When you have to wait, by Dr. Charles Stanley


Staying in Step With God

By Dr. Charles F. Stanley

Knowing biblical principles is essential for living the Christian life as God desires. Perhaps the most important one to learn is to obey God and leave all the consequences to Him. And  alongside it is another one that’s very important—learn to wait upon God for His timing. Obeying the Lord doesn’t just include doing what He desires, but doing it when He says and how He says.

To keep in step with God’s perfect will, we must guard against jumping ahead of Him. Although waiting on the Lord is not always easy, we can never go wrong by patiently letting Him lead us according to His timing. When we step ahead of Him, trouble awaits us, but if we trust His guidance, He will lead us into His will and accomplish more than we had in mind.

When we are in a hurry to make a decision and move forward rather than seeking God’s timing, we need to heed the words of Psalm 27:14, “Wait for the Lord; be strong and let your heart take courage; yes, wait for the Lord.”

God’s timing isn’t just good; it’s perfect. He is omniscient and knows all things in the past, present, and future. The Lord sees every aspect of our lives, including our needs and desires. In His great wisdom, He understands what’s best for us. His divine schedule for our lives is always perfect and achieves His good purposes.

In contrast, we are often in a hurry to get what we want. Since we have limited knowledge and understanding, we should pray about the situation and wait for God to unfold the path He has for us. But in our haste to move ahead, we often make big decisions without asking the Lord to show us His perfect timing in the matter.

Yet God has provided everything we need to obey His will. When He saved us, He gave us His indwelling Spirit to be with us forever. One of the tasks of the Holy Spirit is to guide us according to God’s will and Word. He cautions us regarding wrong directions and quickens us to do what’s right because we are not sufficient in ourselves to make wise decisions.

When God says “Wait,” that’s exactly what He means for us to do. Therefore, we need to learn to listen to Him and follow His directions rather than trying to figure out a course of action and plunging ahead. If we make it a habit to listen to God throughout our lives, then we will be ready to hear Him when we need direction in pressing situations. The Lord promises in His Word that He answers prayer and will direct our path, but sometimes we must wait for Him to show us the way. Even though we may want the answer immediately, God in His loving omniscience knows what’s best for us both now and tomorrow because His perspective is eternal.

ABOUT DR.CHARLESSTANLEY Dr. Charles F. Stanley joined the staff of First Baptist Church of Atlanta in 1969 and became senior pastor in 1971. In 1982, Stanley...

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