It does not mean sitting around doing nothing.
Waiting on God implies a desire, craving and longing for His presence which is demonstrated by setting time aside to seek his face in prayer, meditation on His word and often in prayer and fasting. This was why He said those who seek Him will find Him if the seek Him with all their heart. (Jer29:13)
We do not wait on Him only when we desire material things from Him. We can wait on Him just to be closer to Him, get to know Him better. We could wait on Him in praise or in thanks for what He has done for us or for what we are expecting Him to do for us.
If we are to grow in grace, our lives need to be characterised with waiting on God that is not driven by wanting Him to give us things. We can wait on Him to makes us more like Him, hear what He hears, see what He sees and respond as He would respond to situations around us. The more our waiting on Him is selfless, the better.
God wants Him to be the first love in our lives and desires to meet with us, commune with us like He did with Adam and Eve before they sinned. How close you are to Him depends on you and how desirous you are about waiting on Him.
Jesus gave us the example when He woke up early before dawn to seek the face of His Father. When He was led into the wilderness to fast and pray and be tempted of the devil He came back out in the power of the Spirit. (Mark1:35, Luke4)
The Example of Jesus
35 Now in the morning, having risen a long while before daylight, He went out and departed to a solitary place; and there He prayed.Mark1:35
Similarly when the disciples waited on God on the day of Pentecost, the Holy Spirit fell on them and empowered them for service.(Acts2:1-4)
When they were threatened in Acts 3 and 4 and they went to their company and prayed the power of God was unmistakeable as the building shook.(Acts4:24-31)
When they waited on God in Acts13:1-2, the Holy Spirit spoke clearly and gave them directives on setting aside Paul and Barnabas for the work He had for them.
When David sought His face on various crossroads in His life God responded to him and gave him directives which when obeyed led to victory.
8 So David inquired of the LORD, saying, “Shall I pursue this troop? Shall I overtake them?” And He answered him, “Pursue, for you shall surely overtake them and without fail recover all.”
The Philistines Defeated
8 Now when the Philistines heard that David had been anointed king over all Israel, all the Philistines went up to search for David. And David heard of it and went out against them.
9 Then the Philistines went and made a raid on the Valley of Rephaim.
10 And David inquired of God, saying, “Shall I go up against the Philistines? Will You deliver them into my hand?” The LORD said to him, “Go up, for I will deliver them into your hand.”
11 So they went up to Baal Perazim, and David defeated them there. Then David said, “God has broken through my enemies by my hand like a breakthrough of water.” Therefore they called the name of that place Baal Perazim.
12 And when they left their gods there, David gave a commandment, and they were burned with fire.
13 Then the Philistines once again made a raid on the valley.
14 Therefore David inquired again of God, and God said to him, “You shall not go up after them; circle around them, and come upon them in front of the mulberry trees.
15 And it shall be, when you hear a sound of marching in the tops of the mulberry trees, then you shall go out to battle, for God has gone out before you to strike the camp of the Philistines.”
16 So David did as God commanded him, and they drove back the army of the Philistines from Gibeon as far as Gezer.
When Hezekiah was given the bad news to put his house in order and he was going to die, he sought God’s face and wept bitterly, reminding God of his life and this led to a reprieve. God granted him 15 more years. (Isa38)
When King Jehoshaphat and Judah were surrounded by their enemies who out-numbered them like the sands of the seas, the King declared a nation time of national fasting and prayer. That determined and quality waiting on God yielded an extraordinary and supernatural victory. God not only gave them His presence but protection and super abundant provision. 2Chro.20:1-25
The Psalmist gives us a picture of waiting on God with similes and comparisons and other imagery. It is a picture of necessity for His presence where there is fullness of joy and pleasure forever. (Ps16:11)
0 For a day in Your courts is better than a thousand. I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God Than dwell in the tents of wickedness.
