Soaking in the Sonshine
“What religion needs, is more of God,” wrote Murray in his classic, Waiting on God. “Many of us are too much occupied with our work. As with Martha,” he wrote, “the very service we want to render the Master separates [us] from Him; it is neither pleasing to Him nor profitable to ourselves. The more work, the more need of waiting upon God; the doing of God’s will would then, instead of exhausting, be our… nourishment and refreshment and strength.”
We are in a season of anticipation that could pull us into frenzied planning and activity for the Lord, but we need to receive from God in a greater way so we can be more effective in giving out to others. Many of us, in our rationalist society, have lost the wonder of two-way communication with God. We talk, and don’t realize that a good conversation involves listening too. Let soaking and waiting on God become a daily practice rather than a renewal meeting event. In his book, Andrew Murray encourages us to make waiting on God part of our daily prayer time.
How to Wait on God
Enter His Rest
Through renewal, many of us learned about being quiet before the Lord—about not praying while someone prays for us so we can receive, and about “doing carpet time” so God can work deeply in us. Murray endorses the concept of a quiet time, “let there be intervals of silence, reverent stillness of soul, in which you yield yourself to God, in case He may…[wish] to teach you or to work in you.”
During theses times of silence you give God priority as you put aside your own thoughts, desires, fears and hopes.
Murray encourages us not to give up. He says we need to give God time to respond in His timing and His way. Our problem is that we become impatient because God doesn’t seem to do something right away.
“There are times when waiting appears just losing time, but it is not so,” says Murray. “Waiting, even in darkness, is unconscious advance, because it is God you have to do with, and He is working in you. God who calls you to wait on Him, sees your feeble efforts, and works it in you. Your spiritual life is in no respect your own work.”
Even though you can’t see it, God is working in you by His Spirit. Something always happens when you wait on God even though you may not feel anything.
Express Your Need
If you are waiting on God for a specific need, identify it, tell God about it, and expect an answer.
Desire God’s Will
While God is able to do far beyond all we can ask or think, we sometimes limit Him by our thoughts or desires. Rather than establishing your own prayer agenda, confess that you don’t know God’s will and be open to receive what He has. Expect Him to do something supernatural and extraordinary.
Trust God, Not Your Mind
Waiting on God is a spiritual discipline, not a mental exercise. Too often we read God’s Word and jump to conclusion regarding its application to our lives without waiting for God’s counsel. Murray warns us against leaning on our own understanding , and laments, “Christians have no sense of the great difference between the religion of the mind and the religion of the heart, and the former is far more diligently cultivated than the latter.” The mind, he says, can only help you to know what the heart must get from God. Wait to ascertain the mind of God. Give yourself time to learn how you “hear” or receive from Him.
Don’t wait on God if you’re not willing to obey Him, warns Murray: “If we do not keep His way, our waiting on Him can bring no blessing.” Do what God has already showed you to do, but don’t be afraid if you miss it. Fear robs your confidence before God.
Intercede For Others
In praying for others, “Let the spirit of the prophet come into you as you value His words and set yourself to wait on God on behalf of His children. Instead of the tone of judgment or condemnation, of despondency or despair, realize your calling to wait upon God.” Murray exhorts us to wait on God in intercession for others expecting God to hear and respond regardless of how “wrong their lives or their teachings may appear.”
Anticipate God’s Blessing
Waiting on God brings many blessings. As we let God’s light shine into our hearts, it dispells darkness, and brings us into close fellowship with our Father. “He will never disappoint [you],” says Murray. “Just be still before Him and allow His Holy Spirit to waken and stir up in your soul the childlike disposition of absolute dependence and confident expectation. Wait upon God as a living Being, as the living God, who notices you, and is just longing to fill you with His salvation.”
Take time to cultivate this much needed element of communication with God. As you wait on God and soak in His presence, prayer will take on new life and the anointing of the Spirit on you will increase both individually and corporately.