What Does it Mean to “Wait Upon the Lord”


Man Says, “Do Something!”
While God Says, “Wait upon Me”

“Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall: But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.” KJV    Isaiah 40: 30-31

“Since ancient times no one has heard, no ear has perceived, no eye has seen any God besides you, who acts on behalf of those who wait for him.” Isaiah 64:4

Strong’s Concordance – Hebrew translation:  “Wait”- qavah: wait
gather together, look, patiently, tarry, wait for, on, upon

A primitive root; to bind together (perhaps by twisting), i.e. Collect; (figuratively) to expectgather (together), look, patiently, tarry, wait (for, on, upon).

I can give testimony that “Waiting” on the Lord always yields the precious fruit God has purposed. I was in a “fiery spiritual trial” for two years that came to test my faith and reveal to me, His great love.   During this spiritual ordeal, I had lost all hope in my salvation and did not expect that the Lord would help me. However, I received God’s Word (Isaiah 40: 31) from someone who I did not know, who was praying for me.  I didn’t think anything about it at the time. All I could say after receiving it, was, “I can’t do anything but wait.” and soon afterwards I even forgot all about it. However, little by little, my faith was strengthening, and one year later, when I was overwhelmed again with uncertainty, I said, with little self-assurance,  “I will just have to wait upon the Lord” ( a mustard seed of faith, barely a whisper departing from my lips).  As soon as those words were spoken, I heard God’s small, still voice, say, “Don’t give your doubts and fears the time of day, just walk away.” Suddenly,  I knew to ignore all my misgivings, shake the snake, and trust in the Lord.  And as I climbed on-board,  I began soaring, mounting up in His love, knowing without a doubt, that “nothing could ever separate me from His love” in Christ Jesus (Romans 8: 38-39).

One of the last things Jesus told his disciples to do before His ascension was to “wait” in Jerusalem until the power of the Holy Spirit came upon them.  They were to gather together in one place, in one accord before receiving the power to witness His salvation.

In the passage of Isaiah 40: 30-31 we see the promise of “renewed strength”.
The eagle is a creature who’s ability to fly derives from waiting for the wind’s velocity to increase before mounting up to take flight. It is the wind that supports his flight. So, he has learned to wait upon it before mounting up in his own strength.

In Pastor Dick Woodward’s booklet – As Eagles, he explains the eagle’s flight:

“When the eagle leaps from its nest into the wind, the eagle is depending on the velocity of the wind currents to give it the aeronautical lift it needs to rise and soar above a storm.  If the strong wind were not there, the eagle could not soar over the storm.”[i]

When we place our complete trust in the Lord (Proverbs 3: 5-6) we will be guided in the way, soaring over our circumstances through faith. Once the Lord energizes us through our faith, then we are rested and surrendered, gliding effortlessly with confidence in what He has provided.

Just as the Lord provides the wind for the Eagle’s flight, He has provided His Holy Spirit. God’s Holy Spirit enables us to surmount any mountain and see things from His perspective. We are then at peace, the peace that passes all understanding as our confidence is no longer in ourselves, but in the One who sustains us, as He carries us to “His” place and destination (John 1: 38-39) .

We understand that the Lord’s disciple, Peter was eager to serve Him. He was the one that first recognized Jesus as the Christ. Yet Peter, had to come to the end of himself to understand that he could do nothing apart from faith in Christ Jesus. When he learned to  surrender his trust in his own ability and efforts, he was empowered by God’s Holy Spirit to accomplish the Lord’s purposes.

The same can be true of the time of Pentecost.   On that day, the disciples were gathered together in one place, believing as in one accord, “expecting” the Lord to send His Holy Spirit as promised. When they were empowered by the Holy Spirit, they gave witness to Christ’s salvation.

Another part of the Hebrew word gavah (wait) means to gather together, to bind together.  When the disciples gathered together in one place they were like-minded, focused on the Lord’s promise, expecting the Holy Spirit to come.

And as it happened, “When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them.” Acts 2: 1-4

Jesus gave the same promise concerning prayer:  “Again, I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything you ask for, it will be done for you by my Father in heaven. For where two or three come together in my name, there am I with them.”
Matthew 18: 19-20

Again in Ecclessiastes 4: 9-12- We see there is strength in coming together.

“Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their work: If one falls down, his friend can help him up. But pity the man who falls and has no one to help him up! Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm. But how can one keep warm alone? Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves.
A cord of three strands is not quickly broken”.

So also, as Jesus has warned; “apart from me you can do nothing” (John 15:5). So we can do nothing in our own strength and according to our own understanding.

Remember in the time of Moses that the Israelites moved when God moved. In the meantime, He provided everything they needed. He covered them as a cloud by day and a pillar of fire at night.  The Israelites made camp when the Cloud over them remained. And when the cloud moved ahead, they knew to move with it. He was their provision. In the same way, Jesus has said to follow Him.  He did not tell us to go ahead of Him.

Whenever there is a sense of “anxiousness”, then know that it is not from the Lord. For God does not guide us through anxiousness but by His Peace, which is characteristic of the Holy Spirit (Philippians 4: 4-7).

Anxiousness screams, “do something, now!”.  While the Lord’s voice whispers, “Pray”, “Trust”and “Wait” giving His “Peace” and directing one’s path.

So when you are feeling anxious in the midst of a crisis and out of fear or compulsion you are compelled to “do something”, anything, but remaining still, know that it is not the voice of the Holy Spirit. And if you lack God’s Wisdom on what to do, then He tells us to pray and ask for it. But when we ask through prayer we are not to doubt that we will receive it, or we will miss it.  The disciples were not double minded about waiting, and expecting the Lord to do what He had promised.  They were of one accord expecting the promise of the filling of God’s Holy Spirit.  As they waited, they prayed, and encouraged one another with psalms, and God’s promises.  And then at the right time, while they were waiting, they received the promise and went out and witnessed the glorious miracle.

Let’s look at “anxiousness” as illustrated in the scriptures concerning Jesus’ friends, Mary and Martha.  Jesus had come to their home for dinner. While Martha was running around trying to make things “perfect” for her guest, Mary chose to wait at His feet.  When Martha complained to Jesus about Mary not helping, He did not agree with her but pointed out that Mary had chosen what was best- “Him” –  (Luke 10: 41-42).

Sometimes as Christians we are like Martha, running around trying to do something for Jesus.  When what Jesus really desires is our fellowship.  Jesus, gave us this example by His habit of rising up early in the morning before daybreak to pray and commune with the Father. He spent time alone with the Father before going out to heal, preach and serve.  He even told His disciples that “He only did the works He saw His Father doing.” One important illustration of Christ not acting on His own is when His friend, Lazarus was sick. His disciples were urging him to leave what He was doing and go heal him. But instead, Jesus waited four days before going. When Jesus did go, Lazarus was already dead (asleep in Christ). However, Jesus was accomplishing a far greater thing.
Jesus waited to do something far more significant, by raising his friend from the dead
( John 11:11-15).

I experienced the Lord’s deliverance in childbirth, when I remembered during “transition” ( hardest part of labor) to call on the Lord. As soon as I asked Him for help, He was immediately at my side, reminding me to “relax my body and surrender my resistance. So, I let go.  Within minutes, my baby was born without any medical assistance.

There is a type of pain that arrives from hard labor that afterwards produces a reward. The reward is seeing the fruit of one’s labor. Our labor is to yield to the Holy Spirit’s guidance, direction, and timing, and to trust in the Lord with all our heart, which always produces the fruit that brings Glory to Him, alone.

Pray – Philippians 3: 4-7    Trust – Proverbs 3: 5-6     Wait – Isaiah 40:31


[i] As Eagles: How to Become an Eagle Disciple by Pastor Dick Woodward- Publication: International Cooperating Ministries  p. 14

About Doula Faith

I am first and foremost a child of God, "born again" into the Kingdom of God through faith in my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. He has called me to be an "Encourager" of faith in His Son, Jesus Christ. I have learned through some painful trials of His unconditional love. The apple of my eye, is Jesus Christ, the Son of God, the Living Word.
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3 Responses to What Does it Mean to “Wait Upon the Lord”

  1. Stacey says:

    A Greater enlightenment!

    Like

  2. Pingback: The Patience of Waiting the Lord and It’s Blessings | Inspirational Matters

  3. Pingback: Relying on the Strength of the Lord | Inspirational Matters

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