1 As the deer pants for the water brooks, So pants my soul for You, O God.
2 My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When shall I come and appear before God?
4 One thing I have desired of the LORD, That will I seek: That I may dwell in the house of the LORD All the days of my life, To behold the beauty of the LORD, And to inquire in His temple.
5 For in the time of trouble He shall hide me in His pavilion; In the secret place of His tabernacle He shall hide me; He shall set me high upon a rock.
6 And now my head shall be lifted up above my enemies all around me; Therefore I will offer sacrifices of joy in His tabernacle; I will sing, yes, I will sing praises to the LORD.
How to wait
We need to wait on God patiently. Many times pray and we stand up and leave and are impatient to wait and here from God. Prayer should be a two way process- you speak to Him and He speaks to you. In 2Chro20 after King Jehoshaphat had finished praying with his people they waited before God and God responded with a word of comfort and divine direction.
7 Rest in the LORD, and wait patiently for Him; Do not fret because of him who prospers in his way, Because of the man who brings wicked schemes to pass.
1 I waited patiently for the LORD; And He inclined to me, And heard my cry.
3 especially because you are expert in all customs and questions which have to do with the Jews. Therefore I beg you to hear me patiently.
15 And so, after he had patiently endured, he obtained the promise.
7 Therefore be patient, brethren, until the coming of the Lord. See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, waiting patiently for it until it receives the early and latter rain.
We are often afraid of silence before the Lord and think we need to fill it with speech. To hear the still small voice of God, we need to train ourselves to sit quietly before God and let Him speak to us. This could be in the form of scriptures which we have mediated upon and written on the tablet of our hearts. It can also come audibly as we pray in the Spirit and pray in the understanding or interpret your pray in tongues.
2 For he who speaks in a tongue does not speak to men but to God, for no one understands him; however, in the spirit he speaks mysteries.
3 But he who prophesies speaks edification and exhortation and comfort to men. 13 Therefore let him who speaks in a tongue pray that he may interpret.
14 For if I pray in a tongue, my spirit prays, but my understanding is unfruitful.
15 What is the conclusion then? I will pray with the spirit, and I will also pray with the understanding. I will sing with the spirit, and I will also sing with the understanding.
1 Truly my soul silently waits for God; From Him comes my salvation.
5 My soul, wait silently for God alone, For my expectation is from Him.
Psalms 5: A Prayer for Guidance To the Chief Musician. With flutes. A Psalm of David.
1 Give ear to my words, O LORD, Consider my meditation.
2 Give heed to the voice of my cry, My King and my God, For to You I will pray.
3 My voice You shall hear in the morning, O LORD; In the morning I will direct it to You, And I will look up.
Waiting on God should be wholeheartedly done otherwise we would be wasting our time.
Often we may be waiting on God but bombarded by various worries or cares. Such worries or cares would muffle or dampen the voice of God. We need to cast all our cares upon Him and deter anxiety when we wait on Him as to receive from Him.
Unless our spiritual antennae is pointing in the right direction or we are tuned to the right frequency we cannot hear him.
11 For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the LORD, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.
12 Then you will call upon Me and go and pray to Me, and I will listen to you.
13 And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart.Jer29:11-13
30 Then Caleb quieted the people before Moses, and said, “Let us go up at once and take possession, for we are well able to overcome it.”
31 But the men who had gone up with him said, “We are not able to go up against the people, for they are stronger than we.”
6 But Joshua the son of Nun and Caleb the son of Jephunneh, who were among those who had spied out the land, tore their clothes;
7 and they spoke to all the congregation of the children of Israel, saying: “The land we passed through to spy out is an exceedingly good land.
8 If the LORD delights in us, then He will bring us into this land and give it to us, ‘a land which flows with milk and honey.’
9 Only do not rebel against the LORD, nor fear the people of the land, for they are our bread; their protection has departed from them, and the LORD is with us. Do not fear them.”Num14:6-9
24 But My servant Caleb, because he has a different spirit in him and has followed Me fully, I will bring into the land where he went, and his descendants shall inherit it.
