Yesterday I talked about being brought to the bliss of not knowing by accepting my ignorance and surrendering to the mysterious, and much higher, ways and thoughts of God. The Holy Spirit introduced me to the joy and peace and wonder of waiting on God, and I’m so grateful for the grace and mercy in His wooing of me. But there’s another side to this, and it’s less carrot and more stick.
Whoever observes the [king’s] command will experience no harm, and a wise man’s mind will know both when and what to do.
For every purpose and matter has its [right] time and judgment, although the misery and wickedness of man lies heavily upon him [who rebels against the king].
Ecclesiastes 8:5-6 AMP
My resistance to waiting – in ALL its forms – is plain old hidden rebellion. That’s the word that the Holy Spirit used, and then He took me to the above verses. “Misery and wickedness…lies heavily upon him [who rebels against the king].” I’ve never considered my worry or fretting as actual rebellion against God. Sin? Yes, of course, but rebellion? No. I can’t say that I’ve given it a great deal of thought one way or the other, but when I have touched on it, I tend to put my anxiety or impatience in the category of “lesser sins,” as if such a category actually exists!
My refusal to wait on God in faith rather than fear or doubt is complete rebellion, “for every purpose and matter has its [right] time and judgment.” When I fret, I declare that God is not trustworthy. When I wring my hands in worry, I signal to all in my world that God is not good. And when I resist where He has me in either fear or frustration, I rebel against His sovereign and good choice for my life.
Waiting is never passive. I will either be active in faith and anticipation of God’s move, or I’ll be active in fear and unbelief. That’s a very sobering reality to accept. And in truth, I can do nothing about my predicament except repent and surrender…and wait on Him to move. There’s just no escaping the necessity of waiting on God in the life of a disciple. And given that necessity, it makes sense that our sense of time is so urgently and consistently attacked.
In a crisis, God says, “Wait.” And I reply, “There’s no time to wait! I have to act now, and since You’ve given me nothing, I’m forced to make the best choice I can and then hope that You catch up with me.”
In making a big decision, God says, “Wait.” And I reply, “Sure, I’ll take my time on this because I have about a hundred different options and it’s going to take a while for me to determine which one works best for my life and then allow You to agree with me.”
In approaching each new day, God says, “Wait.” And I reply, “There’s never enough time to do all that I need/want/must do! Since You don’t give me the time I need to perform Your will, I’ll just give it my best shot and try not to openly blame You for Your poor planning and provision.”
As my sovereign Lord, God has complete authority over my time, yet I’ve rebelled against that authority more often than not. Some part of me believes that God is infinitely wise except for the laws governing time. Rather than assume His move is on the way, I assume that He needs a heads up on my current situation. Omnipotent and omniscient He may be, but it’s a good thing that He has me to help Him out on a daily basis. The very world might cease to turn without so benevolent and humble a servant as I. This would be funny if it weren’t so very true!
I’m going to end on a note of enormous hope, a hope that He gives me over and over again. Even as the Holy Spirit exposes my rebellion to the searing Light, He reminds me that I am but a sheep – a lowly, stupid, forgetful, skittish sheep. Not only is that not a problem for God, but the solution to my sheep-y situation resides in the very heart of who He is: the Good Shepherd.
I am the Good Shepherd; and I know and recognize My own, and My own know and recognize Me—Even as [truly as] the Father knows Me and I also know the Father—and I am giving My [very own] life and laying it down on behalf of the sheep.
John 10:14-15 AMP