I’m so glad He led me this way, as I hope you are, and I know I am in His will right now!
WAIT WITHOUT FRETTING
Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him;
fret not yourself over the one who prospers in his way,
over the man who carries out evil devices!
It is easy to say we trust God, but our response to delays, frustrations, and difficult situations reveals where we are actually placing our hope.
Waiting creates a litmus test that exposes what we really believe about God.
You cannot say, “I’m trusting God, I’m waiting on God, but I’m worried sick about it!” Those statements are mutually exclusive.
Are we convinced God is listening? Do we believe that He really is good and wants the best for us? Do we accept that our circumstances are sovereignly ordained, despite what we might see around us?
When we choose to wait quietly and trustingly, we not only honor God but encourage others to put their hope in him as well. They will begin to trust God’s Perfect Timing.
This week a few of us went to hear Ps Wayne Alcorn. He spoke about the two voices in your head, and how you know each by its fruit. One is from God, encouraging and righteous, the other is from hell, discouraging and condemning. Fretting is the battle between these 2 forces in the battleground of your mind…
But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind.
For that person must not suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.
If you are waiting for God, just don’t entertain one of those voices. Reject it, shut the door on it! Worry is like a rocking horse… It keeps you occupied, but you don’t actually get anywhere.
So don’t be double minded, don’t flip between two opinions.
1 Kings 18:21
Elijah went before the people and said, “How long will you waver between two opinions? If the Lord is God, follow him; but if Baal is God, follow him.”
If God is God, believe Him. And wait for His perfect timing!
God gave us the church, so that we can support each other. God’s solution to a lost world is the church. God’s solution to your waiting in faith involves the church. God’s Perfect Timing involves all of us!
Again I say to you, if two of you agree on earth about anything they ask, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven.
This is not a formula, whereby if you can just get someone to agree with you God is forced to do what you want.
It simply says that we need each other. When we stand together our faith is stronger! When we join our shields of faith together, we can believe for more, and we can support each other as we wait expectantly for the Lord.
Don’t wait alone! There’s safety in numbers. There’s strength in unity.
CONCLUSION ON HOW TO WAIT FOR GOD’S PERFECT TIMING
So the way to wait for God is actively, not passively sitting around doing nothing or complaining. If you have a promise in your heart the Lord has given you, and you know He’s given you it, (you haven’t just told Him what to do then demanded He perform) then today you need people around you standing shoulder to shoulder, praying with you, believing with you!
Stay close to God, read His Word daily, live for Him, wait expectantly. Those who wait on the Lord renew their strength, they soar like eagle, but they don’t soar alone.
Let’s wait together. Let’s stand together. Let’s believe together!
If you are waiting on God, Come forward and let us stand with you!