For the last couple of posts, I’ve been sharing about waiting, how it is an appointed time and a good gift from God.

These posts are coming out of my personal times of prayer and wrestling with God. But like with Jacob when he wrestled with God, I am coming out of it with a blessing.

As I was praying and contemplating waiting and looking up Bible verses that speak to it, one verse stood out to me:

The LORD will fight for you; you need only to be still.

Exodus 14:14 NIV

During this time I had prayed that I would stop fighting God in the waiting (you can see this prayer at the end of my last post). I have felt a great discomfort in this time of waiting, wrestling with wanting to do something, not knowing what to do and blaming myself that I am still in the situation I want to be out of. The advice of so many is that you need to take action, but I do not know if I have the grace, the blessing, to take action yet – and even if that is what God is asking me to do at all.

Unless the LORD builds the house,
They labour in vain who build it;
Unless the LORD guards the city,
The watchman keeps awake in vain.
It is vain for you to rise early,
To retire late,
To eat the bread of anxious labours –
For He gives [blessings] to His beloved even in his sleep.

Psalm 127:1-2 AMP

This passage says that unless God does the work, unless He has gone before us, anything we do will be futile.

Ecclesiastes 12:8 reiterates this:

Vanity of vanities,” says the Preacher. “All [that is done without God’s guidance] is vanity (futility).”

Ecclesiastes 12:8 AMP

We often want to act for the things we long for out of impatience. This leads to “anxious labours” as Psalm 127 calls it. It is out of our anxiety, perhaps even distrust in God, that we feel the need to do something to make His promises come about. This is what Abraham and Sarah did in the waiting for Isaac; they took matters into their own hands and brought about Ishmael.

Psalm 127 also says that if we do things without God having gone before us, we do it in vain. “Vain” means coming to nothing, but it also means having a high opinion of oneself and what one does. If we feel the need to act when God isn’t, we are being vain. We think it is up to us to bring about what God said He would. We are acting to meet our own desires and we are being selfish because our focus is on our own wants being met. This is not to say our wants are wrong, but if we are acting in our own strength and usurping God’s authority and plan in fulfilling the promises He made, then we are being incredibly selfish and not trusting Him.

And if we do end up getting what we long for by this motivation and through our “anxious labours”, will we have peace, or will we be anxiously working to keep it?

Stay with me here.

Even though the promise is for us, it is not always about us. When we act for it without God having gone before us, then we make it about us – because why else would we want to do something God said He would do?

Don’t get me wrong, God loves giving good gifts to His children (Matthew 7:11)1, but we must let Him give us these gifts in His time and in His way. We are not to take them from Him. I cannot think of a time when I valued something I got for myself more than something someone gifted me. This is the same with the things of God. His promises brought about in His timing and in His way are so much better than us going after those things ourselves.

That’s not to say He won’t require us to act to meet those promises when it is time. But this too requires surrender to know when He has moved and is calling us to follow Him. I do believe that when this happens, we will know. There will be an apparent shift along with a grace and an ease to do what He has already gone before us to do. When this happens, when we are still and allow Him to fight for us and do as He promised in His way and in His time, we will not labour in vain.

So, let go.

Let go of any anxious striving or worry you’ve been giving into during your season of waiting. God is continually at work2 while you are still. Trust Him again to do all He says He will. Believe that you will not be disappointed when you come to the appointed change of season and He brings about all that which He has promised and that you have longed for.


Cover photo by Jesse Orrico on Unsplash

Notes

1. “If you then, evil (sinful by nature) as you are, know how to give good and advantageous gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven [perfect as He is] give what is good and advantageous to those who keep on asking Him.

Matthew 7:11 AMP

2. Just as you do not know the way and path of the wind or how the bones are formed in the womb of a pregnant woman, even so you do not know the activity of God who makes all things.

Ecclesiastes 11:5 AMP

Like with pregnancy, we know something is happening in the womb but we do not always know the details, yet there are signs along the way that remind us a child is growing and being formed. So it is with the promises of God. We do not know exactly what He is doing, but He sends us reminders along the way, in the waiting, that He is doing something wonderful for us to to meet at the appointed time.

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