8 But Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself with the portion of the king’s delicacies, nor with the wine which he drank; therefore he requested of the chief of the eunuchs that he might not defile himself. Dan1:8
With prayer and fasting
An effective way of waiting on the Lord is by prayer and fasting. There are a host of benefits we can derive as shown below: Acts13:1-2, 2Chro.20, Neh.1, 1Sam1:,2Cor6:3,11:27, Esther4:
Benefits of waiting
6 ” Is this not the fast that I have chosen: To loose the bonds of wickedness, To undo the heavy burdens, To let the oppressed go free, And that you break every yoke?
7 Is it not to share your bread with the hungry, And that you bring to your house the poor who are cast out; When you see the naked, that you cover him, And not hide yourself from your own flesh?
8 Then your light shall break forth like the morning, Your healing shall spring forth speedily, And your righteousness shall go before you; The glory of the LORD shall be your rear guard.
9 Then you shall call, and the LORD will answer; You shall cry, and He will say, ‘Here I am.’ ” If you take away the yoke from your midst, The pointing of the finger, and speaking wickedness,
10 If you extend your soul to the hungry And satisfy the afflicted soul, Then your light shall dawn in the darkness, And your darkness shall be as the noonday.
11 The LORD will guide you continually, And satisfy your soul in drought, And strengthen your bones; You shall be like a watered garden, And like a spring of water, whose waters do not fail.
12 Those from among you Shall build the old waste places; You shall raise up the foundations of many generations; And you shall be called the Repairer of the Breach, The Restorer of Streets to Dwell In.
Benefits of fasting
1. A spiritual enlightenment Isa58:8a
2. Speedy Health restoration Isa58:8b
3. Open door through righteousness Isa58:8c
4. Protection by the glory of God Isa58:8d
5. Answer prayer Isa58a
6. Experience of the presence of God Isa58:9b
7. Promotion Is.5810a
8. Spiritual and mental clarity Isa5810b
9. Spiritual guidance Isa58:11a
10. Provision in times of Need Isa58:11b
11. Physical enrichment Isa58:11c
12. Fresh abundance Isa58:11d
13. Continuous refreshment and supply Isa58:11c
14. Generational economic restoration and propagation Isa58:12a
15. New pioneering ventures Isa.58:12b
16. Wisdom for reconciliation isa.58:12d
17. Becoming a path-finder Isa58:12c
18. Spiritual delight Isa.58:14a
19. Worldwide favour in high places Isa.58:14b
20. Physical restoration of unclqimed blessings Isa58:14c
Breaking Barrenness, breaking strongholds 1Sam1
Hannah received an answer to her prayer culminating in the birth of Samuel who became a great prophet and intercessor of God. The incredible revelation that Paul received from was partly the result of the price he paid- often praying and fasting in seeking God’s face.
Waiting on the Lord changes us inside out, as it involve discipline of the flesh which can lead to victory in various areas of our lives. It is important to emphasize that fasting does not change God but it changes us.
14 If a man dies, shall he live again? All the days of my hard service I will wait, Till my change comes. Job14:14
Fulfilment of vision- Nehemiah
Nehemiah’s ability and grace to be focused on his vision despite opposition until its completion is due in part to the foundation of fasting and prayer that he employed at the onset. (Neh1,2) Similarly, the favour he received from the king was an answer to his prayer and dedication through fasting.
The Wall Completed
15 So the wall was finished on the twenty-fifth day of Elul, in fifty-two days.Neh6:15
Daniel received revelation concerning the end times and answer to prayer whilst praying and fasting.
The Power of the Spirit Luke4:14, acts2:1-4
Renewal of strength: exploits, anointing, productivity
31 But those who wait on the LORD Shall renew their strength; They shall mount up with wings like eagles, They shall run and not be weary, They shall walk and not faint.
