We, the Taylor family, are very intentional about living a God-centered life. It’s important to us that we make choices that are consistent with the word of God. In our day-to-day functioning, my wife and I are conscious about our surroundings, who and what we expose our spirits to, what outside activities we give our time to, and most of all, that we engage in activities that are beneficial for our family.
As mature Christians, we attend church service multiple times a week (not just on Sunday). We read the Bible daily. We are active in multiple ministries, as it is our heart’s desire to further God’s kingdom agenda and reach the lost. We tithe. We pray together and individually throughout the week. We also understand that only the things that we do for Christ shall last, so we work to make an impact in the lives of those people in our sphere of influence.
Being as transparent as possible…it’s not always easy. It’s not always easy to distinguish God’s will from mine, when I really want something. I don’t always “feel” like going to Bible Study after I’ve worked a 10 or 11 hour day. It’s not fun being in situations that I know only God can work out. But if it’s one thing that I know for sure…God’s WILL is what’s best for me. So regardless of how I “feel”, I just keep pressing toward the mark (Philippians 3:14). I keep on getting up. I keep on praying. I keep on believing. I constantly set goals and work to attain them.
One of the hardest things in the life of a Christian, besides maintaining a consistent prayer life, is actually enduring the process of waiting on God to give you an answer. Waiting on God…how you respond to God when you wait…your temperament with God’s people while you wait…your faith level when it looks impossible…whether you waiver and buckle under the pressure…are all factors that I believe God considers before he decides to show up.
Part of God making us wait for things is for Him to show us who we are at the core of our being. God already knows whether He can trust us enough to not mess up something He plans on blessing us with. Luke 16:10 reads, “Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much, and whoever is dishonest with very little things will also be dishonest with much.” When operating in our flesh, we shouldn’t trust ourselves. God knows not to put His trust in us when we are being led by our flesh because no good thing dwells in the flesh (Romans 7:18). But when we allow the Holy Spirit to lead and guide us, then God is able to trust us because we are abiding in Him (John 15:7).
Many times, we don’t know ourselves well enough. But through the tests, trials, tribulations and storms of life that God allows, He shows us what we are really made of. Although it doesn’t always feel good, when God does show up…MY GOD…the joy is life-altering. I remember when I was in college, I asked God to give me the discipline to save my money and help me get a reliable car. In exchange for the blessing, I promised God that if He helped me get the car, I would be faithful and go to church on a regular basis. So I did my part. I worked and saved about $3,500. When I got to the dealer, the car that I wanted was $5,500, and before I could even get in my feelings about it, my grandmother, who didn’t have much, stepped in and said “I have a little money saved and I don’t want you to finance anything, so I will give you $2,000 towards your car.” #LookAtGod I also held on to my end of the agreement and became really active in the church ministry I was attending at the time.
When I was in law school, I applied for a $30,000 fellowship to help cover my law school expenses. It was a four month waiting process from the time I submitted my application until I heard back from the corporation. While I was waiting, I was really anxious. The closer it got to the end of the four month period, I really started doubting the process. I spent almost a month working on the application – writing the essays, proofing the essays, finalizing the essays, gathering the recommendations, and ordering the transcripts. Although I knew I had a good chance of being selected, I started to feel like I was getting excited about the possibility for nothing. But I encouraged and reminded myself that faith was the substance of things hoped for and evidence of things not seen. Paul and Timothy also encouraged me in Philippians 4:6-7 to “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with Thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your heart and minds through Christ Jesus.” So I prayed and let it go.
Four months after submitting the application, I received a notice saying that out of 2000 applicants, 10 fellowship recipients were selected and I was one of those 10 people. *I just got excited all over again* When I spoke with the law school administration about the fellowship, they were thrilled and they told me that I was the first student to ever receive the fellowship who was enrolled in their JD program.
Recently, I applied for a Supervisory Attorney position at my job. Because it’s a management position, the application process is extremely competitive. Before I could even worry about getting the position, God told me to start packing up my current office. So I did. A few weeks later, I received the call to schedule an interview. Two and a half weeks after that, I received notice that I was selected for the position! To God be the GLORY! He is FAITHFUL! He is ALWAYS ON TIME!
It never ceases to amaze me how BIG my God is. There is nothing ordinary about what happens when God shows up. Even when it’s not packaged how we think it should look, the blessings that we receive once we are faithful to God and trust in His plan/process are mind blowing. Literally, within the blink of an eye, God has the ability to turn your situation around!!
There is something amazing that happens when you wait on God. It’s nothing more beautiful than the gratefulness we feel when our heavenly father gives us an answer regarding something that we are seeking direction about, or blesses us with the thing we’ve been praying for. And let me be clear, it’s not about the stuff. It’s not about the blessings. It’s about God. It’s about being and operating in the will of God for your life. If we seek God and His kingdom first, the stuff will come (see Matthew 6:33).
Everybody’s waiting process is different, but here are few things you can do while you wait on God to show up:
1. Do your part.
You have to put the work in. Your future depends on it. You don’t get to rub some magical genie and expect things to just happen. You have to do your part. You can’t expect God to give you a job if you don’t apply or put the word out within your inner circle that you are looking for work. You can’t lose weight if you don’t work on discipline in your eating and working out. Do your part and trust that God will do His part.
2. Think about God’s track record in your life.
Don’t isolate your current situation. Don’t magnify it. Sometimes while you are waiting for God to respond, you have to think about all the ways He has made before in your life. Instead of focusing on your current issue, focus on the fact that you serve the same God who brought you from a mighty long way. Don’t be like the children of Israel. Once their situation stopped looking like the promise God made them, they forgot that He had just brought them out of Egypt and turned to other Gods. Think about God’s track record in your life.
3. Don’t get discouraged. Keep the faith.
The older saints sang it best: “He may not come when you want Him, but He will be there right on time. He’s an on-time God, oh Yes He is.” God ALWAYS shows up! He ALWAYS provides! He ALWAYS makes a way! There is NOTHING too hard for God. You have to remember these things while you wait. You have to hold on to God’s unchanging hand while you wait. You have to remain steadfast while you wait. You can’t look at the facts. You have to focus on the things of God while you wait to remain encouraged.
4. Give God the Glory!
When God does show up, and blows your mind with the blessings that only He can provide, GIVE HIM THE GLORY!!! If you thought it was possible, you wouldn’t have worried about it. You wouldn’t have been concerned whether God was or wasn’t gonna do. If it was possible for you to do, you didn’t need God to do it. So when you get the opportunity and somebody asks you how it happened, you better say, “Didn’t nobody do it BUT God!”