Waiting On God
I have a very goal-oriented personality, and perhaps you do also. Now that may have its benefits, but it also has its problems. It may be enjoyable to strategize and work toward attaining goals, but sometimes the hardest thing to do – is to do nothing at all. Could it be that this is sometimes what God wants from us?
Elijah as Servant of Heaven
Reading the life of Elijah recently, I was surprised to notice a contrast in Elijah’s life. Elijah is presented to us as a very active, forceful personality. Whether calling down fire from heaven or rebuking the apostate kings of the earth, Elijah is actively engaged in the service of God. Yet for three and a half years, Elijah did nothing at all.
At the brook Kishon, likely a remote brook in the mountainous region of Gilead, Elijah simply waited for God to send provisions, apparently without any human contact. Later, he sheltered from the famine in a tiny pagan village called Zarephath. For three and a half years he simply waited for God.
How could Elijah do this? What was his secret for waiting on God? In 1 Kings 17:1, Elijah gives us a clue. He describes himself to Ahab as one who stands before God, waiting to do the service of God. Elijah viewed himself as a servant of God, one who stands in the court of heaven, waiting to do whatever task his Master commands.
Angels Waiting on God
The angels of heaven, fully engaged in service to God, are often described as praising God, lauding Him with thrice-holy adorations. Other angels, we know, are busy with tasks in the world, protecting God’s people or engaged in spiritual warfare. Yet whatever role the angels hold – whether as stationary worshippers or active servants – they are all doing the will of God, engaged in his service.
Worship the Father
God the Father seeks those who will worship Him in spirit and truth, Christ tells us in John 4. Whatever our role in life, we can always worship God. Sometimes it is these times of waiting and worship that prepare God’s people for their next ‘active duty assignment.’ Moses spent forty years, surely in worshipful shepherding, before he went to Egypt. Elijah grew up in the remote regions of Gilead. Christ spent forty days in the wilderness. These times of waiting are often periods of preparation.