12 The righteous shall flourish like a palm tree, He shall grow like a cedar in Lebanon.
13 Those who are planted in the house of the LORD Shall flourish in the courts of our God.
14 They shall still bear fruit in old age; They shall be fresh and flourishing,
15 To declare that the LORD is upright; He is my rock, and there is no unrighteousness in Him.
Going from strength to strength
4 Blessed are those who dwell in Your house; They will still be praising You. Selah
5 Blessed is the man whose strength is in You, Whose heart is set on pilgrimage.
6 As they pass through the Valley of Baca, They make it a spring; The rain also covers it with pools.
7 They go from strength to strength;
Favour and Goodwill
9 Now God had brought Daniel into the favor and goodwill of the chief of the eunuchs.
10 And the chief of the eunuchs said to Daniel, “I fear my lord the king, who has appointed your food and drink. For why should he see your faces looking worse than the young men who are your age? Then you would endanger my head before the king.”
11 So Daniel said to the steward whom the chief of the eunuchs had set over Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah,
12 “Please test your servants for ten days, and let them give us vegetables to eat and water to drink.
13 Then let our appearance be examined before you, and the appearance of the young men who eat the portion of the king’s delicacies; and as you see fit, so deal with your servants.”
14 So he consented with them in this matter, and tested them ten days
18 Now at the end of the days, when the king had said that they should be brought in, the chief of the eunuchs brought them in before Nebuchadnezzar.
19 Then the king interviewed them, and among them all none was found like Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah; therefore they served before the king.
20 And in all matters of wisdom and understanding about which the king examined them, he found them ten times better than all the magicians and astrologers who were in all his realm.
Nehemiah: Favour: permission, security, provision
2 Therefore the king said to me, “Why is your face sad, since you are not sick? This is nothing but sorrow of heart.” So I became dreadfully afraid,
3 and said to the king, “May the king live forever! Why should my face not be sad, when the city, the place of my fathers’ tombs, lies waste, and its gates are burned with fire?”
4 Then the king said to me, “What do you request?” So I prayed to the God of heaven.
5 And I said to the king, “If it pleases the king, and if your servant has found favor in your sight, I ask that you send me to Judah, to the city of my fathers’ tombs, that I may rebuild it.”
6 Then the king said to me (the queen also sitting beside him), “How long will your journey be? And when will you return?” So it pleased the king to send me; and I set him a time.
7 Furthermore I said to the king, “If it pleases the king, let letters be given to me for the governors of the region beyond the River, that they must permit me to pass through till I come to Judah,
8 and a letter to Asaph the keeper of the king’s forest, that he must give me timber to make beams for the gates of the citadel which pertains to the temple, for the city wall, and for the house that I will occupy.” And the king granted them to me according to the good hand of my God upon me.
9 Then I went to the governors in the region beyond the River, and gave them the king’s letters. Now the king had sent captains of the army and horsemen with me.
Daniel Saved from the Lions
18 Now the king went to his palace and spent the night fasting; and no musicians were brought before him. Also his sleep went from him.
19 Then the king arose very early in the morning and went in haste to the den of lions.
20 And when he came to the den, he cried out with a lamenting voice to Daniel. The king spoke, saying to Daniel, “Daniel, servant of the living God, has your God, whom you serve continually, been able to deliver you from the lions?”
21 Then Daniel said to the king, “O king, live forever!
22 My God sent His angel and shut the lions’ mouths, so that they have not hurt me, because I was found innocent before Him; and also, O king, I have done no wrong before you.”
23 Now the king was exceedingly glad for him, and commanded that they should take Daniel up out of the den. So Daniel was taken up out of the den, and no injury whatever was found on him, because he believed in his God.
Darius Honors God
24 And the king gave the command, and they brought those men who had accused Daniel, and they cast them into the den of lions — them, their children, and their wives; and the lions overpowered them, and broke all their bones in pieces before they ever came to the bottom of the den.
25 Then King Darius wrote: To all peoples, nations, and languages that dwell in all the earth: Peace be multiplied to you.
