Should I Stay or Should I Go?


A few years ago, I was waiting on God for an answer as to whether I should move forward with something or not. I was visiting my Mum and her road was closed so I had to park in a little side road I hadn’t even noticed before. A lady was unloading a big people carrier and as I was reversing and looking in my wing mirrors, I heard the lady loudly shout, “WAIT!” I abruptly stopped reversing but couldn’t see that I was going to hit anything. She then popped her head round the back of her car laughing and said, “Sorry, not you, I was talking to my daughter.” I took the loud “WAIT” as my answer to prayer and it turned out to be the right thing to do. Since then, I have often heard God tell me to “WAIT” and it’s always been good advice. We often try to rush forward in our own strength, with our own agenda, thinking we’ve got it all in hand. We usually have the very best intentions, but rushing on without Him isn’t what God calls us to do. Proverbs 3:5 tells us to trust in the Lord with all of our heart and not to lean on our own understanding. So we go to God and seek His will but answers don’t always come immediately. The Bible tells us the Lord is good to those who wait for Him, to the soul who seeks Him (Lamentations 3:25-26). Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for Him; do not fret...(Psalm 37:7). One of the verses I take comfort in on a regular basis is 2 Chronicles 20:17, ‘You will not have to fight this battle. Take up your positions; stand firm and see the deliverance the Lord will give you...Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged...the Lord will be with you.” Notice the phrase, ‘stand firm’. Standing indicates a stillness of being; a waiting. The difficulty is, in God’s calling for us to wait there is an apparent paradox as we are also called to walk in love (2 John: 6), to follow Jesus (John 8:12), to run the race (Hebrews 12: 1) and to press on towards the goal (Philippians 3:14). So, hang on! Should we be waiting or should we be pressing forward? Isn’t there some kind of contradiction here? No, because when God asks us to wait, we are not waiting passively. In our act of remaining stationary there is an energy, a dynamism. Our waiting is full of the potential of God: it is active! When we wait on God, we should be praying, reading the Word and seeking His will. We may even need to push doors to see if they open. We should be looking, listening and praising His name, thanking Him for his guidance and ever ready to act when he commands. Psalm 27:14 says ‘Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart…’ We are waiting but remaining strong, there is a readiness to our waiting, an anticipation, an alertness. Waiting isn’t always easy, we are often impatient especially in this cyber age where at the click of a button we are able to order pretty much anything we want and have it delivered, in many cases, within an hour. While God is able to work even faster than the internet (!) and can transform our lives in an instant, often it is in the waiting of His answers; in the waiting of His Spirit; in the waiting of His healing, that we grow in our faith. It is in the waiting that others can be touched by God; in the waiting that we gain patience, understanding and clarity and in the waiting that we find God’s peace. I now have the Clash song, ‘Should I stay or should I go’ running around my head. The answer to this question from a spiritual aspect does not give an either/or answer. The Bible tells us that ‘those who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint’ (Isaiah 40:31). While we wait on the Lord we are also renewed. While we wait on the Lord we can also soar. While we wait on the Lord we are active in our running and walking with Him and are strengthened for the journey. So, the paradox of waiting on God and walking with Christ at the same time is not really a paradox at all. We are waiting actively, full of faith with the anticipation of God moving in our lives, and when He does, we continue to wait on Him for more of the same.

-Lara


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