26 I make a decree that in every dominion of my kingdom men must tremble and fear before the God of Daniel. For He is the living God, And steadfast forever; His kingdom is the one which shall not be destroyed, And His dominion shall endure to the end.
27 He delivers and rescues, And He works signs and wonders In heaven and on earth, Who has delivered Daniel from the power of the lions.
28 So this Daniel prospered in the reign of Darius and in the reign of Cyrus the Persian.
23 And when they had laid many stripes on them, they threw them into prison, commanding the jailer to keep them securely.
24 Having received such a charge, he put them into the inner prison and fastened their feet in the stocks.
The Philippian Jailer Saved
25 But at midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the prisoners were listening to them.
26 Suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken; and immediately all the doors were opened and everyone’s chains were loosed.
27 And the keeper of the prison, awaking from sleep and seeing the prison doors open, supposing the prisoners had fled, drew his sword and was about to kill himself.
28 But Paul called with a loud voice, saying, “Do yourself no harm, for we are all here.”
29 Then he called for a light, ran in, and fell down trembling before Paul and Silas.
30 And he brought them out and said, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?”
31 So they said, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved, you and your household.”
32 Then they spoke the word of the Lord to him and to all who were in his house.
33 And he took them the same hour of the night and washed their stripes. And immediately he and all his family were baptized.
34 Now when he had brought them into his house, he set food before them; and he rejoiced, having believed in God with all his household.
The voice of God- Prophecy
2 As they ministered to the Lord and fasted, the Holy Spirit said, “Now separate to Me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.”
3 Then, having fasted and prayed, and laid hands on them, they sent them away.
2 Chronicles 20: Ammon, Moab, and Mount Seir Defeated
3 And Jehoshaphat feared, and set himself to seek the LORD, and proclaimed a fast throughout all Judah.
4 So Judah gathered together to ask help from the LORD; and from all the cities of Judah they came to seek the LORD. 2Chro.20:3-4
“Listen, all you of Judah and you inhabitants of Jerusalem, and you, King Jehoshaphat! Thus says the LORD to you: ‘Do not be afraid nor dismayed because of this great multitude, for the battle is not yours, but God’s.
Divine Direction/ strategy- winning formula
16 Tomorrow go down against them. They will surely come up by the Ascent of Ziz, and you will find them at the end of the brook before the Wilderness of Jeruel.
17 You will not need to fight in this battle. Position yourselves, stand still and see the salvation of the LORD, who is with you, O Judah and Jerusalem!’ Do not fear or be dismayed; tomorrow go out against them, for the LORD is with you.”
18 And Jehoshaphat bowed his head with his face to the ground, and all Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem bowed before the LORD, worshiping the LORD.
19 Then the Levites of the children of the Kohathites and of the children of the Korahites stood up to praise the LORD God of Israel with voices loud and high.
20 So they rose early in the morning and went out into the Wilderness of Tekoa; and as they went out, Jehoshaphat stood and said, “Hear me, O Judah and you inhabitants of Jerusalem: Believe in the LORD your God, and you shall be established; believe His prophets, and you shall prosper.”
21 And when he had consulted with the people, he appointed those who should sing to the LORD, and who should praise the beauty of holiness, as they went out before the army and were saying: ” Praise the LORD, For His mercy endures forever.”
22 Now when they began to sing and to praise, the LORD set ambushes against the people of Ammon, Moab, and Mount Seir, who had come against Judah; and they were defeated. 2Chro20:
Comprehensive indisputable victory
23 For the people of Ammon and Moab stood up against the inhabitants of Mount Seir to utterly kill and destroy them. And when they had made an end of the inhabitants of Seir, they helped to destroy one another.
24 So when Judah came to a place overlooking the wilderness, they looked toward the multitude; and there were their dead bodies, fallen on the earth. No one had escaped.
25 When Jehoshaphat and his people came to take away their spoil, they found among them an abundance of valuables on the dead bodies, and precious jewelry, which they stripped off for themselves, more than they could carry away; and they were three days gathering the spoil because there was so much.